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Title: Precaution
Author: Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851
Language: English
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PRECAUTION.

A Novel.

By J. Fenimore Cooper.


    "Be wise to-day. It is madness to defer;
    To-morrow's caution may arrive too late."



W. C. Bryant's Discourse on the Life, Genius, and Writings of James
Fenimore Cooper,

Delivered at Metropolitan Hall, N.Y., February 25, 1852.



It is now somewhat more than a year, since the friends of JAMES FENIMORE
COOPER, in this city; were planning to give a public dinner to his honor.
It was intended as an expression both of the regard they bore him
personally, and of the pride they took in the glory his writings had
reflected on the American name. We thought of what we should say in his
hearing; in what terms, worthy of him and of us, we should speak of the
esteem in which we held him, and of the interest we felt in a fame which
had already penetrated to the remotest nook of the earth inhabited by
civilized man.

To-day we assemble for a sadder purpose: to pay to the dead some part of
the honors then intended for the living. We bring our offering, but he is
not here who should receive it; in his stead are vacancy and silence;
there is no eye to brighten at our words, and no voice to answer. "It is
an empty office that we perform," said Virgil, in his melodious verses,
when commemorating the virtues of the young Marcellus, and bidding flowers
be strewn, with full hands, over his early grave. We might apply the
expression to the present occasion, but it would be true in part only. We
can no longer do anything for him who is departed, but we may do what will
not be without fruit to those who remain. It is good to occupy our
thoughts with the example of great talents in conjunction with great
virtues. His genius has passed away with him; but we may learn, from the
history of his life, to employ the faculties we possess with useful
activity and noble aims; we may copy his magnanimous frankness, his
disdain of everything that wears the faintest semblance of deceit, his
refusal to comply with current abuses, and the courage with which, on all
occasions, he asserted what he deemed truth, and combated what he thought
error.

The circumstances of Cooper's early life were remarkably suited to confirm
the natural hardihood and manliness of his character, and to call forth
and exercise that extraordinary power of observation, which accumulated
the materials afterwards wielded and shaped by his genius. His father,
while an inhabitant of Burlington, in New Jersey, on the pleasant banks of
the Delaware, was the owner of large possessions on the borders of the
Otsego Lake in our own state, and here, in the newly-cleared fields, he
built, in 1786, the first house in Cooperstown. To this home, Cooper, who
was born in Burlington, in the year 1789, was conveyed in his infancy, and
here, as he informs us in his preface to the _Pioneers_, his first
impressions of the external world were obtained. Here he passed his
childhood, with the vast forest around him, stretching up the mountains
that overlook the lake, and far beyond, in a region where the Indian yet
roamed, and the white hunter, half Indian in his dress and mode of life,
sought his game,--a region in which the bear and the wolf were yet hunted,
and the panther, more formidable than either, lurked in the thickets, and
tales of wanderings in the wilderness, and encounters with these fierce
animals, beguiled the length of the winter nights. Of this place, Cooper,
although early removed from it to pursue his studies, was an occasional
resident throughout his life, and here his last years were wholly passed.

At the age of thirteen he was sent to Yale College, where, notwithstanding
his extreme youth,--for, with the exception of the poet Hillhouse, he was
the youngest of his class, and Hillhouse was afterwards withdrawn,--his
progress in his studies is said to have been honorable to his talents. He
left the college, after a residence of three years, and became a
midshipman in the United States navy. Six years he followed the sea, and
there yet wanders, among those who are fond of literary anecdote, a story
of the young sailor who, in the streets of one of the English ports,
attracted the curiosity of the crowd by explaining to his companions a
Latin motto in some public place. That during this period he made himself
master of the knowledge and the imagery which he afterwards employed to so
much advantage in his romances of the sea, the finest ever written, is a
common and obvious remark; but it has not been so far as I know, observed
that from the discipline of a seaman's life he may have derived much of
his readiness and fertility of invention, much of his skill in surrounding
the personages of his novels with imaginary perils, and rescuing them by
probable expedients. Of all pursuits, the life of a sailor is that which
familiarizes men to danger in its most fearful shapes, most cultivates
presence of mind, and most effectually calls forth the resources of a
prompt and fearless dexterity by which imminent evil is avoided.

In 1811, Cooper, having resigned his post as midshipman, began the year by
marrying Miss Delaney, sister of the present bishop; of the diocese of
Western New York, and entered upon a domestic life happily passed to its
close. He went to live at Mamaroneck, in the county of Westchester, and
while here he wrote and published the first of his novels, entitled
_Precaution_. Concerning the occasion of writing this work, it is related,
that once, as he was reading an English novel to Mrs. Cooper, who has,
within a short time past, been laid in the grave beside her illustrious
husband, and of whom we may now say, that her goodness was no less eminent
than his genius, he suddenly laid down the book, and said, "I believe I
could write a better myself." Almost immediately he composed a chapter of
a projected work of fiction, and read it to the same friendly judge, who
encouraged him to finish it, and when it was completed, suggested its
publication. Of this he had at the time no intention, but he was at length
induced to submit the manuscript to the examination of the late Charles
Wilkes, of this city, in whose literary opinions he had great confidence.
Mr. Wilkes advised that it should be published, and to these circumstances
we owe it that Cooper became an author.

I confess I have merely dipped into this work. The experiment was made
with the first edition, deformed by a strange punctuation--a profusion of
commas, and other pauses, which puzzled and repelled me. Its author, many
years afterwards, revised and republished it, correcting this fault, and
some faults of style also, so that to a casual inspection it appeared
almost another work. It was a professed delineation of English manners,
though the author had then seen nothing of English society. It had,
however, the honor of being adopted by the country whose manners it
described, and, being early republished in Great Britain, passed from the
first for an English novel. I am not unwilling to believe what is said of
it, that it contained a promise of the powers which its author afterwards
put forth.

Thirty years ago, in the year 1821, and in the thirty-second of his life,
Cooper published the first of the works by which he will be known to
posterity, the _Spy_. It took the reading world by a kind of surprise; its
merit was acknowledged by a rapid sale; the public read with eagerness and
the critics wondered. Many withheld their commendations on account of
defects in the plot or blemishes in the composition, arising from want of
practice, and some waited till they could hear the judgment of European
readers. Yet there were not wanting critics in this country, of whose
good opinion any author in any part of the world might be proud, who spoke
of it in terms it deserved. "Are you not delighted," wrote a literary
friend to me, who has since risen to high distinction as a writer, both in
verse and in prose, "are you not delighted with the _Spy_, as a work of
infinite spirit and genius?" In that word genius lay the explanation of
the hold which the work had taken on the minds of men. What it had of
excellence was peculiar and unborrowed; its pictures of life, whether in
repose or activity, were drawn, with broad lights and shadows, immediately
from living originals in nature or in his own imagination. To him,
whatever he described was true; it was made a reality to him by the
strength with which he conceived it. His power in the delineation of
character was shown in the principal personage of his story, Harvey Birch,
on whom, though he has chosen to employ him in the ignoble office of a
spy, and endowed him with the qualities necessary to his
profession,--extreme circumspection, fertility in stratagem, and the art
of concealing his real character--qualities which, in conjunction with
selfishness and greediness, make the scoundrel, he has bestowed the
virtues of generosity, magnanimity, an intense love of country, a fidelity
not to be corrupted, and a disinterestedness beyond temptation. Out of
this combination of qualities he has wrought a character which is a
favorite in all nations, and with all classes of mankind.

It is said that if you cast a pebble into the ocean, at the mouth of our
harbor, the vibration made in the water passes gradually on till it
strikes the icy barriers of the deep at the south pole. The spread of
Cooper's reputation is not confined within narrower limits. The _Spy_ is
read in all the written dialects of Europe, and in some of those of Asia.
The French, immediately after its first appearance, gave it to the
multitudes who read their far-diffused language, and placed it among the
first works of its class. It was rendered into Castilian, and passed into
the hands of those who dwell under the beams of the Southern Cross. At
length it passed the eastern frontier of Europe, and the latest record I
have seen of its progress towards absolute universality, is contained in a
statement of the _International Magazine_, derived, I presume, from its
author, that in 1847 it was published in a Persian translation at Ispahan.
Before this time, I doubt not, they are reading it in some of the
languages of Hindostan, and, if the Chinese ever translated anything, it
would be in the hands of the many millions who inhabit the far Cathay.

I have spoken of the hesitation which American critics felt in admitting
the merits of the _Spy_, on account of crudities in the plot or the
composition, some of which, no doubt, really existed. An exception must be
made in favor of the _Port Folio_, which, in a notice written by Mrs.
Sarah Hall, mother of the editor of that periodical, and author of
_Conversations on the Bible_, gave the work a cordial welcome; and Cooper,
as I am informed, never forgot this act of timely and ready kindness.

It was perhaps favorable to the immediate success of the _Spy_, that
Cooper had few American authors to divide with him the public attention.
That crowd of clever men and women who now write for the magazines, who
send out volumes of essays, sketches, and poems, and who supply the press
with novels, biographies, and historical works, were then, for the most
part, either stammering their lessons in the schools, or yet unborn. Yet
it is worthy of note, that just about the time that the _Spy_ made its
appearance, the dawn of what we now call our literature was just breaking.
The concluding number of Dana's _Idle Man_, a work neglected at first, but
now numbered among the best things of the kind in our language, was issued
in the same month. The _Sketch Book_ was then just completed; the world
was admiring it, and its author was meditating _Bracebridge Hall_. Miss
Sedgwick, about the same time, made her first essay in that charming
series of novels of domestic life in New England, which have gained her so
high a reputation. Percival, now unhappily silent, had just put to press a
volume of poems. I have a copy of an edition of Hallock's _Fanny_,
published in the same year; the poem of _Yamoyden,_ by Eastburn and Sands,
appeared almost simultaneously with it. Livingston was putting the
finishing hand to his _Report on the Penal Code of Louisiana,_ a work
written with such grave, persuasive eloquence, that it belongs as much to
our literature as to our jurisprudence. Other contemporaneous American
works there were, now less read. Paul Allen's poem of _Noah_ was just laid
on the counters of the booksellers. Arden published, at the same time, in
this city, a translation of Ovid's _Tristia_, in heroic verse, in which
the complaints of the effeminate Roman poet were rendered with great
fidelity to the original, and sometimes not without beauty. If I may speak
of myself, it was in that year that I timidly intrusted to the winds and
waves of public opinion a small cargo of my own--a poem entitled _The
Ages,_ and half a dozen shorter ones, in a thin duodecimo volume, printed
at Cambridge.

We had, at the same time, works of elegant literature, fresh from the
press of Great Britain, which are still read and admired. Barry Cornwall,
then a young suitor for fame, published in the same year his _Marcia
Colonna_; Byron, in the full strength and fertility of his genius, gave
the readers of English his tragedy of _Marino Faliero_, and was in the
midst of his spirited controversy with Bowles concerning the poetry of
Pope. The _Spy_ had to sustain a comparison with Scott's _Antiquary_,
published simultaneously with it, and with Lockhart's _Valerius_, which
seems to me one of the most remarkable works of fiction ever composed.

In 1823, and in his thirty-fourth year, Cooper brought out his novel of
the _Pioneers_, the scene of which was laid on the borders of his: own
beautiful lake. In a recent survey of Mr; Cooper's works, by one of his
admirers, it is intimated that the reputation of this work may have been,
in some degree factitious. I cannot think so; I cannot see how such a work
could fail of becoming, sooner or later, a favorite. It was several years
after its first appearance that I read the _Pioneers_, and I read it with
a delighted astonishment. Here, said I to myself, is the poet of rural
life in this country--our Hesiod, our Theocritus, except that he writes
without the restraint of numbers, and is a greater poet than they. In the
_Pioneers_, as in a moving picture, are made to pass before us the hardy
occupations and spirited, amusements of a prosperous settlement, in, a
fertile region, encompassed for leagues around with the primeval
wilderness of woods. The seasons in their different aspects, bringing with
them, their different employments; forests falling before the axe; the
cheerful population, with the first mild; day of spring, engaged in the
sugar orchards; the chase of the deer through the deep woods, and into the
lake; turkey-shooting, during the Christmas holidays, in which the Indian
marksman vied for the prize of skill with the white man; swift sleigh
rides under the bright winter sun, and, perilous encounters with wild
animals in the forests; these, and other scenes of rural life, drawn, as
Cooper knew how to draw them, in the bright and healthful coloring of
which he was master are interwoven with a regular narrative of human
fortunes, not unskilfully constructed; and how could such a work be
otherwise than popular?

In the _Pioneers_, Leatherstocking; is first introduced--a philosopher of
the woods, ignorant of books, but instructed in all that nature, without
the aid of, science, could reveal to the man of quick senses and inquiring
intellect, whose life has been passed under the open sky, and in
companionship with a race whose animal perceptions are the acutest and
most cultivated of which there is any example. But Leatherstocking has
higher qualities; in him there is a genial blending of the gentlest
virtues of the civilized man with the better nature of the aboriginal
tribes; all that in them is noble, generous, and ideal, is adopted into
his own kindly character, and all that is evil is rejected. But why should
I attempt to analyse a character so familiar? Leatherstocking is
acknowledged, on all hands, to be one of the noblest, as well as most
striking and original creations of fiction. In some of his subsequent
novels, Cooper--for he had not yet Attained to the full maturity of his
powers--heightened and ennobled his first conception of the character,
but in the _Pioneers_ it dazzled the world with the splendor of novelty;

His next work was the _Pilot_, in which he showed how, from the
vicissitudes of a life at sea, its perils and escapes, from the beauty and
terrors of the great deep, from the working of a vessel on a long voyage,
and from the frank, brave, and generous but peculiar character of the
seaman, may be drawn materials of romance by which the minds of men may be
as deeply moved as by anything in the power of romance to present. In this
walk, Cooper has had many disciples but no rival. All who have since
written romances of the sea have been but travellers in a country of which
he was the great discoverer; and none of them all seemed to have loved a
ship as Cooper loved it, or have been able so strongly to interest all
classes of readers in its fortunes. Among other personages drawn with
great strength in the _Pilot_, is the general favorite, Tom Coffin, the
thorough seaman with all the virtues and one or two of the infirmities of
his profession, superstitious, as seamen are apt to be, yet whose
superstitions strike us as but an irregular growth of his devout
recognition of the Power who holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand;
true-hearted, gentle, full of resources, collected in danger, and at last
calmly perishing at the post of duty, with the vessel he has long guided,
by what I may call a great and magnanimous death. His rougher and coarser
companion, Boltrope, is drawn with scarcely less skill, and with a no less
vigorous hand.

The _Pioneers_ is not Cooper's best tale of the American forest, nor, the
_Pilot_, perhaps, in all respects, his best tale of the sea; yet, if he
had ceased to write here, the measure of his fame would possibly have been
scarcely less ample than it now is. Neither of them is far below the best
of his productions, and in them appear the two most remarkable creations
of his imagination--two of the most remarkable characters in all fiction.

It was about this time that my acquaintance with Cooper began, an
acquaintance of more than a quarter of a century, in which his deportment
towards me was that of unvaried kindness. He then resided a considerable
part of the year in this city, and here he had founded a weekly club, to
which many of the most distinguished men of the place belonged. Of the
members who have since passed away, were Chancellor Kent, the jurist;
Wiley the intelligent and liberal bookseller; Henry D. Sedgwick, always
active in schemes of benevolence; Jarvis, the painter, a man of infinite
humor, whose jests awoke inextinguishable laughter; De Kay, the
naturalist; Sands, the poet; Jacob Harvey whose genial memory is cherished
by many friends. Of those who are yet living was Morse, the inventor of
the electric telegraph; Durand, then, one of the first of engravers, and
now no less illustrious as a painter; Henry James Anderson, whose
acquirements might awaken the envy of the ripest scholars of the old
world; Halleck, the poet and wit; Verplanck, who has given the world the
best edition of Shakspeare for general readers; Dr. King, now at the head
of Columbia College, and his two immediate predecessors in that office. I
might enlarge the list with many other names of no less distinction. The
army and navy contributed their proportion of members, whose names are on
record in our national history. Cooper when in town was always present,
and I remember being struck with the inexhaustible vivacity of his
conversation and the minuteness of his knowledge, in everything which
depended upon acuteness of observation and exactness of recollection. I
remember, too, being somewhat startled, coming as I did from the seclusion
of a country life, with a certain emphatic frankness in his manner, which,
however, I came at last to like and to admire. The club met in the hotel
called Washington Hall, the site of which, is now occupied by part of the
circuit of Stewart's marble building.

_Lionel Lincoln_, which cannot be ranked among the successful productions
of Cooper, was published in 1825; and in the year following appeared the
_Last of the Mohicans_ which more than recovered the ground lost by its
predecessor. In this work, the construction of the narrative has signal
defects, but it is one of the triumphs of the author's genius that he
makes us unconscious of them while we read. It is only when we have had
time to awake from the intense interest in which he has held us by the
vivid reality of his narrative, and have begun to search for faults in
cold blood, that we are able to find them, In the _Last of the Mohicans,_
we have a bolder portraiture of. Leatherstocking than in the _Pioneers_.

This work was published in 1826, and in the same year Cooper sailed with
his family for Europe. He left New York as one of the vessels of war,
described in his romances of the sea, goes out of port, amidst the thunder
of a parting salute from the big guns on the batteries. A dinner was given
him just before his departure, attended by most of the distinguished men
of the city, at which Peter A. Jay presided, and Dr. King addressed him in
terms which some then thought too glowing, but which would now seem
sufficiently temperate, expressing the good wishes of his friends, and
dwelling on the satisfaction they promised themselves in possessing so
illustrious a representative of American literature in the old world.
Cooper was scarcely in France when he remembered his friends of the weekly
club, and sent frequent missives to be read at its meetings; but the club
missed its founder went into a decline, and not long afterwards quietly
expired.

The first of Cooper's novels published after leaving America: was the
_Prairie_, which appeared early in 1827, a work with the admirers of which
I wholly agree. I read it with a certain awe, an undefined sense of
sublimity, such as one experiences on entering, for the first time, upon
those immense grassy deserts from which the work takes its name. The
squatter and his family--that brawny old man and his large-limbed sons,
living in a sort of primitive and patriarchal barbarism, sluggish on
ordinary occasions, but terrible when roused, like the hurricane that
sweeps the grand but monotonous wilderness in which they dwell--seem a
natural growth of ancient fields of the West. Leatherstocking, a hunter in
the _Pioneers_, a warrior in the _Last of the Mohicans_, and now, in his
extreme old age, a trapper on the prairie, declined in strength, but
undecayed in intellect, and looking to the near close of his life, and a
grave under the long grass, as calmly as the laborer at sunset looks to
his evening slumber, is no less in harmony with the silent desert in which
he wanders. Equally so are the Indians, still his companions, copies of
the American savage somewhat idealized, but not the less a part of the
wild nature in which they have their haunts.

Before the year closed, Cooper had given the world another nautical tale,
the _Red Rover_, which, with many, is a greater favorite than the _Pilot_,
and with reason, perhaps, if we consider principally the incidents, which
are conducted and described with a greater mastery over the springs of
pity and terror.

It happened to Cooper while he was abroad, as it not unfrequently happens
to our countrymen, to hear the United States disadvantageously compared
with Europe. He had himself been a close observer of things both here and
in the old world, and was conscious of being able to refute the detractors
of his country in regard to many points. He published in 1828, after he
had been two years in Europe, a series of letters, entitled _Notions of
the Americans, by a Travelling Bachelor_, in which he gave a favorable
account of the working of our institutions, and vindicated his country
from various flippant and ill-natured misrepresentations of foreigners. It
is rather too measured in style, but is written from a mind full of the
subject, and from a memory wonderfully stored with particulars. Although
twenty-four years have elapsed since its publication, but little of the
vindication has become obsolete.

Cooper loved his country and was proud of her history and her
institutions, but it puzzles many that he should have appeared, at
different times, as her eulogist, and her censor. My friends, she is
worthy both of praise and of blame, and Cooper was not the man to shrink
from bestowing either, at what seemed to him the proper time. He defended
her from detractors abroad; he sought to save her from flatterers at home.
I will not say that he was in as good humor with his country when he
wrote _Home at Found_, as when he wrote his _Notions of the Americans_,
but this I will say that whether he commended or censured, he did it in
the sincerity of his heart, as a true American, and in the belief that it
would do good. His _Notions of the Americans_ were more likely to lessen
than to increase his popularity in Europe, inasmuch as they were put forth
without the slightest regard to European prejudices.

In 1829, he brought out the novel entitled the _Wept of Wishton-Wish_, one
of the few of his works which we now rarely hear mentioned. He was engaged
in the composition of a third nautical tale, which he afterwards published
under the name of the _Water-Witch,_ when the memorable revolution of the
Three Days of July broke out. He saw a government, ruling by fear and in
defiance of public opinion, overthrown in a few hours, with little
bloodshed; he saw the French nation, far from being intoxicated with their
new liberty, peacefully addressing themselves to the discussion of the
institutions under which they were to live. A work which Cooper afterwards
published, his _Residence in Europe_, gives the outline of a plan of
government for France furnished by him at that time, to La Fayette, with
whom he was in habits of close and daily intimacy. It was his idea to give
permanence to the new order of things by associating two strong parties in
its support, the friends of legitimacy and the republicans. He suggested
that Henry V. should be called to the hereditary throne of France, a youth
yet to be educated as the head of a free people, that the peerage should
be abolished, and a legislature of two chambers established, with a
constituency of at least a million and a half of electors; the senate to
be chosen by the general vote, as the representative of the entire nation,
and the members of the other house to be chosen by districts, as the
representatives of the local interests. To the middle ground of politics
so ostentatiously occupied by Louis Philippe at the beginning of his
reign, he predicted a brief duration, believing that it would speedily be
merged in despotism, or supplanted by the popular rule. His prophecy has
been fulfilled more amply than he could have imagined--fulfilled in both
its alternatives.

In one of the controversies of that time, Cooper bore a distinguished
part. The _Revue Britannique_, a periodical published in Paris, boldly
affirmed the government of the United States to be one of the most
expensive in the world, and its people among the most heavily taxed of
mankind. This assertion was supported with a certain show of proof, and
the writer affected to have established the conclusion that a republic
must necessarily be more expensive than a monarchy. The partisans of the
court were delighted with the reasoning of the article, and claimed a
triumph over our ancient friend La Fayette, who, during forty years, had
not ceased to hold up the government of the United States as the cheapest
in the world. At the suggestion of La Fayette, Cooper replied to this
attack upon his country in a letter which was translated into French, and,
together with, another from General Bertrand, for many years a resident in
America, was laid before the people of France.

These, two letters provoked a shower of rejoinders, in which, according to
Cooper, misstatements were mingled with scurrility. He commenced a series
of letters on the question in dispute, which were published in the
_National_, a daily sheet, and gave the first evidence of that
extraordinary acuteness in controversy which was no less characteristic of
his mind than the vigor of his imagination. The enemies of La Fayette
pressed into their service Mr. Leavitt Harris, of New Jersey, afterwards
our _chargé d'affaires_ at the court of France, but Cooper replied to Mr.
Harris in the _National_ of May 2d, 1832, closing a discussion in which he
had effectually silenced those who objected to our institutions on the
score of economy. Of these letters, which would form an important chapter
in political science, no entire copy, I have been told, is to be found in
this country.

One of the consequences of earnest controversy is almost invariably
personal ill-will. Cooper was told by one who held an official station
under the French government, that the part he had taken in this dispute
concerning taxation would neither be forgotten nor forgiven. The dislike
he had incurred in that quarter was strengthened by his novel of the
_Bravo_, published in the year 1831, while he was in the midst of his
quarrel with the aristocratic party. In that work, of which he has himself
justly said that it was thoroughly American in all that belonged to it,
his object was to show how institutions, professedly created to prevent
violence and wrong, become, when perverted from their natural destination,
the instruments of injustice; and how, in every system which makes power
the exclusive property of the strong, the weak are sure to be oppressed.
The work is written with all the vigor and spirit of his best novels; the
magnificent city of Venice, in which the scene of the story is laid,
stands continually before the imagination; and from time to time the
gorgeous ceremonies of the Venetian republic pass under our eyes, such as
the marriage of the Doge with the Adriatic, and the, contest of the
gondolas for the prize of speed. The Bravo himself and several of the
other characters are strongly conceived and distinguished, but the most
remarkable of them all is the spirited and generous-hearted daughter of
the jailer.

It has been said by some critics, who judge of Cooper by his failures,
that he had no skill in drawing female characters. By the same process,
it might, I suppose, be shown that Raphael was but an ordinary painter. It
must be admitted that when Cooper drew a lady of high breeding, he was apt
to pay too much attention to the formal part of her character, and to make
her a mere bundle of cold proprieties. But when he places his heroines in
some situation in life which leaves him nothing to do but to make them
natural and true, I know of nothing finer, nothing more attractive or more
individual than the portraitures he has given us.

_Figaro_, the wittiest of the French periodicals, and at that time on the
liberal side, commended the _Bravo_; the journals on the side of the
government censured it. _Figaro_ afterwards passed into the hands of the
aristocratic party, and Cooper became the object of its attacks. He was
not, however, a man to be driven from any purpose which he had formed,
either by flattery or abuse, and both were tried with equal ill success.
In 1832 he published his _Heidenmauer_, and in 1833 his _Headsman of
Berne_, both with a political design similar to that of the _Bravo_,
though neither of them takes the same high rank among his works.

In 1833, after a residence of seven years in different parts of Europe,
but mostly in France, Cooper returned to his native country. The welcome
which met him here was somewhat chilled by the effect of the attacks made
upon him in France, and remembering with what zeal, and at what sacrifice
of the universal acceptance which his works would otherwise have met, he
had maintained the cause of his country against the wits and orators of
the court party in France, we cannot wonder that he should have felt this
coldness as undeserved. He published, shortly after his arrival in this
country, _A Letter to his Countrymen_ in which he complained of the
censures cast upon him in the American newspapers, gave a history of the
part he had taken in exposing the misstatements of the _Révue
Britannique_, and warned his countrymen against the too common error of
resorting, with a blind deference, to foreign authorities, often swayed by
national or political prejudices, for our opinions of American authors.
Going beyond this topic, he examined and reprehended the habit of applying
to the interpretation of our own constitution maxims derived from the
practice of other governments, particularly that of Great Britain. The
importance of construing that instrument by its own principles, he
illustrated by considering several points in dispute between parties of
the day, on which he gave very decided opinions.

The principal effect of this pamphlet, as it seemed to me, was to awaken
in certain quarters a kind of resentment that a successful writer of
fiction should presume to give lessons in politics. I meddle not here with
the conclusions to which he arrived, though must be allowed to say that
they were stated and argued with great ability. In 1835 Cooper published
_The Monnikins_, a satirical work, partly with a political aim; and in the
same year appeared his _American Democrat_, a view of the civil and social
relations of the United States, discussing more gravely various topics
touched upon in the former work, and pointing out in what respects he
deemed the American people in their practice to have fallen short of the
excellence of their institutions.

He found time, however, for a more genial task--that of giving to the
world his observations on foreign countries. In 1836 appeared his
_Sketches of Switzerland_, a series of letters in four volumes, the second
part published about two months after the first, a delightful work,
written in a more fluent and flexible style than his _Notions of the
Americans_. The first part of _Gleanings in Europe,_ giving an account of
his residence in France, followed in the same year; and the second part of
the same work, containing his observations on England, was published in
April, 1837. In these works, forming a series of eight volumes, he relates
and describes with much of the same distinctness as in his novels; and his
remarks on the manners and institutions of the different countries, often
sagacious, and always peculiarly his own, derive, from their frequent
reference to contemporary events, an historical interest.

In 1838 appeared _Homeward Bound_ and _Home as Found_, two satirical
novels, in which Cooper held up to ridicule a certain class of conductors
of the newspaper press in America. These works had not the good fortune to
become popular. Cooper did not, and, because he was too deeply in earnest,
perhaps would not, infuse into his satirical works that gaiety without
which satire becomes wearisome. I believe, however, that if they had been
written by anybody else they would have met with more favor; but the world
knew that Cooper was able to give them something better, and would not be
satisfied with anything short of his best, Some childishly imagined that
because, in the two works I have just mentioned, a newspaper editor is
introduced, in whose character almost every possible vice of his
profession is made to find a place, Cooper intended an indiscriminate
attack upon the whole body of writers for the newspaper press, forgetting
that such a portraiture was a satire only on those to whom it bore a
likeness We have become less sensitive and more reasonable of late, and
the monthly periodicals make sport for their readers of the follies and
ignorance of the newspaper editors, without awakening the slightest
resentment; but Cooper led the way in this sort of discipline, and I
remember some instances of towering indignation at his audacity expressed
in the journals of that time.

The next year Cooper made his appearance before the public in a new
department of writing; his _Naval History of the United States_ was
brought out in two octavo volumes at Philadelphia, by Carey and Lea. In
writing his stories of the sea, his attention had been much turned to this
subject, and his mind filled with striking incidents from expeditions and
battles in which our naval commanders had been engaged. This made his task
the lighter; but he gathered his materials with great industry, and with a
conscientious attention to exactness, for he was not a man to take a fact
for granted, or allow imagination to usurp the place of inquiry He
digested our naval annals into a narrative, written with spirit it is
true, but with that air of sincere dealing which the reader willingly
takes as a pledge of its authenticity.

An abridgment of the work was afterwards prepared and published by the
author. The _Edinburgh Review_, in an article professing to examine the
statements both of Cooper's work and of _The History of the English Navy_,
written by Mr. James, a surgeon by profession, made a violent attack upon
the American historian. Unfortunately, it took James's narrative as its
sole guide, and followed it implicitly. Cooper replied in the _Democratic
Review_ for January, 1840, and by a masterly analysis of his statements,
convicting James of self-contradiction in almost every particular in which
he differed from himself, refuted both James and the reviewer. It was a
refutation which admitted of no rejoinder.

Scarce anything in Cooper's life was so remarkable, or so strikingly
illustrated his character, as his contest with the newspaper press. He
engaged in it after provocations, many and long endured, and prosecuted it
through years with great energy, perseverance, and practical dexterity,
till he was left master of the field. In what I am about to say of it, I
hope I shall not give offence to any one, as I shall speak without the
slightest malevolence towards those with whom he waged this controversy.
Over some of them, as over their renowned adversary, the grave has now
closed. Yet where shall the truth be spoken, if not beside the grave?

I have already alluded to the principal causes which provoked the
newspaper attacks upon Cooper. If he had never meddled with questions of
government on either side of the Atlantic, and never satirized the
newspaper press, I have little doubt that he would have been spared these
attacks. I cannot, however, ascribe them all, or even the greater part of
them, to personal malignity. One journal followed the example of another,
with little reflection, I think, in most cases, till it became a sort of
fashion, not merely to decry his works, but to arraign his motives.

It is related that, in 1832, while he was at Paris, an article was shown
him in an American newspaper, purporting to be a criticism on one of his
works, but reflecting with much asperity on his personal character. "I
care nothing," he is reported to have said, "for the criticism, but I am
not indifferent to the slander. If these attacks on my character should be
kept up five years after my return to America, I shall resort to the New
York courts for protection." He gave the newspaper press of this state the
full period of forbearance on which he had fixed, but finding that
forbearance seemed to encourage assault, he sought redress in the courts
of law.

When these litigations were first begun, I recollect it seemed to me that
Cooper had taken a step which would give him a great deal of trouble, and
effect but little good. I said to myself--

                   "Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed!"

As he proceeded, however, I saw that he had understood the matter better
than I. He put a hook into the nose of this huge monster, wallowing in his
inky pool and bespattering the passers-by; he dragged him to the land and
made him tractable. One suit followed another; one editor was sued, I
thinly half-a-dozen times; some of them found themselves under a second
indictment before the first was tried. In vindicating himself to his
reader, against the charge of publishing one libel, the angry journalist
often floundered into another. The occasions of these prosecutions seem to
have been always carefully considered, for Cooper was almost uniformly
successful in obtaining verdicts. In a letter of his, written in February,
1843, about five years, I think, from the commencement of the first
prosecutions, he says, "I have beaten every man I have sued, who has not
retracted his libels."

In one of these suits, commenced against the late William L. Stone of the
_Commercial Advertiser_, and referred to the arbitration of three
distinguished lawyers, he argued himself the question of the authenticity
of his account of the battle of Lake Erie, which was the matter in
dispute. I listened to his opening; it was clear, skilful, and persuasive,
but his closing argument was said to be splendidly eloquent. "I have heard
nothing like it," said a barrister to me, "since the days of Emmet."

Cooper behaved liberally towards his antagonists, so far as pecuniary
damages were concerned, though some of them wholly escaped their payment
by bankruptcy. After, I believe, about, six years of litigation, the
newspaper press gradually subsided into a pacific disposition towards its
adversary, and the contest closed with the account of pecuniary profit and
loss, so far as he was concerned, nearly balanced. The occasion of these
suits was far from honorable to those who provoked them, but the result
was I had almost said, creditable to all parties; to him, as the
courageous prosecutor, to the administration of justice in this country,
and to the docility of the newspaper press, which he had disciplined into
good manners.

It was while he was in the midst of these litigations, that he published,
in 1840, the _Pathfinder_. People had begun to think of him as a
controversialist, acute, keen, and persevering, occupied with his personal
wrongs and schemes of attack and defence. They were startled from this
estimate of his character by the moral duty of that glorious work--I must
so call it; by the vividness and force of its delineations, by the
unspoiled love of nature apparent in every page, and by the fresh and warm
emotions which everywhere gave life to the narrative and the dialogue.
Cooper was now in his fifty-first year, but nothing which he had produced
in the earlier part of his literary life was written with so much of what
might seem the generous fervor of youth, or showed the faculty of
invention in higher vigor. I recollect that near the time of its
appearance I was informed of an observation made upon it by one highly
distinguished in the literature of our country and of the age, between
whom and the author an unhappy coolness had for some years existed. As he
finished the reading of the Pathfinder, he exclaimed, "They may say what
they will of Cooper; the man who wrote this book is not only a great man,
but a good man."

The readers of the _Pathfinder_ were quickly reconciled to the fourth
appearance of Leatherstocking, when they saw him made to act a different
part from any which the author had hitherto assigned him--when they saw
him shown as a lover, and placed in the midst of associations which
invested his character with a higher and more affecting heroism. In this
work are two female characters, portrayed in a masterly manner,--the
corporal's daughter, Mabel Dunham, generous, resolute, yet womanly, and
the young Indian woman, called by her tribe the Dew of June, a
personification of female truth, affection, and sympathy, with a strong
aboriginal cast, yet a product of nature as bright and pure as that from
which she is named.

_Mercedes of Castile_, published near the close of the same year, has none
of the stronger characteristics of Cooper's genius; but in the
_Deerslayer_, which appeared in 1841, another of his Leatherstocking
tales, he gave us a work rivalling the Pathfinder. Leatherstocking is
brought before us in his early youth, in the first exercise of that keen
sagacity which is blended so harmoniously with a simple and ingenuous
goodness. The two daughters of the retired freebooter dwelling on the
Otsego lake, inspire scarcely less interest than the principal personage;
Judith, in the pride of her beauty and intellect, her good impulses
contending with a fatal love of admiration, holding us fascinated with a
constant interest in her fate, which, with consummate skill, we are
permitted rather to conjecture than to know; and Hetty, scarcely less
beautiful in person, weak-minded, but wise in the midst, of that weakness
beyond the wisdom of the loftiest intellect, through the power of
conscience and religion. The character of Hetty would have been a
hazardous experiment in feebler hands, but in his it was admirably
successful.

The _Two Admirals_ and _Wing-and-Wing_ were given to the public in 1842,
both of them taking a high rank among Cooper's sea-tales. The first of
these is a sort of naval epic in prose; the flight and chase of armed
vessels hold us in breathless suspense, and the sea-fights are described
with a terrible power. In the later sea-tales of Cooper, it seems to me
that the mastery with which he makes his grand processions of events pass
before the mind's eye is even greater than in his earlier. The next year
he published the _Wyandotte or Hutted Knoll_, one of his beautiful
romances of the woods, and in 1844 two more of his sea-stories, _Afloat
and Ashore_ and _Miles Wallingford_its sequel. The long series of his
nautical tales was closed by _Jack Tier or the Florida Reef,_ published in
1848, when Cooper was in his sixtieth year, and it is as full of spirit,
energy, invention, life-like presentation of objects and events--

    The vision and the faculty divine--

as anything he has written.

Let me pause here to say that Cooper, though not a manufacturer of verse,
was in the highest sense of the word a poet; his imagination wrought nobly
and grandly, and imposed its creations on the mind of the reader for
realities. With him there was no withering, or decline, or disuse of the
poetic faculty; as he stepped downwards from the zenith of life, no shadow
or chill came over it; it was like the year of some genial climates, a
perpetual season of verdure, bloom, and fruitfulness. As these works came
out, I was rejoiced to see that he was unspoiled by the controversies in
which he had allowed, himself to become engaged; that they had not given
to these better expressions of his genius, any tinge of misanthropy, or
appearance of contracting and closing sympathies any trace of an interest
in his fellow-beings less large and free than in his earlier works.

Before the, appearance of his _Jack Tier_, Cooper published, in 1845 and
the following year, a series of novels relating to the Anti-rent question,
in which he took great interest. He thought that the disposition
manifested in certain quarters to make con cessions, to what he deemed a
denial of the rights of property was a first step in a most dangerous
path. To discourage this disposition, he wrote _Satanstoe, The
Chainbearer,_ and _The Redskins_. They are didactic in their design, and
want the freedom of invention which belongs to Cooper's best novels; but
if they had been written by anybody but Cooper,--by a member of Congress,
for example, or an eminent politician of any class,--they would have made
his reputation. It was said, I am told, by a distinguished jurist of our
state, that they entitled the author to as high a place in law as his
other works had won for him in literature.

I had thought, in meditating the plan of this discourse, to mention all
the works of Mr. Cooper, but the length to which I have found it extending
has induced me to pass over several written in the last ten years of his
life, and to confine myself to those which best illustrate his literary
character. The last of his novels was _The Ways of the Hour_, a work in
which the objections he entertained to the trial by jury in civil causes
were stated in the form of a narrative.

It is a voluminous catalogue--that of Cooper's published works--but it
comprises not all he wrote. He committed to the fire, without remorse,
many of the fruits of his literary industry. It was understood, some years
since, that he had a work ready for the press on the _Middle States of the
Union_, principally illustrative of their social history; but it has not
been found among his manuscripts, and the presumption is that he must have
destroyed it. He had planned a work on the _Towns of Manhattan_, for the
publication of which he made arrangements with Mr. Putnam of this city,
and a part of which, already written, was in press at the time of his
death. The printed part has since been destroyed by fire, but a portion of
the manuscript was recovered. The work, I learn, will be completed by one
of the family, who, within a few years past, has earned an honorable name
among the authors of our country. Great as was the number of his works,
and great as was the favor with which they were received, the pecuniary
rewards of his success were far less than has been generally
supposed--scarcely, as I am informed, a tenth part of what the common
rumor made them. His fame was infinitely the largest acknowledgment which
this most successful of American authors received for his labors.

_The Ways of the Hour_ appeared in 1850. At this time his personal
appearance was remarkable. He seemed in perfect health, and in the highest
energy and activity of his faculties. I have scarcely seen any man at that
period of life on whom his years sat more lightly. His conversation had
lost none of its liveliness, though it seemed somewhat more genial and
forbearing in tone, and his spirits none of their elasticity. He was
contemplating, I have since been told, another Leatherstocking tale,
deeming that he had not yet exhausted the character; and those who
consider what new resources it yielded him in the _Pathfinder_ and the
_Deerslayer_, will readily conclude that he was not mistaken.

The disease, however, by which he was removed, was even then impending
over him, and not long afterwards his friends here were grieved to learn
that his health was declining. He came to New York so changed that they
looked at him with sorrow, and after a stay of some weeks, partly for the
benefits of medical advice returned to Cooperstown, to leave it no more.
His complaint gradually gained strength, subdued a constitution originally
robust, and finally passed into a confirmed dropsy. In August, 1851, he
was visited by his excellent and learned friend, Dr. Francis, a member of
the weekly club which he had founded in the early part of his literary
career. He found him bearing the sufferings of his disease with manly
firmness, gave him such medical counsels as the malady appeared to
require, prepared him delicately for its fatal termination, and returned
to New York with the most melancholy anticipations. In a few days
afterwards, Cooper expired, amid the deep affliction of his family, on the
14th of September, the day before that on which he should have completed
his sixty-second year. He died, apparently without pain, in peace and
religious hope. The relations of man to his Maker, and to that state of
being for which the present is but a preparation, had occupied much of his
thoughts during his whole lifetime, and he crossed, with a serene
composure, the mysterious boundary which divides this life from the next.

The departure of such a man, in the full strength of his faculties,--on
whom the country had for thirty years looked as one of the permanent
ornaments of its literature, and whose name had been so often associated
with praise, with renown, with controversy, with blame, but never with
death,--diffused a universal awe. It was as if an earthquake had shaken
the ground on which we stood, and showed the grave opening by our path. In
the general grief for his loss, his virtues only were remembered; and his
failings forgotten.

Of his failings I have said little; such as he had were obvious to all the
world; they lay on the surface of his character; those who knew him least
made the most account of them. With a character so made up of positive
qualities--a character so independent and uncompromising, and with a
sensitiveness far more acute than he was willing to acknowledge, it is not
surprising that occasions frequently arose to bring him, sometimes into
friendly collision, and sometimes in to graver disagreements and
misunderstandings with his fellow-men. For his infirmities, his friends
found an ample counterpoise in the generous sincerity of his nature. He
never thought of disguising his opinions, and he abhorred all disguise in
others; he did not even deign to use that show of regard towards those of
whom he did not think well, which the world tolerates, and almost demands.
A manly expression of opinion, however different from his own, commanded
his respect. Of his own works, he spoke with the same freedom as of the
works of others; and never hesitated to express his judgment of a book for
the reason that it was written by himself: yet he could bear with
gentleness any dissent from the estimate lie placed on his own writings.
His character was like the bark of the cinnamon, a rough and astringent
rind without, and an intense sweetness within. Those who penetrated below
the surface found a genial temper, warm affections, and a heart with ample
place for his friends, their pursuits, their good name, their welfare.
They found him a philanthropist, though not precisely after the fashion of
the day; a religious man, most devout where devotion is most apt to be a
feeling rather than a custom, in the household circle; hospitable, and to
the extent of his means liberal-handed in acts of charity. They found,
also, that though in general he would as soon have thought of giving up an
old friend as of giving up an opinion, he was not proof against testimony,
and could part with a mistaken opinion as one parts with an old friend who
has been proved faithless and unworthy. In short, Cooper was one of those
who, to be loved, must be intimately known.

Of his literary character I have spoken largely in the narrative of his
life, but there are yet one or two remarks which must be made to do it
justice. In that way of writing in which he excelled, it seems to me that
he united, in a pre-eminent degree, those qualities which enabled him to
interest the largest number of readers. He wrote not for the fastidious,
the over-refined, the morbidly delicate; for these find in his genius
something too robust for their liking--something by which their
sensibilities are too rudely shaken; but he wrote for mankind at
large--for men and women in the ordinary healthful state of feeling--and
in their admiration he found his reward. It is for this class that public
libraries are obliged to provide themselves with an extraordinary number
of copies of his works: the number in the Mercantile Library in this city,
I am told, is forty. Hence it is, that he has earned a fame, wider, I
think, than any author of modern times--wider, certainly, than any author,
of any age, ever enjoyed in his lifetime. All his excellences are
translatable--they pass readily into languages the least allied in their
genius to that in which he wrote, and in them he touches the heart and
kindles the imagination with the same power as in the original English.

Cooper was not wholly without humor; it is sometimes found lurking in the
dialogue of Harvey Birch, and of Leatherstocking but it forms no
considerable element in his works; and if it did, it would have stood in
the way of his universal popularity; since of all qualities, it is the
most difficult to transfuse into a foreign language. Nor did the effect he
produced upon the reader depend on any grace of style which would escape a
translator of ordinary skill. With his style, it is true, he took great
pains, and in his earlier works, I am told, sometimes altered the proofs
sent from the printer so largely that they might be said to be written
over Yet he attained no special felicity, variety, or compass of
expression. His style, however, answered his purpose; it has defects, but
it is manly and clear, and stamps on the mind of the reader the impression
he desired to convey. I am not sure that some of the very defects of
Cooper's novels do not add, by a certain force of contrast, to their power
over the mind. He is long in getting at the interest of his narrative. The
progress of the plot, at first, is like that of one of his own vessels of
war, slowly, heavily, and even awkwardly working out of a harbor. We are
impatient and weary, but when the vessel is once in the open sea, and
feels the free breath of heaven in her full sheets, our delight and
admiration is all the greater at the grace, the majesty, and power with
which she divides and bears down the waves, and pursues her course, at
will, over the great waste of waters.

Such are the works so widely read, and so universally admired, in all the
zones of the globe, and by men of every kindred and every tongue; works
which have made of those who dwell in remote latitudes, wanderers in our
forests, and observers of our manners, and have inspired them with an
interest in our history. A gentleman who had returned from Europe just
before the death of Cooper, was asked what he found the people of the
Continent doing. "They all are reading Cooper," he answered; "in the
little kingdom of Holland, with its three millions of inhabitants, I
looked into four different translations of Cooper in the language of the
country." A traveller, who has seen much of the middle classes of Italy,
lately said to me, "I found that all they knew of America, and that was
not little, they had learned from Cooper's novels; from him they had
learned the story of American liberty, and through him they had been
introduced to our Washington; they had read his works till the shores of
the Hudson, and the valleys of Westchester, and the banks of Otsego lake,
had become to them familiar ground."

Over all the countries into whose speech this great man's works have been
rendered by the labors of their scholars, the sorrow of that loss which we
deplore is now diffusing itself. Here we lament the ornament of our
country, there they mourn the death of him who delighted the human race.
Even now, while I speak, the pulse of grief which is passing through the
nations has haply just reached some remote neighborhood; the news of his
death has been brought to some dwelling on the slopes of the Andes, or
amidst the snowy wastes of the North, and the dark-eyed damsel of Chile,
or the fair-haired maid of Norway, is sad to think that he whose stories
of heroism and true love have so often kept her for hours from her pillow,
lives no more.

He is gone! but the creations of his genius, fixed in living words,
survive the frail material organs by which the words were first traced.
They partake of a middle nature, between the deathless mind and the
decaying body of which they are the common offspring, and are, therefore,
destined to a duration, if not eternal, yet indefinite. The examples he
has given in his glorious fictions, of heroism, honor, and truth, of large
sympathies between man and man, of all that is good, great, and excellent,
embodied in personages marked with so strong an individuality that we
place them among our friends and favorites; his frank and generous men,
his gentle and noble women, shall live through centuries to come, and only
perish with our language. I have said with our language; but who shall say
when it may be the fate of the English language to be numbered with the
extinct forms of human speech? Who shall declare which of the present
tongues of the civilized world will survive its fellows? It may be that
some one of them, more fortunate than the rest, will long outlast them, in
some undisturbed quarter of the globe, and in the midst of a new
civilization. The creations of Cooper's genius, even now transferred to
that language, may remain to be the delight of the nations through another
great cycle of centuries, beginning after the English language and its
contemporaneous form of civilization shall have passed away.



Preface to the New Edition



This book originally owed its existence to an accident, and it was printed
under circumstances that prevented the usual supervision of the press by
the author. The consequences were many defects in plot, style, and
arrangement, that were entirely owing to precipitation and inexperience;
and quite as many faults, of another nature, that are to be traced solely
to a bad manuscript and worse proof reading. Perhaps no novel of our times
was worst printed than the first edition of this work. More than a hundred
periods were placed in the middle of sentences, and perhaps five times
that number were omitted in places where they ought to have been
inserted. It is scarcely necessary to add, that passages were rendered
obscure, and that entire paragraphs were unintelligible.

Most of the faults just mentioned have now been corrected, though it would
require more labor than would produce an entirely new work, to repair all
the inherent defects that are attributable to haste, and to the
awkwardness of a novice in the art of composing. In this respect, the work
and its blemishes are probably inseparable. Still, the reader will now be
better rewarded for his time, and, on the whole; the book is much more
worthy of his attention.

It has been said that Precaution owes its existence to fortuitous
circumstances. The same causes induced its English plot, and, in a
measure, the medley of characters that no doubt will appear a mistake in
the conception. It can scarcely be said that the work was commenced with
any view to publication; and when it was finally put into a publisher's
hands, with "all its imperfections on its head," the last thought of the
writer was any expectation that it would be followed by a series of
similar tales from the same pen.

More than this the public will feel no interest in knowing, and less than
this the author could not consent to say on presenting to the world a
reprint of a book with so few claims to notice.



PRECAUTION.



Chapter I.


"I wonder if we are to have a neighbor in the Deanery soon," inquired
Clara Moseley, addressing herself to a small party assembled in her
father's drawing-room, while standing at a window which commanded a
distant view of the house in question.

"Oh yes," replied her brother, "the agent has let it to a Mr. Jarvis for a
couple of years, and he is to take possession this week."

"And who is the Mr. Jarvis that is about to become so near a neighbor?"
asked Sir Edward Moseley.

"Why, sir, I learn he has been a capital merchant; that he has retired
from business with a large fortune; that he has, like yourself, sir, an
only hope for his declining years in son, an officer in the army; and,
moreover, that he has couple of fine daughters; so, sir, he is a man of
family in one sense, at least, you see. But," dropping his voice, "whether
he is a man of family in your sense, Jane," looking at his second sister,
"is more than I could discover."

"I hope you did not take the trouble, sir, to inquire on my account,"
retorted Jane, coloring slightly with vexation at his speech.

"Indeed I did, my dear sis, and solely on your account," replied the
laughing brother, "for you well know that no gentility, no husband; and
it's dull work to you young ladies without at least a possibility of
matrimony; as for Clara, she is----"

Here he was stopped by his youngest sister Emily placing her hand on his
mouth, as she whispered in his ear, "John, you forget the anxiety of a
certain gentleman about a fair incognita at Bath, and a list of inquiries
concerning her lineage, and a few other indispensables." John, in his
turn, colored, and affectionately kissing the hand which kept him silent,
addressed himself to Jane, and by his vivacity and good humor soon
restored her to complacency.

"I rejoice," said Lady Moseley, "that Sir William has found a tenant,
however; for next to occupying it himself, it is a most desirable thing to
have a good tenant in it, on account of the circle in which we live."

"And Mr. Jarvis has the great goodness of money, by John's account,"
caustically observed Mrs. Wilson, who was a sister of Sir Edward's.

"Let me tell you, madam," cried the rector of the parish, looking around
him pleasantly, and who was pretty constant, and always a welcome visitor
in the family, "that a great deal of money is a very good thing in itself,
and that a great many very good things may be done with it."

"Such as paying tythes, ha! doctor," cried Mr. Haughton, a gentleman of
landed property in the neighborhood, of plain exterior, but great goodness
of heart, and between whom and the rector subsisted the most cordial good
will.

"Aye, tythes, or halves, as the baronet did here, when he forgave old
Gregson one half his rent, and his children the other."

"Well, but, my dear," said Sir Edward to his wife, "you must not starve
our friends because we are to have a neighbor. William has stood with the
dining-room door open these five minutes--"

Lady Moseley gave her hand to the rector, and the company followed them,
without any order, to the dinner table.

The party assembled around the hospitable board of the baronet was
composed, besides the before-mentioned persons, of the wife of Mr.
Haughton, a woman of much good sense and modesty of deportment: their
daughter, a young lady conspicuous for nothing but good nature; and the
wife and son of the rector--the latter but lately admitted to holy orders
himself.

The remainder of the day passed in an uninterrupted flow of pleasant
conversation, the natural consequence of a unison of opinions on all
leading questions, the parties having long known and esteemed each other
for those qualities which soonest reconcile us to the common frailties of
our nature. On parting at the usual hour, it was agreed to meet that day
week at the rectory, and the doctor, on making his bow to Lady Moseley,
observed, that he intended, in virtue of his office, to make an early call
on the Jarvis family, and that, if possible, he would persuade them to be
of the party.

Sir Edward Moseley was descended from one of the most respectable of the
creations of his order by James, and had inherited, with many of the
virtues of his ancestor, an estate which placed him amongst the greatest
landed proprietors of the county. But, as it had been an invariable rule
never to deduct a single acre from the inheritance of the eldest son, and
the extravagance of his mother, who was the daughter of a nobleman, had
much embarrassed the affairs of his father, Sir Edward, on coming into
possession of his estate, had wisely determined to withdraw from the gay
world, by renting his house in town, and retiring altogether to his
respectable mansion, about a hundred miles from the metropolis. Here he
hoped, by a course of systematic but liberal economy, to release himself
from all embarrassments, and to make such a provision for his younger
children, the three daughters already mentioned, as he conceived their
birth entitled them to expect. Seventeen years enabled him to accomplish
this plan; and for more than eighteen months, Sir Edward had resumed the
hospitality and appearance usual in his family, and had even promised his
delighted girls to take possession, the ensuing winter, of the house in
St. James's Square. Nature had not qualified Sir Edward for great or
continued exertions, and the prudent decision he had taken to retrieve his
fortunes, was perhaps an act of as much forecast and vigor as his talents
or energy would afford; it was the step most obviously for his interests,
and the one that was safest both in its execution and consequences, and as
such it had been adopted: but, had it required a single particle more of
enterprise or calculation, it would have been beyond his powers, and the
heir might have yet labored under the difficulties which distressed his
more brilliant, but less prudent parent.

The baronet was warmly attached to his wife; and as she was a woman of
many valuable and no obnoxious qualities, civil and attentive by habit to
all around her, and perfectly disinterested in her attachments to her own
family, nothing in nature could partake more of perfection in the eyes of
her husband and children than the conduct of this beloved relative. Yet
Lady Moseley had her failings, however, although few were disposed to view
her errors with that severity which truth and a just discrimination of
character render necessary. Her union had been one of love, and for a
time it had been objected to by the friends of her husband, on the score
of fortune; but constancy and perseverance prevailed, and the protracted
and inconsequent opposition of his parents had left no other effects than
an aversion in the children to the exercise of parental authority, in
marrying their own descendents: an aversion which, though common to both
the worthy baronet and his wife, was somewhat different in its two
subjects. In the husband it was quiescent; but in the wife, it was
slightly shaded with the female _esprit de corps_, of having her daughters
comfortably established, and that in due season. Lady Moseley was
religious, but hardly pious; she was charitable in deeds, but not always
in opinions; her intentions were pure, but neither her prejudices nor her
reasoning powers suffered her to be at all times consistent. Still few
knew her that did not love her, and none were ever heard to say aught
against her breeding, her morals, or her disposition.

The sister of Sir Edward had been married, early in life, to an officer in
the army, who, spending much of his time abroad on service, had left her a
prey to that solicitude to which she was necessarily a prey by her
attachment to her husband. To find relief from this perpetual and
life-wearing anxiety, an invaluable friend had pointed out the only true
remedy of which her case admitted, a research into her own heart, and the
employments of active benevolence. The death of her husband, who lost his
life in battle, caused her to withdraw in a great measure from the world,
and gave time and inducement for reflections, which led to impressions on
religion that were sufficiently correct in themselves, and indispensable
as the basis of future happiness, but which became slightly tinctured with
the sternness of her vigorous mind, and possibly, at times were more
unbending than was compatible with the comforts of this world; a fault,
however, of manner, more than of matter. Warmly attached to her brother
and his children, Mrs. Wilson, who had never been a mother herself,
yielded to their earnest entreaties to become one of the family; and
although left by the late General Wilson with a large income, ever since
his death she had given up her own establishment, and devoted most of her
time to the formation of the character of her youngest niece. Lady Moseley
had submitted this child entirely to the control of the aunt; and it was
commonly thought Emily would inherit the very handsome sum left at the
disposal of the General's widow.

Both Sir Edward and Lady Moseley possessed a large share of personal
beauty when young, and it had descended in common to all their children,
but more particularly to the two youngest daughters. Although a strong
family resemblance, both in person and character, existed between these
closely connected relatives, yet it existed with shades of distinction
that had very different effects on their conduct, and led to results which
stamped their lives with widely differing degrees of happiness.

Between the families at Moseley Hall and the rectory, there had existed
for many years an intimacy founded on esteem and on long intercourse.
Doctor Ives was a clergyman of deep piety; and of very considerable
talents; he possessed, in addition to a moderate benefice, an independent
fortune in right of his wife, who was the only child of a distinguished
naval officer. Both were well connected, well bred, and well disposed to
their fellow creatures. They were blessed with but one child, the young
divine we have mentioned, who promised to equal his father in all those
qualities which had made the Doctor the delight of his friends, and almost
the idol of his parishioners.

Between Francis Ives and Clara Moseley, there had been an attachment,
which had grown with their years, from childhood. He had been her
companion in their youthful recreations, had espoused her little quarrels,
and participated in her innocent pleasures, for so many years, and with
such an evident preference for each other in the youthful pair, that, on
leaving college to enter on the studies of his sacred calling with his
father, Francis rightly judged that none other would make his future life
as happy, as the mild, the tender, the unassuming Clara. Their passion, if
so gentle a feeling deserve the term, received the sanction of their
parents, and the two families waited only for the establishment of the
young divine, to perfect the union.

The retirement of Sir Edward's family had been uniform, with the exception
of an occasional visit to an aged uncle of his wife's, and who, in return,
spent much of his time with them at the Hall, and who had openly declared
his intention of making the children of Lady Moseley his heirs. The visits
of Mr. Benfield were always hailed with joy, and as an event that called
for more than ordinary gaiety; for, although rough in manner, and somewhat
infirm from years, the old bachelor, who was rather addicted to the
customs in which he had indulged in his youth, and was fond of dwelling on
the scenes of former days, was universally beloved where he was intimately
known, for an unbounded though eccentric philanthropy.

The illness of the mother-in-law of Mrs. Wilson had called her to Bath the
winter preceding the spring when our history commences, and she had been
accompanied thither by her nephew and favorite niece. John and Emily,
during the month of their residence in that city, were in the practice of
making daily excursions in its environs. It was in one of these little
drives that they were of accidental service to a very young and very
beautiful woman, apparently in low health. They had taken her up in their
carriage, and conveyed her to a farm-house where she resided, during a
faintness which had come over her in a walk; and her beauty air, and
manner, altogether so different from those around her, had interested them
both to a painful degree. They had ventured to call the following day to
inquire after her welfare, and this visit led to a slight intercourse,
which continued for the fortnight they remained there.

John had given himself some trouble to ascertain who she was, but in vain.
They could merely learn that her life was blameless, that she saw no one
but themselves, and her dialect raised a suspicion that she was not
English, It was to this unknown fair Emily alluded in her playful attempt
to stop the heedless rattle of her brother, who was not always restrained
from uttering what he thought by a proper regard for the feelings of
others.



Chapter II.



The morning succeeding the day of the dinner at the Hall, Mrs. Wilson,
with all her nieces and her nephew, availed herself of the fineness of the
weather to walk to the rectory, where they were all in the habit of making
informal and friendly visits. They had just got out of the little village
of B----, which lay in their route, when a rather handsome travelling
carriage and four passed them, and took the road which led to the Deanery.

"As I live," cried John, "there go our new neighbors the Jarvis's; yes,
yes, that must be the old merchant muffled up in the corner; I mistook him
at first for a pile of bandboxes; then the rosy-cheeked lady, with so many
feathers, must be the old lady--heaven forgive me, Mrs. Jarvis I
mean--aye, and the two others the belles."

"You are in a hurry to pronounce them belles, John," said Jane, pettishly;
"it would be well to see more of them before you speak so decidedly."

"Oh!" replied John, "I have seen _enough_ of them, and"--he was
interrupted by the whirling of a tilbury and tandem followed by a couple
of servants on horseback. All about this vehicle and its masters bore the
stamp of decided fashion; and our party had followed it with their eyes
for a short distance, when, having reached a fork in the roads, it
stopped, and evidently waited the coming up of the pedestrians, as if to
make an inquiry. A single glance of the eye was sufficient to apprise the
gentleman on the cushion (who held the reins) of the kind of people he had
to deal with, and stepping from his carriage, he met them with a graceful
bow, and after handsomely apologizing for the trouble he was giving, he
desired to know which road led to the Deanery. "The right," replied John,
returning his salutation.

"Ask them, Colonel," cried the charioteer, "whether the old gentleman went
right or not."

The Colonel, in the manner of a perfect gentleman, but with a look of
compassion for his companion's want of tact, made the desired inquiry;
which being satisfactorily answered, he again bowed and was retiring, as
one of several pointers who followed the cavalcade sprang upon Jane, and
soiled her walking dress with his dirty feet.

"Come hither, Dido," cried the Colonel, hastening to beat the dog back
from the young lady; and again he apologized in the same collected and
handsome manner, then turning to one of the servants, he said, "call in
the dog, sir," and rejoined his companion. The air of this gentleman was
peculiarly pleasant; it would not have been difficult to pronounce him a
soldier had he not been addressed as such by his younger and certainly
less polished companion. The Colonel was apparently about thirty, and of
extremely handsome face and figure, while his driving friend appeared
several years younger, and of altogether different materials.

"I wonder," said Jane, as they turned a corner which hid them from view,
"who they are?"

"Who they are?" cried the brother, "why the Jarvis's to be sure; didn't
you hear them ask the road to the Deanery?

"Oh! the one that drove, _he_ may be a Jarvis, but not the gentleman who
spoke to us--surely not, John; besides, he was called Colonel, you know."

"Yes, yes," said John, with one of his quizzing expressions, "Colonel
Jarvis, that must be the alderman; they are commonly colonels of city
volunteers: yes, that must have been the old gem'mun who spoke to us, and
I was right after all about the bandboxes."

"You forget," said Clara, smiling, "the polite inquiry concerning the old
gem'mun."

"Ah! true; who the deuce can this Colonel be then, for young Jarvis is
only a captain, I know; who do you think he is, Jane?"

"How do you think I can tell you, John? But whoever he is, he owns the
tilbury, although he did not drive it; and he is a gentleman both by birth
and manners."

"Why, Jane, if you know so much of him, you should know more; but it is
all guess with you."

"No; it is not guess--I am certain of what I say."

The aunt and sisters, who had taken little interest in the dialogue,
looked at her with some surprise, which John observing, he exclaimed,
"Poh: she knows no more than we all know."

"Indeed I do."

"Poh, poh, if you know, tell."

"Why, the arms were different."

John laughed as he said, "That _is_ a good reason, sure enough, for the
tilbury's being the colonel's property; but now for his blood; how did you
discover that, sis--by his gait and actions, as we say of horses?"

Jane colored a little, and laughed faintly. "The arms on the tilbury had
six quarterings."

Emily now laughed, and Mrs. Wilson and Clara smiled while John continued
his teazing until they reached the rectory.

While chatting with the doctor and his wife, Francis returned from his
morning ride, and told them the Jarvis family had arrived; he had
witnessed an unpleasant accident to a gig, in which were Captain Jarvis,
and a friend, a Colonel Egerton; it had been awkwardly driven in turning
into the Deanery gate, and upset: the colonel received some injury to his
ankle, nothing, however, serious he hoped, but such as to put him under
the care of the young ladies, probably, for a few days. After the
exclamations which usually follow such details, Jane ventured to inquire
who Colonel Egerton was.

"I understood at the time, from one of the servants, that he is a nephew
of Sir Edgar Egerton, and a lieutenant-colonel on half-pay, or furlough,
or some such thing."

"How did he bear his misfortune, Mr. Francis?" inquired Mrs. Wilson.

"Certainly as a gentleman, madam, if not as a Christian," replied the
young clergyman, slily smiling; "indeed, most men of gallantry would, I
believe, rejoice in an accident which drew forth so much sympathy as both
the Miss Jarvis's manifested."

"How fortunate you should all happen to be near!" said the tender-hearted
Clara.

"Are the young ladies pretty?" asked Jane, with something of hesitation in
her manner.

"Why, I rather think they are; but I took very little notice of their
appearance, as the colonel was really in evident pain."

"This, then," cried the doctor, "affords me an additional excuse for
calling on them at an early day, so I'll e'en go to-morrow."

"I trust Doctor Ives wants no apologies for performing his duty," said
Mrs. Wilson.

"He is fond of making them, though," said Mrs. Ives, peaking with a
benevolent smile, and for the first time in the little conversation.

It was then arranged that the rector should make his official visit, as
intended by himself; and on his report, the ladies would act. After
remaining at the rectory an hour, they returned to the hall, attended by
Francis.

The next day the doctor drove in, and informed them the Jarvis family were
happily settled, and the colonel in no danger, excepting from the
fascinations of the two young ladies, who took such palpable care of him
that he wanted for nothing, and they might drive over whenever they
pleased, without fear of intruding unseasonably.

Mr. Jarvis received his guests with the frankness of good feelings, if not
with the polish of high life; while his wife, who seldom thought of the
former, would have been mortally offended with the person who could have
suggested that she omitted any of the elegancies of the latter. Her
daughters were rather pretty, but wanted, both in appearance and manner,
the inexpressible air of _haut ton_ which so eminently distinguished the
easy but polished deportment of Colonel Egerton, whom they found reclining
on a sofa with his leg on a chair, amply secured in numerous bandages, but
unable to rise. Notwithstanding the awkwardness of his situation, he was
by far the least discomposed person of the party, and having pleasantly
excused himself, he appeared to think no more of the matter.

The captain, Mrs. Jarvis remarked, had gone out with his dogs to try the
grounds around them, "for he seems to live only with his horses and his
gun: young men, my lady, nowadays, appear to forget that there are any
things in the world but themselves; now I told Harry that your ladyship
and daughters would favor us with a call this morning--but no: there he
went, as if Mr. Jarvis was unable to buy us a dinner, and we should all
starve but for his quails and pheasants."

"Quails and pheasants," cried John, in consternation, "does Captain
Jarvis shoot quails and pheasants at this time of the year?"

"Mrs. Jarvis, sir," said Colonel Egerton, with a correcting smile,
"understands the allegiance due from us gentlemen to the ladies, better
than the rules of sporting; my friend, the captain, has taken his fishing
rod, I believe."

"It is all one, fish or birds," continued Mrs. Jarvis, "he is Out of the
way when he is wanted, and I believe we can buy fish as easily as birds; I
wish he would take pattern after yourself, colonel, in these matters."

Colonel Egerton laughed pleasantly, but he did not blush; and Miss Jarvis
observed, with a look, of something like admiration thrown on his
reclining figure, "that when Harry had been in the army as long as his
friend, he would know the usages of good society, she hoped, as well."

"Yes," said her mother, "the army is certainly the place to polish a young
man;" and turning to Mrs. Wilson, she abruptly added, "Your husband, I
believe, was in the army, ma'am?"

"I hope," said Emily hastily, "that we shall have the pleasure of seeing
you soon, Miss Jarvis, at the Hall," preventing by her promptitude the
necessity of a reply from her aunt. The young lady promised to make an
early visit, and the subject changed to a general and uninteresting
discourse on the neighborhood, the country, the weather, and other
ordinary topics.

"Now, John," cried Jane in triumph, as they drove from the door, "you must
acknowledge my heraldic witchcraft, as you are pleased to call it, is
right for once at least."

"Oh! no doubt, Jenny," said John, who was accustomed to use that
appellation to her as a provocation, when he wished what he called an
enlivening scene; but Mrs. Wilson put a damper on his hopes by a remark to
his mother, and the habitual respect of both the combatants kept them
silent.

Jane Moseley was endowed by nature with an excellent understanding, one at
least equal to that of her brother, but the wanted the more essential
requisites of a well governed mind. Masters had been provided by Sir
Edward for all his daughters, and if they were not acquainted with the
usual acquirements of young women in their rank of life, it was not his
fault: his system of economy had not embraced a denial of opportunity to
any of his children, and the baronet was apt to think all _was_ done, when
they were put where all _might_ be done. Feeling herself and parents
entitled to enter into all the gaieties and splendors of some of the
richer families in their vicinity, Jane, who had grown up during the
temporary eclipse of Sir Edward's fortunes, had sought that
self-consolation so common to people in her situation, which was to be
found in reviewing the former grandeur of her house, and she had thus
contracted a degree of family pride. If Clara's weaknesses were less
striking than those of Jane, it was because she had less imagination, and
because that in loving Francis Ives she had so long admired a character,
where so little was to be found that could be censured, that she might be
said to have contracted a habit of judging correctly, without being able
at all times to give a reason for her conduct or her opinions.



Chapter III.



The day fixed for one of the stated visits of Mr. Benfield had now
arrived, and John, with Emily, who was the old bachelor's favorite niece,
went in the baronet's post-chaise to the town of F----, a distance of
twenty miles, to meet him, in order to accompany him in the remainder of
his journey to the Hall, it being a settled rule with the old man, that
his carriage horses should return to their own stables every night, where
he imagined they could alone find that comfort and care to which their age
and services gave them a claim. The day was uncommonly pleasant, and the
young people were in high spirits with the expectation of meeting their
respected relative, whose absence had been prolonged a few days by a
severe fit of the gout.

"Now, Emily," cried John, as he settled himself comfortably by the side of
his sister in the chaise, "let me know honestly how you like the Jarvis's,
and particularly how you like the handsome colonel."

"Then, John, honestly, I neither like nor dislike the Jarvis's or the
handsome colonel."

"Well, then, there is no great diversity in our sentiments, as Jane would
say."

"John!"

"Emily!"

"I do not like to hear you speak so disrespectfully of out sister, whom I
am sure you love as tenderly as I do myself."

"I acknowledge my error," said the brother, taking her hand and
affectionately kissing it, "and will endeavor to offend no more; but this
Colonel Egerton, sister, is certainly a gentleman, both by blood and in
manners, as Jane"--Emily interrupted him with a laugh, which John took
very good-naturedly, repeating his remark without alluding to their
sister.

"Yes," said Emily, "he is genteel in his deportment, if that be what you
mean; I know nothing of his family."

"Oh, I have taken a peep into Jane's Baronetage, where find him set down
as Sir Edgar's heir."


"There is something about him," said Emily, musing, "that I do not much
admire; he is too easy--there is no nature; I always feel afraid such
people will laugh at me as soon as my back is turned, and for those very
things they seem most to admire to my face. If I might be allowed to
judge, I should say his manner wants one thing, without which no one can
be truly agreeable."

"What's that?"

"Sincerity."

"Ah! that's my great recommendation; but I am afraid I shall have to take
the poacher up, with his quails and his pheasants, indeed."

"You know the colonel explained that to be a mistake."

"What they call explaining away; but unluckily I saw the gentleman
returning with his gun on his shoulder, and followed by a brace of
pointers."

"There's a specimen of the colonel's manners then," said Emily, smiling;
"it will do until the truth be known."

"And Jane, when she saw him also, praised his good nature and
consideration, in what she was pleased to call relieving the awkwardness
of my remark."

Emily finding her brother disposed to dwell on the foibles of Jane, a
thing he was rather addicted to at times, was silent. They rode some
distance before John, who was ever as ready to atone as he was to offend,
again apologized, again promised reformation, and during the remainder of
the ride only forgot himself twice more in the same way.

They reached F---- two hours before the lumbering coach of their uncle
drove into the yard of the inn, and had sufficient time to refresh their
own horses for the journey homewards.

Mr. Benfield was a bachelor of eighty, but retained the personal activity
of a man of sixty. He was strongly attached to all the fashions and
opinions of his youth, during which he had sat one term in parliament,
having been a great beau and courtier in the commencement of the reign. A
disappointment in an affair of the heart drove him into retirement; and
for the last fifty years he had dwelt exclusively at a seat he owned
within forty miles of Moseley Hall, the mistress of which was the only
child of his only brother. In figure, he was tall and spare, very erect
for his years, and he faithfully preserved in his attire, servants,
carriages, and indeed everything around him, as much of the fashions of
his youth as circumstances would allow: such then was a faint outline of
the character and appearance of the old man, who, dressed in a cocked hat,
bag wig, and sword, took the offered arm of John Moseley to alight from
his coach.

"So," cried the old gentleman, having made good his footing on the ground,
as he stopped short and stared John in the face, "you have made out to
come twenty miles to meet an old cynic, have you, sir? but I thought I bid
thee bring Emmy with thee."

John pointed to the window, where his sister stood anxiously watching her
uncle's movements. On catching her eye, he smiled kindly, and pursued his
way into the house, talking to himself.

"Aye, there she is indeed; I remember now, when I was a youngster, of
going with my kinsman, old Lord Gosford, to meet his sister, the Lady
Juliana, when she first came from school (this was the lady whose
infidelity had driven him from the world); and a beauty she was indeed,
something like Emmy there; only she was taller, and her eyes were black,
and her hair too, that was black; and she was not so fair as Emmy, and she
was fatter, and she stooped a little--very little; oh! they are
wonderfully alike though; don't you think they were, nephew?" he stopped
at the door of the room; while John, who in this description could not see
a resemblance, which existed nowhere but in the old man's affections, was
fain to say, "yes; but they were related, you know, uncle, and that
explains the likeness."

"True, boy, true," said his uncle, pleased at a reason for a thing he
wished, and which flattered his propensities. He had once before told
Emily she put him in mind of his housekeeper, a woman as old as himself,
and without a tooth in her head.

On meeting his niece, Mr. Benfield (who, like many others that feel
strongly, wore in common the affectation of indifference and displeasure)
yielded to his fondness, and folding her in his arms, kissed her
affectionately, while a tear glistened in his eye; and then pushing her
gently from him, he exclaimed, "Come, come, Emmy, don't strangle me, don't
strangle me, girl; let me live in peace the little while I have to remain
here--so," seating himself composedly in an arm chair his niece had placed
for him with a cushion, "so Anne writes me, Sir William Harris has let the
deanery."

"Oh, yes, uncle," cried John.

"I'll thank you, young gentleman," said Mr. Benfield, sternly, "not to
interrupt me when I am speaking to a lady that is, if you please, sir.
Then Sir William has let the deanery to a London merchant, a Mr. Jarvis.
Now I knew three people of that name; one was a hackney coachman, when I
was a member of the parliament of this realm, and drove me often to the
house; the other was _valet-de-chambre_ to my Lord Gosford; and the third,
I take it, is the very man who has become your neighbor. If it be the
person I mean, Emmy dear, he is like--like--aye, very like old Peter, my
steward."

John, unable to contain his mirth at this discovery of a likeness between
the prototype of Mr. Benfield himself in leanness of figure, and the jolly
rotundity of the merchant, was obliged to leave the room; Emily, though
she could not forbear smiling at the comparison, quietly said, "You will
meet him to-morrow, dear uncle, and then you will be able to judge for
yourself."

"Yes, yes," muttered the old man, "very like old Peter, my steward; as
like as two peas." The parallel was by no means as ridiculous as might be
supposed; its history being as follows:

Mr. Benfield had placed twenty thousand pounds in the hands of a broker,
with positive orders for him to pay it away immediately for government
stock, bought by the former on his account; but disregarding this
injunction, the broker had managed the transaction in such a way as to
postpone the payment, until, on his failure, he had given up that and a
much larger sum to Mr. Jarvis, to satisfy what he called an honorary debt.
In elucidating the transaction Mr. Jarvis paid Benfield Lodge a visit, and
honestly restored the bachelor his property. This act, and the high
opinion he entertained of Mrs. Wilson, with his unbounded love for Emily,
were the few things which prevented his believing some dreadful judgment
was about to visit this world, for its increasing wickedness and follies.
As his own steward was one of the honestest fellows living, he had ever
after fancied that there was a personal resemblance between him and the
conscientious merchant.

The horses being ready, the old bachelor was placed carefully between his
nephew and niece, and in that manner they rode on quietly to the Hall, the
dread of accident keeping Mr. Benfield silent most of the way. On passing,
however a stately castle, about ten miles from the termination of their
ride, he began one of his speeches with,

"Emmy, dear, does Lord Bolton come often to see you?"

"Very seldom, sir; his employment keeps him much of his time at St.
James's, and then he has an estate in Ireland."

"I knew his father well--he was distantly connected by marriage with my
friend Lord Gosford; you could not remember him, I suspect" (John rolled
his eyes at this suggestion of his sister's recollection of a man who had
been forty years dead); "he always voted with me in the parliament of this
realm; he was a thoroughly honest man; very much such a man to look at as
Peter Johnson, my steward: but I am told his son likes the good things of
the ministry; well, well, William Pitt was the only minister to my mind.
There was the Scotchman of whom they made a Marquis; I never could endure
him--always voted against him."

"Right or wrong, uncle," cried John, who loved a little mischief in his
heart.

"No, sir--right, but never wrong. Lord Gosford always voted against him
too; and do you think, jackanapes, that my friend the Earl of Gosford
and--and--myself were ever wrong? No, sir, men in my day were different
creatures from what they are now: we were never wrong, sir; we loved our
country, and had no motive for being in the wrong."

"How was it with Lord Bute, uncle?"

"Lord Bute, sir," cried the old man with great warmth, "was the minister,
sir--he was the minister; aye, he was the minister, sir, and was paid for
what he did."

"But Lord Chatham, was he not the minister too?"

Now, nothing vexed the old gentleman more than to hear William Pitt
called by his tardy honors; and yet, unwilling to give up what he thought
his political opinions, he exclaimed, with an unanswerable positiveness of
argument,

"Billy Pitt, sir, was the minister, sir; but--but--but--he was _our_
minister, sir."

Emily, unable to see her uncle agitated by such useless disputes, threw a
reproachful glance on her brother, as she observed timidly,

"That was a glorious administration, sir, I believe."

"Glorious indeed! Emmy dear," said the bachelor, softening with the sound
of her voice, and the recollections of his younger days, "we beat the
French everywhere--in America--in Germany;--we took--(counting on his
fingers)--we took Quebec--yes, Lord Gosford lost a cousin there; and we
took all the Canadas; and we took their fleets: there was a young man
killed in the battle between Hawke and Conflans, who was much attached to
Lady Juliana--poor soul! how much she regretted him when dead, though she
never could abide him when living--ah! she was a tender-hearted creature!"

Mr. Benfield, like many others, continued to love imaginary qualities in
his mistress, long after her heartless coquetry had disgusted him with her
person: a kind of feeling which springs from self-love, which finds it
necessary to seek consolation in creating beauties, that may justify our
follies to ourselves; and which often keeps alive the semblance of the
passion, when even hope, or real admiration, is extinct.

On reaching the Hall, every one was rejoiced to see their really
affectionate and worthy relative, and the evening passed in the tranquil
enjoyment of the blessings which Providence had profusely scattered
around the family of the baronet, but which are too often hazarded by a
neglect of duty that springs from too great security, or an indolence
which renders us averse to the precaution necessary to insure their
continuance.



Chapter IV.



"You are welcome, Sir Edward," said the venerable rector, as he took the
baronet by the hand; "I was fearful a return of your rheumatism would
deprive us of this pleasure, and prevent my making you acquainted with the
new occupants of the deanery, who have consented to dine with us to-day,
and to whom I have promised, in particular, an introduction to Sir Edward
Moseley."

"I thank you, my dear doctor," rejoined the baronet; "I have not only come
myself, but have persuaded Mr. Benfield to make one of the party; there he
comes, leaning on Emily's arm, and finding fault with Mrs. Wilson's
new-fashioned barouche, which he says has given him cold."

The rector received the unexpected guest with the kindness of his nature,
and an inward smile at the incongruous assemblage he was likely to have
around him by the arrival of the Jarvis's, who, at that moment, drove to
his door. The introductions between the baronet and the new comers had
passed, and Miss Jarvis had made a prettily worded apology on behalf of
the colonel, who was not yet well enough to come out, but whose politeness
had insisted on their not remaining a home on his account, as Mr.
Benfield, having composedly put on his spectacles, walked deliberately up
to the place where the merchant had seated himself, and having examined
him through his glasses to his satisfaction, took them off, and carefully
wiping them, he began to talk to himself as he put them into his
pocket--"No, no; it's not Jack, the hackney coachman, nor my Lord
Gosford's gentleman, but"--cordially holding out both hands, "it's the
man who saved my twenty thousand pounds."

Mr. Jarvis, whom shame and embarrassment had kept silent during this
examination, exchanged greetings sincerely with his old acquaintance, who
now took a seat in silence by his side; while his wife, whose face had
begun to kindle with indignation at the commencement of the old
gentleman's soliloquy, observing that somehow or other it had not only
terminated without degradation to her spouse, but with something like
credit, turned complacently to Mrs. Ives, with an apology for the absence
of her son.

"I cannot divine, ma'am, where he has got to; he is ever keeping us
waiting for him;" and, addressing Jane, "these military men become so
unsettled in their habits, that I often tell Harry he should never quit
the camp."

"In Hyde Park, you should add, my dear, for he has never been in any
other," bluntly observed her husband.

To this speech no reply was made, but it was evidently little relished by
the ladies of the family, who were a good deal jealous of the laurels of
the only hero their race had ever produced. The arrival and introduction
of the captain himself changed the discourse, which turned on the comforts
of their present residence.

"Pray, my lady," cried the captain, who had taken a chair familiarly by
the side of the baronet's wife, "why is the house called the deanery? I am
afraid I shall be taken for a son of the church, when I invite my friends
to visit my father at the deanery."

"But you may add, at the same time, sir, if you please," dryly remarked
Mr. Jarvis, "that it is occupied by an old man, who has been preaching and
lecturing all his life; and, like others of the trade, I believe, in
vain."

"You must except our good friend, the doctor here, at least, sir," said
Mrs. Wilson; who, observing that her sister shrank from a familiarity she
was unused to, took upon herself the office of replying to the captain's
question: "The father of the present Sir William Harris held that station
in the church, and although the house was his private property it took its
name from the circumstance, which has been continued ever since."

"Is it not a droll life Sir William leads," cried Miss Jarvis, looking at
John Moseley, "riding about all summer from one watering-place to another,
and letting his house year after year in the manner he does?"

"Sir William," said Dr. Ives, gravely, "is devoted to his laughter's
wishes; and since his accession to his title, has come into possession of
another residence in an adjoining county, which, I believe, he retains in
his own hands."

"Are you acquainted with Miss Harris?" continued the lady, addressing
herself to Clara; though, without waiting for an answer, she added, "She
is a great belle--all the gentlemen are dying for her."

"Or her fortune," said her sister, with a pretty toss of the head; "for my
part, I never could see anything so captivating in her, although so much
is said about her at Bath and Brighton."

"You know her then," mildly observed Clara.

"Why, I cannot say--we are exactly acquainted," the young lady
hesitatingly answered, coloring violently.

"What do you mean by exactly acquainted, Sally?" put in the father with a
laugh; "did you ever speak to or were you ever in a room with her, in your
life, unless it might be at a concert or a ball?"

The mortification of Miss Sarah was too evident for concealment, and it
happily was relieved by a summons to dinner.

"Never, my dear child," said Mrs. Wilson to Emily, the aunt being fond of
introducing a moral from the occasional incidents of every-day life,
"never subject yourself to a similar mortification, by commenting on the
characters of those you don't know: ignorance makes you liable to great
errors; and if they should happen to be above you in life, it will only
excite their contempt, should it reach their ears, while those to whom
your remarks are made will think it envy."

"Truth is sometimes blundered on," whispered John, who held his sister's
arm, waiting for his aunt to precede them to the dining-room.

The merchant paid too great a compliment to the rector's dinner to think
of renewing the disagreeable conversation, and as John Moseley and the
young clergyman were seated next the two ladies, they soon forgot what,
among themselves, they would call their father's rudeness, in receiving
the attentions of a couple of remarkably agreeable young men.

"Pray, Mr. Francis, when do you preach for us?" asked Mr. Haughton; "I'm
very anxious to hear you hold forth from the pulpit, where I have so often
heard your father with pleasure: I doubt not you will prove orthodox, or
you will be the only man, I believe, in the congregation, the rector has
left in ignorance of the theory of our religion, at least."

The doctor bowed to the compliment, as he replied to the question for his
son, that on the next Sunday they were to have the pleasure of hearing
Frank, who had promised to assist him on that day.

"Any prospects of a living soon?" continued Mr. Haughton, helping himself
bountifully to a piece of plum pudding as he spoke. John Moseley laughed
aloud, and Clara blushed to the eyes, while the doctor, turning to Sir
Edward, observed with an air of interest, "Sir Edward, the living of
Bolton is vacant, and I should like exceedingly to obtain it for my son.
The advowson belongs to the Earl, who will dispose of it only to great
interest, I am afraid."

Clara was certainly, too busily occupied in picking raisins from her
pudding to hear this remark, but accidentally stole, from under her long
eyelashes, a timid glance at her father as he replied:

"I am sorry, my friend, I have not sufficient interest with his lordship
to apply on my own account; but he is so seldom here, we are barely
acquainted;" and the good baronet looked really concerned.

"Clara," said Francis Ives in a low and affectionate tone, "have you read
the books I sent you?"

Clara answered him with a smile in the negative, but promised amendment as
soon as she had leisure.

"Do you ride much, on horseback, Mr. Moseley?" abruptly asked Miss Sarah,
turning her back on the young divine, and facing the gentleman she
addressed. John, who was now hemmed in between the sisters, replied with a
rueful expression that brought a smile into the face of Emily, who was
placed opposite to him--

"Yes, ma'am, and sometimes I am ridden."

"Ridden, sir, what do you mean by that?"

"Oh! only my aunt there occasionally gives me a lecture."

"I understand," said the lady, pointing slily with her finger at her own
father.

"Does it feel good?" John inquired, with a look of, great sympathy. But
the lady, who now felt awkwardly, without knowing exactly why, shook her
head in silence, and forced a faint laugh.

"Whom have we here?" cried Captain Jarvis, who was looking out at a window
which commanded a view of the approach to the house--"the apothecary and
his attendant judging from the equipage."

The rector threw an inquiring look on a servant, who told his master they
were strangers to him.

"Have them shown up, doctor," cried the benevolent baronet, who loved to
see every one as happy as himself, "and give them some of your excellent
pasty, for the sake of hospitality and the credit of your cook, I beg of
you."

As this request was politely seconded by others of the party, the rector
ordered his servants to show in the strangers.

On opening the parlor door, a gentleman, apparently sixty years of age,
appeared, leaning on the arm of a youth of five-and-twenty. There was
sufficient resemblance between the two for the most indifferent observer
to pronounce them father and son; but the helpless debility and emaciated
figure of the former, were finely contrasted by the vigorous health and
manly beauty of the latter, who supported his venerable parent into the
room with a grace and tenderness that struck most of the beholders with a
sensation of pleasure. The doctor and Mrs. Ives rose from their seats
involuntarily, and each stood for a moment, lost in an astonishment that
was mingled with grief. Recollecting himself, the rector grasped the
extended hand of the senior in both his own, and endeavored to utter
something, but in vain. The tears followed each other down his cheeks, as
he looked on the faded and careworn figure which stood before him; while
his wife, unable to control her feelings, sank back into a chair and wept
aloud.

Throwing open the door of an adjoining room, and retaining the hand of the
invalid, the doctor gently led the way, followed by his wife and son. The
former, having recovered from the first burst of her sorrow, and
regardless of everything else, now anxiously watched the enfeebled step of
the stranger. On reaching the door, they both turned and bowed to the
company in a manner of so much dignity, mingled with sweetness, that all,
not excepting Mr. Benfield, rose from their seats to return the
salutation. On passing from the dining parlor, the door was closed,
leaving the company standing round the table in mute astonishment and
commiseration. Not a word had been spoken, and the rector's family had
left them without apology or explanation. Francis, however soon returned,
and was followed in a few minutes by his mother, who, slightly apologizing
for her absence, turned the discourse on the approaching Sunday, and the
intention of Francis to preach on that day. The Moseleys were too well
bred to make any inquiries, and the deanery family was afraid. Sir Edward
retired at a very early hour, and was followed by the remainder of the
party.

"Well," cried Mrs. Jarvis, as they drove from the door, "this may be good
breeding, but, for my part, I think both the doctor and Mrs. Ives behaved
very rudely, with the crying and sobbing."

"They are nobody of much consequence," cried her eldest daughter, casting
a contemptuous glance on a plain travelling chaise which stood before the
rector's stables.

"'Twas sickening," said Miss Sarah, with a shrug; while her father,
turning his eyes on each speaker in succession, very deliberately helped
himself to a pinch of snuff, his ordinary recourse against a family
quarrel. The curiosity of the ladies was, however, more lively than they
chose to avow and Mrs. Jarvis bade her maid go over to the rectory that
evening, with her compliments to Mrs. Ives; she had lost a lace veil,
which her maid knew, and she thought it might have been left at the
rectory.

"And, Jones, when you are there, you can inquire of the servants; mind, of
the servants--I would not distress Mrs. Ives for the world; how
Mr.--Mr.--what's his name--Oh!--I have forgotten his name; just bring me
his name too. Jones; and, as it may make some difference in our party,
just find out how long they stay; and--and--- any other little thing,
Jones, which can be of use, you know."

Off went Jones, and within an hour she had returned. With an important
look, she commenced her narrative, the daughters being accidentally
present, and it might be on purpose.

"Why, ma'am, I went across the fields, and William was good enough to go
with me; so when we got there, I rang, and they showed us into the
servants' room, and I gave my message, and the veil was not there. Why,
ma'am, there's the veil now, on the back o' that chair."

"Very well, very well, Jones, never mind the veil," cried the impatient
mistress.

"So, ma'am, while they were looking for the veil, I just asked one of the
maids, what company had arrived, but"--(here Jones looked very suspicious,
and shook her head ominously:) "would you think it, ma'am, not a soul of
them knew! But, ma'am, there was the doctor and his son, praying and
reading with the old gentleman the whole time--and"--

"And what, Jones?"

"Why, ma'am, I expect he has been a great sinner, or he wouldn't want so
much praying just as he is about to die."

"Die!" cried all three at once: "will he die?"

"O yes," continued Jones, "they all agree he must die; but this praying so
much, is just like the criminals. I'm sure no honest person needs so much
praying, ma'am."

"No, indeed," said the mother. "No, indeed," responded the daughters, as
they retired to their several rooms for the night.



Chapter V.



There is something in the season of Spring which peculiarly excites the
feelings of devotion. The dreariness of winter has passed, and with it,
the deadened affections of our nature. New life, new vigor, arises within
us, as we walk abroad and feel the genial gales of April breathe upon us;
and our hopes, our wishes, awaken with the revival of the vegetable world.
It is then that the heart, which has been impressed with the goodness of
the Creator, feels that goodness brought, as it were, into very contact
with the senses. The eye loves to wander over the bountiful provisions
nature is throwing forth in every direction for our comfort, and fixes its
gaze on the clouds, which, having lost the chilling thinness of winter,
roll in rich volumes, amidst the clear and softened fields of azure so
peculiar to the season, leading the mind insensibly, to dwell on the
things of another and a better world. It was on such a day, that the
inhabitants of B---- thronged toward the village church, for the double
purpose of pouring out their thanksgivings, and of hearing the first
efforts of their rector's son in the duties of his sacred calling.

Amongst the crowd whom curiosity or a better feeling had drawn forth, were
to be seen the flaring equipage of the Jarvises, and the handsome
carriages of Sir Edward Moseley and his sister. All the members of the
latter family felt a lively anxiety for the success of the young divine.
But knowing, as they well did, the strength of his native talents, the
excellence of his education, and the fervor of his piety, it was an
anxiety that partook more of hope than of fear. There was one heart,
however, amongst them, that palpitated with an emotion that hardly
admitted of control, as they approached the sacred edifice, for it had
identified itself completely with the welfare of the rector's son. There
never was a softer, truer heart, than that which now almost audibly beat
within the bosom of Clara Moseley; and she had given it to the young
divine with all its purity and truth.

The entrance of a congregation into the sanctuary will at all times
furnish, to an attentive observer, food for much useful speculation, if it
be chastened with a proper charity for the weaknesses of others; and most
people are ignorant of the insight they are giving into their characters
and dispositions, by such an apparently trivial circumstance as their
weekly approach to the tabernacles of the Lord. Christianity, while it
chastens and amends the heart, leaves the natural powers unaltered; and it
cannot be doubted that its operation is, or ought to be, proportionate to
the abilities and opportunities of the subject of its holy
impression--"Unto whomsoever much is given, much will be required." While
we acknowledge, that the thoughts might be better employed in preparing
for those humiliations, of the spirit and thanksgiving of the heart which
are required of all, and are so necessary to all, we must be indulged in a
hasty view of some of the personages of our history, as they entered the
church of B----.

On the countenance of the baronet, was the dignity and composure of a mind
at peace with itself and mankind. His step was rather more deliberate than
common; his eye rested on the pavement, and on turning into his pew, as he
prepared to kneel, in the first humble petition of our beautiful service,
he raised it towards the altar with an expression of benevolence and
reverence, that spoke contentment, not unmixed with faith.

In the demeanor of Lady Moseley, all was graceful and decent, while
nothing could be properly said to be studied. She followed her husband
with a step of equal deliberation, though it was slightly varied by a
manner which, while it appeared natural to herself, might have been
artificial in another: a cambric handkerchief concealed her face as she
sank composedly by the side of Sir Edward, in a style which showed, that
while she remembered her Maker, she had not entirely forgotten herself.

The walk of Mrs. Wilson was quicker than that of her sister. Her eye,
directed before her, was fixed, as if in settled gaze, on that eternity
which she was approaching. The lines of her contemplative face were
unaltered, unless there might be traced a deeper shade of humility than
was ordinarily seen on her pale, but expressive countenance: her petition
was long; and on rising from her humble posture, the person was indeed to
be seen, but the soul appeared absorbed in contemplations beyond the
limits of this sphere.

There was a restlessness and varying of color, in the ordinarily placid
Clara, which prevented a display of her usual manner; while Jane walked
gracefully, and with a tincture of her mother's manner, by her side. She
stole one hastily withdrawn glance to the deanery pew ere she kneeled, and
then, on rising, handed her smelling-bottle affectionately to her elder
sister.

Emily glided behind her companions with a face beaming with a look of
innocence and love. As she sank in the act of supplication, the rich glow
of her healthful cheek lost some of its brilliancy; but, on rising, it
beamed with a renewed lustre, that plainly indicated a heart touched with
the sanctity of its situation.

In the composed and sedate manner of Mr. Jarvis, as he steadily pursued
his way to the pew of Sir William Harris, you might have been justified
in expecting the entrance of another Sir Edward Moseley in substance, if
not in externals. But the deliberate separation of the flaps of his coat,
as he comfortably seated himself, when you thought him about to kneel,
followed by a pinch of snuff as he threw his eye around the building, led
you at once to conjecture, that what at first had been mistaken for
reverence, was the abstraction of some earthly calculation; and that his
attendance was in compliance with custom, and not a little depended upon
the thickness of his cushions, and the room he found for the disposition
of two rather unwieldy legs.

The ladies of the family followed, in garments carefully selected for the
advantageous display of their persons. As they sailed into their seats,
where it would seem the improvidence of Sir William's steward had
neglected some important accommodation (some time being spent in
preparation to be seated), the old lady, whose size and flesh really put
kneeling out of the question, bent forward for a moment at an angle of
eighty with the horizon, while her daughters prettily bowed their heads,
with all proper precaution for the safety of their superb millinery.

At length the rector, accompanied by his son, appeared from the vestry.
There was a dignity and solemnity in the manner in which this pious divine
entered on the duties of his profession, which disposed the heart to
listen with reverence and humility to precepts that were accompanied with
so impressive an exterior. The stillness of expectation pervaded the
church, when the pew opener led the way to the same interesting father and
son whose entrance had interrupted the guests the preceding day, at the
rectory. Every eye was turned on the emaciated parent, bending into the
grave, and, as it were, kept from it by the supporting tenderness of his
child. Hastily throwing open the door of her own pew, Mrs. Ives buried
her face in her handkerchief; and her husband had proceeded far in the
morning service before she raised it again to the view of the
congregation. In the voice of the rector, there was an unusual softness
and tremor that his people attributed to the feelings of a father about to
witness the first efforts of an only child, but which in reality were
owing to another and a deeper cause.

Prayers were ended, and the younger Ives ascended the pulpit. For a moment
he paused; when, casting an anxious glance to the pew of the baronet, he
commenced his sermon. He had chosen for his discourse the necessity of
placing our dependence on divine grace. After having learnedly, but in the
most unaffected manner, displayed the necessity of this dependence, as
derived from revelation, he proceeded to paint the hope, the resignation,
the felicity of a Christian's death-bed. Warmed by the subject, his
animation soon lent a heightened interest to his language; and at a moment
when all around him were entranced by the eloquence of the youthful
divine, a sudden and deep-drawn sigh drew every eye to the rector's pew.
The younger stranger sat motionless as a statue, holding in his arms the
lifeless body of his parent, who had fallen that moment a corpse by his
side. All was now confusion: the almost insensible young man was relieved
from his burden; and, led by the rector, they left the church. The
congregation dispersed in silence, or assembled in little groups, to
converse on the awful event they had witnessed. None knew the deceased; he
was the rector's friend, and to his residence the body was removed. The
young man was evidently his child; but here all information ended. They
had arrived in a private chaise, but with post horses, and without
attendants. Their arrival at the parsonage was detailed by the Jarvis
ladies with a few exaggerations that gave additional interest to the whole
event, and which, by creating an impression with some whom gentler
feelings would not have restrained, that there was something of mystery
about them, prevented many distressing questions to the Ives's, that the
baronet's family forbore putting, on the score of delicacy. The body left
B---- at the close of the week, accompanied by Francis Ives and the
unweariedly attentive and interesting son. The doctor and his wife went
into deep mourning, and Clara received a short note from her lover, on the
morning of their departure, acquainting her with his intended absence for
a month, but throwing no light upon the affair. The London papers,
however, contained the following obituary notice, and which, as it could
refer to no other person, as a matter of course, was supposed to allude to
the rector's friend.

"Died, suddenly, at B----, on the 20th instant, George Denbigh, Esq., aged
63."



Chapter VI.



During the week of mourning, the intercourse between Moseley Hall and the
rectory was confined to messages and notes of inquiry after each other's
welfare: but the visit of the Moseleys to the deanery had been returned;
and the day after the appearance of the obituary paragraph, the family of
the latter dined by invitation at the Hall. Colonel Egerton had recovered
the use of his leg, and was included in the party. Between this gentleman
and Mr. Benfield there appeared, from the first moment of their
introduction, a repugnance which was rather increased by time, and which
the old gentleman manifested by a demeanor loaded with the overstrained
ceremony of the day, and which, in the colonel, only showed itself by
avoiding, when possible, all intercourse with the object of his aversion.
Both Sir Edward and Lady Moseley, on the contrary, were not slow in
manifesting their favorable impressions in behalf of the gentleman. The
latter, in particular, having ascertained to her satisfaction that he was
the undoubted heir to the title, and most probably to the estates of his
uncle, Sir Edgar Egerton, felt herself strongly disposed to encourage an
acquaintance she found so agreeable, and to which she could see no
reasonable objection. Captain Jarvis, who was extremely offensive to her,
from his vulgar familiarity, she barely tolerated, from the necessity of
being civil, and keeping up sociability in the neighborhood. It is true,
she could not help being surprised that a gentleman, as polished, as the
colonel, could find any pleasure in an associate like his friend, or even
in the hardly more softened females of his family; then again, the
flattering suggestion would present itself, that possibly he might have
seen Emily at Bath, or Jane elsewhere, and availed himself of the
acquaintance of young Jarvis to get into their neighborhood. Lady Moseley
had never been vain, or much interested about the disposal of her own
person, previously to her attachment to her husband: but her daughters
called forth not a little of her natural pride--we had almost said of her
selfishness.

The attentions of the colonel were of the most delicate and insinuating
kind; and Mrs. Wilson several times turned away in displeasure at herself,
for listening with too much satisfaction to nothings, uttered in an
agreeable manner, or, what was worse, false sentiments supported with the
gloss of language and a fascinating deportment. The anxiety of this lady
on behalf of Emily kept her ever on the alert, when chance, or any chain
of circumstances, threw her in the way of forming new connexions of any
kind; and of late, as her charge approached the period of life her sex
were apt to make that choice from which there is no retreat, her
solicitude to examine the characters of the men who approached her was
really painful. As to Lady Moseley, her wishes disposed her to be easily
satisfied, and her mind naturally shrank from an investigation to which
she felt herself unequal; while Mrs. Wilson was governed by the
convictions of a sound discretion, matured by long and deep reasoning, all
acting on a temper at all times ardent, and a watchfulness calculated to
endure to the end.

"Pray, my lady," said Mrs. Jarvis, with a look of something like
importance, "have you made any discovery about this Mr. Denbigh, who died
in the church lately?"

"I did not know, ma'am," replied Lady Moseley, "there was any discovery to
be made."

"You know, Lady Moseley," said Colonel Egerton, "that in town, all the
little accompaniments of such a melancholy death would have found their
way into the prints; and I suppose this is what Mrs. Jarvis alludes to."

"Oh yes," cried Mrs. Jarvis, "the colonel is right." But the colonel was
always right with that lady.

Lady Moseley bowed her head with dignity, and the colonel had too much
tact to pursue the conversation; but the captain, whom nothing had ever
yet abashed, exclaimed,

"These Denbighs could not be people of much importance--I have never heard
the name before."

"It is the family name of the Duke of Derwent, I believe," dryly remarked
Sir Edward.

"Oh, I am sure neither the old man nor his son looked much like a duke, or
so much as an officer either," exclaimed Mrs. Jarvis, who thought the
latter rank the dignity in degree next below nobility.

"There sat, in the parliament of this realm, when I was a member, a
General Denbigh," said Mr. Benfield, with his usual deliberation; "he was
always on the same side with Lord Gosford and myself. He and his friend,
Sir Peter Howell, who was the admiral that took the French squadron, in
the glorious administration of Billy Pitt, and afterwards took an island
with this same General Denbigh: aye, the old admiral was a hearty blade; a
good deal such a looking man as my Hector would make."

Hector was Mr. Benfield's bull dog.

"Mercy," whispered John to Clara, "that's your grandfather that is to be
uncle Benfield is speaking of."

Clara smiled, as she ventured to say, "Sir Peter was Mrs. Ives's father,
sir."

"Indeed!" said the old gentleman, with a look of surprise, "I never knew
that before; I cannot say they resemble each other much."

"Pray, uncle, does Frank look much like the family?" asked John, with an
air of unconquerable gravity.

"But, sir," interrupted Emily, "were General Denbigh and Admiral Ho well
related?"

"Not that I ever knew, Emmy dear. Sir Frederick Denbigh did not look much
like the admiral; he rather resembled (gathering himself up into an air of
formality, and bowing stiffly to Colonel Egerton) this gentleman, here."

"I have not the honor of the connexion," observed the colonel, withdrawing
behind the chair of Jane.

Mrs. Wilson changed the conversation to one more general; but the little
that had fallen from Mr. Benfield gave reason for believing a connexion,
in some way of which they were ignorant, existed between the descendants
of the two veterans, and which explained the interest they felt in each
other.

During dinner, Colonel Egerton placed himself next to Emily, and Miss
Jarvis took, the chair on the other side. He spoke of the gay world, of
watering-places, novels, plays, and still finding his companion reserved,
and either unwilling or unable to talk freely, he tried his favorite
sentiment. He had read poetry, and a remark of his lighted up a spark of
intelligence in the beautiful face of his companion that for a moment
deceived him; but as he went on to point out his favorite beauties, it
gave place to a settled composure, which at last led him to imagine the
casket contained no gem equal to the promise of its brilliant exterior.
After resting from one of his most labored displays of feeling and
imagery, he accidentally caught the eyes of Jane fastened on him with an
expression of no dubious import, and the soldier changed his battery. In
Jane he found a more willing auditor; poetry was the food she lived on,
and in works of the imagination she found her greatest delight. An
animated discussion of the merits of their favorite authors now took
place; to renew which, the colonel early left the dining-room for the
society of the ladies; John, who disliked drinking excessively, being
happy of an excuse to attend him.

The younger ladies had clustered together round a window and even Emily in
her heart rejoiced that the gentlemen had come to relieve herself and
sisters from the arduous task of entertaining women who appeared not to
possess a single taste or opinion in common with themselves.

"You were saying, Miss Moseley," observed the colonel in his most
agreeable manner, as he approached them, "you thought Campbell the most
musical poet we have; I hope you will unite with me in excepting Moore."

Jane colored, as with some awkwardness she replied, "Moore was certainly
very poetical."

"Has Moore written much?" innocently asked Emily.

"Not half as much as he ought," cried Miss Jarvis. "Oh! I could live on
his beautiful lines."

Jane turned away in disgust; and that evening, while alone with Clara, she
took a volume of Moore's songs, and very coolly consigned them to the
flames. Her sister naturally asked an explanation of so extraordinary a
procedure.

"Oh!" cried Jane, "I can't abide the book, since that vulgar Miss Jarvis
speaks of it with so much interest. I really believe aunt Wilson is right
in not suffering Emily to read such things." And Jane, who had often
devoured the treacherous lines with ardor, shrank with fastidious delicacy
from the indulgence of a perverted taste, when it became exposed, coupled
with the vulgarity of unblushing audacity.

Colonel Egerton immediately changed the subject to one less objectionable,
and spoke of a campaign he had made in Spain. He possessed the happy
faculty of giving an interest to all he advanced, whether true or not; and
as he never contradicted, or even opposed unless to yield gracefully, when
a lady was his opponent, his conversation insensibly attracted, by
putting the sex in good humor with themselves. Such a man, aided by the
powerful assistants of person and manners, and no inconsiderable
colloquial talents, Mrs. Wilson knew to be extremely dangerous as a
companion to a youthful female heart; and as his visit was to extend to a
couple of months, she resolved to reconnoitre the state of her pupil's
opinion forthwith in reference to his merits. She had taken too much pains
in forming the mind of Emily to apprehend she would fall a victim to the
eye; but she also knew that personal grace sweetened a benevolent
expression, and added force even to the oracles of wisdom. She labored a
little herself under the disadvantage of what John called a didactic
manner, and which, although she had not the ability, or rather taste, to
amend, she had yet the sense to discern. It was the great error of Mrs.
Wilson to attempt to convince, where she might have influenced; but her
ardor of temperament, and great love of truth, kept her, as it were,
tilting with the vices of mankind, and consequently sometimes in
unprofitable combat. With her charge, however, this could never be said to
be the case, Emily knew her heart, felt her love, and revered her
principles too deeply, to throw away an admonition, or disregard a
precept, that fell from lips she knew never spoke idly or without
consideration.

John had felt tempted to push the conversation with Miss Jarvis, and he
was about to utter something rapturous respecting the melodious poison of
Little's poems, as the blue eye of Emily rested on him in the fulness of
sisterly affection and checking his love of the ridiculous, he quietly
yielded to his respect for the innocence of his sisters; and, as if eager
to draw the attention of all from the hateful subject, he put question
after question to Egerton concerning the Spaniards and their customs.

"Did you ever meet Lord Pendennyss in Spain, Colonel Egerton?" inquired
Mrs. Wilson, with interest.

"Never, madam," he replied. "I have much reason to regret that our service
lay in different parts of the country: his lordship was much with the
duke, and I made the campaign under Marshal Beresford."

Emily left the group at the window, and taking a seat on the sofa by the
side of her aunt, insensibly led her to forget the gloomy thoughts which
had begun to steal over her; which the colonel, approaching where they
sat, continued, by asking--

"Are you acquainted with the earl, madam?"

"Not in person, but by character," said Mrs. Wilson, in a melancholy
manner.

"His character as a soldier was very high. He had no superior of his years
in Spain, I am told."

No reply was made to this remark, and Emily endeavored anxiously to draw
the mind of her aunt to reflections of a more agreeable nature. The
colonel, whose vigilance to please was ever on the alert, kindly aided
her, and they soon succeeded.

The merchant withdrew, with his family and guest, in proper season: and
Mrs. Wilson, heedful of her duty, took the opportunity of a quarter of an
hour's privacy in her own dressing-room in the evening, to touch gently on
the subject of the gentlemen they had seen that day.

"How are you pleased, Emily, with your new acquaintances?" familiarly
commenced Mrs. Wilson.

"Oh! aunt, don't ask me; as John says, they are _net_ indeed."

"I am not sorry," continued the aunt, "to have you observe more closely
than you have been used to the manners of such women as the Jarvises; they
are too abrupt and unpleasant to create a dread of any imitation; but the
gentlemen are heroes in very different styles."

"Different from each other, indeed."

"To which do you give the preference, my dear?"

"Preference, aunt!" said her niece, with a look of astonishment;
"preference is a strong word for either; but I rather think the captain
the most eligible companion of the two. I do believe you see the worst of
him; and although I acknowledge it to be bad enough, he might amend; but
the colonel"--

"Go on," said Mrs. Wilson.

"Why, everything about the colonel seems so seated, so ingrafted in his
nature, so--so very self-satisfied, that I am afraid it would be a
difficult task to take the first step in amendment--to convince him of its
necessity?

"And is it then so necessary?"

Emily looked up from arranging some laces, with an expression of surprise,
as he replied:

"Did you not hear him talk of those poems, and attempt to point out the
beauties of several works? I thought everything he uttered was referred to
taste, and that not a very natural one; at least," she added with a laugh,
"it differed greatly from mine. He seemed to forget altogether there was
such a thing as principle: and then he spoke of some woman to Jane, who
had left her father for her lover, with so much admiration of her
feelings, to take up with poverty and love, as he called it, in place of
condemning her want of filial piety--I am sure, aunt, if you had heard
that, you would not admire him so much."

"I do not admire him at all, child; I only want to know your sentiments,
and I am happy to find them so correct. It is as you think; Colonel
Egerton appears to refer nothing to principle: even the more generous
feelings I am afraid are corrupted in him, from too low intercourse with
the surface of society. There is by far too much pliability about him for
principle of any kind, unless indeed it be a principle to please, no
matter how. No one, who has deeply seated opinions of right and wrong,
will ever abandon them, even in the courtesies of polite intercourse: they
may be silent but never acquiescent: in short, my dear, the dread of
offending our Maker ought to be so superior to that of offending our
fellow creatures, that we should endeavor, I believe, to be even more
unbending to the follies of the world than we are."

"And yet the colonel is what they call a good companion--I mean a pleasant
one."

"In the ordinary meaning of the words, he is certainly, my dear; yet you
soon tire of sentiments which will not stand the test of examination, and
of a manner you cannot but see is artificial. He may do very well for a
companion, but very ill for a friend; in short, Colonel Egerton has
neither been satisfied to yield to his natural impressions, nor to obtain
new ones from a proper source; he has copied from bad models, and his work
must necessarily be imperfect."

Kissing her niece, Mrs. Wilson then retired into her own room, with the
happy assurance that she had not labored in vain; but that, with divine
aid, she had implanted a guide in the bosom of her charge that could not
fail, with ordinary care, to lead her straight through the devious path of
female duties.



Chapter VII.



A Month now passed in the ordinary occupations and amusements of a country
life, during which both Lady Moseley and Jane manifested a desire to keep
up the deanery acquaintance, that surprised Emily a little, who had ever
seen her mother shrink from communications with those whose breeding
subjected her own delicacy, to the little shocks she could but ill
conceal. In Jane this desire was still more inexplicable; for Jane had, in
a decided way very common to her, avowed her disgust of the manners of
their new associates at the commencement of the acquaintance; and yet Jane
would now even quit her own society for that of Miss Jarvis, especially if
Colonel Egerton happened to be of the party The innocence of Emily
prevented her scanning the motives for the conduct of her sister; and she
set seriously about an examination into her own deportment to find the
latent cause, in order, wherever an opportunity should offer, to evince
her regret, had it been her misfortune, to have erred by the tenderness of
her own manner.

For a short time the colonel seemed at a loss where to make his choice;
but a few days determined him, and Jane was evidently the favorite. It is
true, that in the presence of the Jarvis ladies he was more guarded and
general in his attentions; but as John, from a motive of charity, had
taken the direction of the captain's sports into his own hands; and as
they were in the frequent habit of meeting at the Hall preparatory to
their morning excursion, the colonel suddenly became a sportsman. The
ladies would often accompany them in their morning excursions; and as
John would certainly be a baronet, and the colonel might not if his uncle
married, he had the comfort of being sometimes ridden, as well as of
riding.

One morning, having all prepared for an excursion on horseback, as they
stood at the door ready to mount, Francis Ives drove up in his father's
gig, and for a moment arrested the party. Francis was a favorite with the
whole Moseley family, and their greetings were warm and sincere. He found
they meant to take the rectory in their ride, and insisted that they
should proceed. "Clara would take a seat with him." As he spoke, the cast
of his countenance brought the color into the cheeks of his intended; she
suffered herself, however, to be handed into the vacant seat in the gig,
and they moved on. John, who was at the bottom good-natured, and loved
both Francis and Clara very sincerely, soon set Captain Jarvis and his
sister what he called "scrub racing," and necessity, in some measure,
compelled the rest of the equestrians to hard riding, in order to keep up
with the sports.

"That will do, that will do," cried John, casting his eye back, and
perceiving they had lost sight of the gig, and nearly so of Colonel
Egerton and Jane, "why you carry it off like a jockey, captain; better
than any amateur I have ever seen, unless indeed it be your sister."

The lady encouraged by his commendations, whipped on, followed by her
brother and sister at half speed.

"There, Emily," said John, quietly dropping by her side "I see no reason
you and I should break our necks, to show the blood of our horses. Now do
you know I think we are going to have a wedding in the family soon?"

Emily looked at him in amazement.

"Frank has got a living; I saw it the moment he drove up. He came in like
somebody. Yes, I dare say he has calculated the tithes already a dozen
times."

John was right. The Earl of Bolton had, unsolicited, given him the desired
living of his own parish; and Francis was at the moment pressing the
blushing Clara to fix the day that was to put a period to his long
probation. Clara, who had not a particle of coquetry about her, promised
to be his as soon as he was inducted, an event that was to take place the
following week; and then followed those delightful little arrangements and
plans with which youthful hope is so fond of filling up the void of life.

"Doctor," said John, as he came out of the rectory to assist Clara from
the gig, "the parson here is a careful driver; see, he has not turned a
hair."

He kissed the burning cheek of his sister as she touched the ground, and
whispered significantly.

"You need tell me nothing, my dear--I know all--I consent."

Mrs. Ives folded her future daughter to her bosom; and the benevolent
smile of the good rector, together with the kind and affectionate manner
of her sisters, assured Clara the approaching nuptials were anticipated,
as a matter of course. Colonel Egerton offered his compliments to Francis
on his preferment to the living, with the polish of high breeding, and not
without an appearance of interest; and Emily thought him for the first
time as handsome as he was generally reputed to be. The ladies undertook
to say something civil in their turn, and John put the captain, by a hint,
on the same track.

"You are quite lucky, sir," said the captain, "in getting so good a living
with so little trouble; I wish you joy of it with all my heart: Mr.
Moseley tells me it is a capital thing now for a gentleman of your
profession. For my part. I prefer a scarlet coat to a black one, but
there must be parsons you know, or how should we get married or say
grace?"

Francis thanked him for his good wishes, and Egerton paid a handsome
compliment to the liberality of the earl; "he doubted not he found that
gratification which always attends a disinterested act;" and Jane
applauded the sentiment with a smile.

The baronet, when he was made acquainted with the situation of affairs,
promised Francis that no unnecessary delay should intervene, and the
marriage was happily arranged for the following week. Lady Moseley, when
she retired to the drawing-room after dinner, commenced a recital of the
ceremony and company to be invited on the occasion. Etiquette and the
decencies of life were not only the forte, but the fault of this lady; and
she had gone on to the enumeration of about the fortieth personage in the
ceremonials, before Clara found courage to say, that "Mr. Ives and myself
both wish to be married at the altar, and to proceed to Bolton Rectory
immediately after the ceremony." To this her mother warmly objected; and
argument and respectful remonstrance had followed each other for some
time, before Clara submitted in silence, with difficulty restraining her
tears. This appeal to the better feelings of the mother triumphed; and the
love of parade yielded to love of her offspring. Clara, with a lightened
heart, kissed and thanked her, and accompanied by Emily left the room;
Jane had risen to follow them, but catching a glimpse of the tilbury of
Colonel Egerton she reseated herself.

He had merely driven over at the earnest entreaties of the ladies to beg
Miss Jane would accept a seat back with him; "they had some little project
on foot, and could not proceed without her assistance."

Mrs. Wilson looked gravely at her sister, as she smiled acquiescence to
his wishes; and the daughter, who but the minute before had forgotten
there was any other person in the world but Clara, flew for her hat and
shawl, in order, as he said to herself, that the politeness of Colonel
Egerton might not keep him waiting. Lady Moseley resumed her seat by the
side of her sister with an air of great complacency, as she returned from
the window, after having seen her daughter off. For some time each was
occupied quietly with her needle, when Mrs. Wilson suddenly broke the
silence by saying:

"Who is Colonel Egerton?"

Lady Moseley looked up for a moment in amazement, but recollecting
herself, answered,

"The nephew and heir of Sir Edgar Egerton, sister."

This was spoken in a rather positive way, as if it were unanswerable; yet
as there was nothing harsh in the reply, Mrs. Wilson continued,

"Do you not think him attentive to Jane?"

Pleasure sparkled in the still brilliant eyes of Lady Moseley, as she
exclaimed--

"Do you think so?"

"I do; and you will pardon me if I say improperly so. I think you were
wrong in suffering Jane to go with him this afternoon."

"Why improperly, Charlotte? If Colonel Egerton is polite enough to show
Jane such attentions, should I not be wrong in rudely rejecting them?"

"The rudeness of refusing a request that is improper to grant is a very
venial offence. I confess I think it improper to allow any attentions to
be forced on us that may subject us to disagreeable consequences; but the
attentions of Colonel Egerton are becoming marked, Anne."

"Do you for a moment doubt their being honorable, or that he dares to
trifle with a daughter of Sir Edward Moseley?"

"I should hope not, certainly, although it may be well to guard even
against such a misfortune. But I am of opinion it is quite as important to
know whether he is _worthy_ to be her husband as it is to know that he is
in a situation to become so."

"On what points, Charlotte, would you wish to be more assured? You know
his birth and probable fortune--you see his manners and disposition; but
these latter are things for Jane to decide on; _she_ is to live with him,
and it is proper she should be suited in these respects."

"I do not deny his fortune or his disposition, but I complain that we give
him credit for the last, and for still more important requisites, without
evidence of his possessing any of them. His principles, his habits, his
very character, what do we know of them? I say we, for you know, Anne,
your children are as dear to me as my own would have been."

"I believe you sincerely, but the things you mention are points for Jane
to decide on. If she be pleased, I have no right to complain. I am
determined never to control the affections of my children."

"Had you said, never _to force_ the affections of your children, you would
have said enough, Anne; but to control, or rather to guide the affections
of a child, especially a daughter, is, in some cases, a duty as imperative
as it would be to avert any other impending calamity. Surely the proper
time to do this is before the affections of the child are likely to
endanger her peace of mind."

"I have seldom seen much good result from the interference of parents,"
said Lady Moseley, a little pertinaciously.

"True; for to be of use, unless in extraordinary cases, it should not be
seen. You will pardon me, Anne, but I have often thought parents are too
often in extremes--determined to make the election for their children, or
leaving them entirely to their own vanity and inexperience, to govern not
only their own lives, but, I may say, to leave an impression on future
generations. And, after all, what is this love? In nineteen cases in
twenty of what we call affairs of the heart, it would be better to term
them affairs of the _imagination."_

"And is there not a great deal of imagination in all love?" inquired Lady
Moseley, smiling.

"Undoubtedly, there is some; but there is one important difference: in
affairs of the imagination, the admired object is gifted with all those
qualities we esteem, as a matter of course, and there is a certain set of
females who are ever ready to bestow this admiration on any applicant for
their favors who may not be strikingly objectionable. The necessity of
being courted makes our sex rather too much disposed to admire improper
suitors."

"But how do you distinguish affairs of the heart, Charlotte, from those of
the fancy?"

"When the heart takes the lead, it is not difficult to detect it. Such
sentiments generally follow long intercourse, and opportunities of judging
the real character. They are the only attachments that are likely to stand
the test of worldly trials."

"Suppose Emily to be the object of Colonel Egerton's pursuit, then,
sister, in what manner would you proceed to destroy the influence I
acknowledge he is gaining over Jane?"

"I cannot suppose such a case," said Mrs. Wilson, gravely; and then,
observing that her sister looked as if she required an explanation, she
continued--

"My attention has been directed to the forming of such principles, and
such a taste, if I may use the expression, under those principles, that I
feel no apprehension Emily will ever allow her affections to be ensnared
by a man of the opinions and views of Colonel Egerton. I am impressed with
a twofold duty in watching the feelings of my charge. She has so much
singleness of heart, such real strength of native feeling, that, should an
improper man gain possession of her affections, the struggle between her
duty and her love would be weighty indeed; and should it proceed so far as
to make it her duty to love an unworthy object, I am sure she would sink
under it. Emily would die in the same, circumstances under which Jane
would only awake from a dream, and be wretched."

"I thought you entertained a better opinion of Jane, sister," said Lady
Moseley, reproachfully.

"I think her admirably calculated to make an invaluable wife and mother;
but she is so much under the influence of her fancy, that she seldom gives
her heart an opportunity of displaying its excellences; and again, she
dwells so much upon imaginary perfections, that adulation has become
necessary to her. The man who flatters her delicately will be sure to win
her esteem; and every woman might love the being possessed of the
qualities she will not fail to endow him with."

"I do not know that I rightly understand how you would avert all these sad
consequences of improvident affections?" said Lady Moseley.

"Prevention is better than cure--I would first implant such opinions as
would lessen the danger of intercourse; and as for particular attentions
from improper objects, it should be my care to prevent them, by
prohibiting, or rather impeding, the intimacy which might give rise to
them. And least of all," said Mrs. Wilson, with a friendly smile, as she
rose to leave the room, "would I suffer a fear of being impolite to
endanger the happiness of a young woman intrusted to my care."



Chapter VIII.



Francis, who labored with the ardor of a lover, soon completed the
necessary arrangements and alterations in his new parsonage. The living
was a good one, and as the rector was enabled to make a very considerable
annual allowance from the private fortune his wife had brought him, and as
Sir Edward had twenty thousand pounds in the funds for each of his
daughters, one portion of which was immediately settled on Clara, the
youthful couple had not only a sufficient, but an abundant provision for
their station in life; and they entered on their matrimonial duties with
as good a prospect of happiness as the ills of this world can give to
health, affection, and competency. Their union had been deferred by Dr.
Ives until his son was established, with a view to keep him under his own
direction during the critical period of his first impressions in the
priesthood; and as no objection now remained, or rather, the only one he
ever felt was removed by the proximity of Bolton to his own parish, he now
joyfully united the lovers at the altar of the village church, in the
presence of his wife and Clara's immediate relatives. On leaving the
church Francis handed his bride into his own carriage, which conveyed them
to their new residence, amidst the good wishes of his parishioners, and
the prayers of their relatives and friends. Dr. and Mrs. Ives retired to
the rectory, to the sober enjoyment of the felicity of their only child;
while the baronet and his lady felt a gloom that belied all the wishes of
the latter for the establishment of her daughters. Jane and Emily acted as
bridesmaids to their sister, and as both the former and her mother had
insisted there should be two groomsmen as a counterpoise, John was
empowered with a carte-blanche to make a provision accordingly. At first
he intimated his intention of calling on Mr. Benfield, but he finally
settled down, to the no small mortification of the before-mentioned
ladies, into writing a note to his kinsman, Lord Chatterton, whose
residence was then in London, and who in reply, after expressing his
sincere regret that an accident would prevent his having the pleasure of
attending, stated the intention of his mother and two sisters to pay them
an early visit of congratulation, as soon as his own health would allow of
his travelling. This answer arrived only the day preceding that fixed for
the wedding, and at the very moment they were expecting his lordship in
proper person.

"There," cried Jane, in triumph, "I told you it was silly to send so far
on so sudden an occasion; now, after all, what is to be done--it will be
so awkward when Clara's friends call to see her--Oh! John, John, you are a
Marplot."

"Jenny, Jenny, you are a make-plot," said John, coolly taking up his hat
to leave the room.

"Which way, my son?" said the baronet, who met him at the door.

"To the deanery, sir, to try to get Captain Jarvis to act as bridesmaid--I
beg his pardon, groomsman, to-morrow--Chatterton has been thrown from a
horse and can't come.''

"John!"

"Jenny!"

"I am sure," said Jane, indignation glowing in her pretty face, "that if
Captain Jarvis is to be an attendant, Clara must excuse my acting. I do
not choose to be associated with Captain Jarvis."

"John," said his mother, with dignity, "your trifling is unseasonable;
certainly Colonel Egerton is a more fitting person on every account, and I
desire, under present circumstances, that you ask the colonel."

"Your ladyship's wishes are orders to me," said John, gaily kissing his
hand as he left the room.

The colonel was but too happy in having it in his power to be of service
in any manner to a gentleman he respected as much as Mr. Francis Ives. He
accepted the duty, and was the only person present at the ceremony who did
not stand within the bonds of consanguinity to the parties. He was invited
by the baronet to dine at the hall, as a matter of course, and
notwithstanding the repeated injunctions of Mrs. Jarvis and her daughters,
to return immediately with an account of the dress of the bride, and with
other important items of a similar nature, the invitation was accepted. On
reaching the hall, Emily retired immediately to her own room, and at her
reappearance when the dinner bell rang, the paleness of her cheeks and the
redness of her eyes afforded sufficient proof that the translation of a
companion from her own to another family was an event, however happy in
itself, not unmingled with grief. The day, however, passed off tolerably
well for people who are expected to be premeditatedly happy, and when, in
their hearts, they are really more disposed to weep than to laugh. Jane
and the colonel had most of the conversation to themselves during dinner:
even the joyous and thoughtless John wearing his gaiety in a less graceful
manner than usual. He was actually detected by his aunt in looking with
moistened eyes at the vacant chair a servant had, from habit, placed at
the table, in the spot where Clara had been accustomed to sit.

"This beef is not done, Saunders," said the baronet to his butler, "or my
appetite is not as good as usual to-day. Colonel Egerton, will you allow
me the pleasure of a glass of sherry?"

The wine was drunk, and the game succeeded the beef; but still Sir Edward
could not eat.

"How glad Clara will be to see us all the day after to-morrow," said Mrs.
Wilson; "your new housekeepers delight in their first efforts in
entertaining their friends."

Lady Moseley smiled through her tears, and turning to her husband said,
"We will go early, my dear, that we may see the improvements Francis has
been making before we dine." The baronet nodded assent, but his heart was
too full to speak; and apologizing to the colonel for his absence, on the
plea of some business with his people, he left the room.

All this time, the attentions of Colonel Egerton to both mother and
daughter were of the most delicate kind. He spoke of Clara as if his
office of groomsman entitled him to an interest in her welfare; with John
he was kind and sociable; and even Mrs. Wilson acknowledged, after he had
taken his leave, that he possessed a wonderful faculty of making himself
agreeable, and she began to think that, under all circumstances, he might
possibly prove as advantageous a connexion as Jane could expect to form.
Had any one, however, proposed him as a husband for Emily, affection would
have quickened her judgment in a way that would have urged her to a very
different decision.

Soon after the baronet left the room, a travelling carriage, with suitable
attendants, drove to the door; the sound of the wheels drew most of the
company to a window. "A baron's coronet!" cried Jane, catching a glimpse
of the ornaments of the harness.

"The Chattertons," echoed her brother, running out of the room to meet
them.

The mother of Sir Edward was a daughter of this family, and the sister of
the grandfather of the present lord. The connexion had always been kept up
with a show of cordiality between Sir Edward and his cousin, although
their manner of living and habits were very different. The baron was a
courtier and a placeman. His estates, which he could not alienate,
produced about ten thousand a year, but the income he could and did spend;
and the high perquisites of his situation under government, amounting to
as much more were melted away year after year, without making the pro
vision for his daughters that his duty and the observance of his promise
to his wife's father required at his hands. He had been dead about two
years, and his son found himself saddled with the support of an
unjointured mother and unportioned sisters. Money was not the idol the
young lord worshipped, nor even pleasure. He was affectionate to his
surviving parent, and his first act was to settle, during his own life,
two thousand a year on her, while he commenced setting aside as much more
for each of his sisters annually. This abridged him greatly in his own
expenditures; yet, as they made but one family, and the dowager was really
a _managing_ woman in more senses than one, they made a very tolerable
figure. The son was anxious to follow the example of Sir Edward Moseley,
and give up his town house, for at least a time; but his mother had
exclaimed, with something like horror, at the proposal:

"Chatterton, would you give it up at the moment it can be of the most use
to us?" and she threw a glance at her daughters that would have discovered
her motive to Mrs Wilson, which was lost on her son; he, poor soul,
thinking she found it convenient to support the interest he had been
making for the place held by his father one of more emolument than
service, or even honor. The contending parties were so equally matched,
that this situation was kept, as it were, in abeyance, waiting the arrival
of some acquisition of interest to one or other of the claimants. The
interest of the peer, however, had begun to lose ground at the period of
which we speak, and his careful mother saw new motives for activity in
providing for her children. Mrs. Wilson herself could not be more vigilant
in examining the candidates for Emily's favors than was the dowager Lady
Chatterton in behalf of her daughter. It is true, the task of the former
Jady was by far the most arduous, for it involved a study of character and
development of principle; while that of the latter would have ended with
the footing of a rent-roll, provided it contained five figures. Sir
Edward's was well known to contain that number, and two of them were not
ciphers. Mr. Benfield was rich, and John Moseley was a very agreeable
young man. Weddings are the season of love, thought the prudent dowager,
and Grace is extremely pretty. Chatterton, who never refused his mother
anything in his power to grant, and who was particularly dutiful when a
visit to Moseley Hall was in question, suffered himself to be persuaded
his shoulder was well, and they had left town the day before the wedding,
thinking to be in time for all the gaieties, if not for the ceremony
itself.

There existed but little similarity between the persons and manners of
this young nobleman and the baronet's heir. The beauty of Chatterton was
almost feminine; his skin, his color, his eyes, his teeth, were such as
many a belle had sighed after; and his manners were bashful and retiring.
Yet an intimacy had commenced between the boys at school, which ripened
into friendship between the young men at college, and had been maintained
ever since, probably as much from the contrarieties of character as from
any other cause. With the baron, John was more sedate than ordinary; with
John, Chatterton found unusual animation. But a secret charm which John
held over the young peer was his profound respect and unvarying affection
for his youngest sister, Emily. This was common ground; and no dreams of
future happiness, no visions of dawning wealth, crossed the imagination of
Chatterton in which Emily was not the fairy to give birth to the one, or
the benevolent dispenser of the hoards of the other.

The arrival of this family was a happy relief from the oppression which
hung on the spirits of the Moseleys, and their reception marked with the
mild benevolence which belonged to the nature of the baronet, and that
_impressement_ which so eminently distinguished the manners of his wife.

The honorable Misses Chatterton were both handsome; but the younger was,
if possible, a softened picture of her brother. There was the same
retiring bashfulness and the same sweetness of temper as distinguished the
baron, and Grace was the peculiar favorite of Emily Moseley. Nothing of
the strained or sentimental nature which so often characterize what is
called female friendships, however, had crept into the communications
between these young women. Emily loved her sisters too well to go out of
her own family for a repository of her griefs or a partaker in her joys.
Had her life been chequered with such passions, her own sisters were too
near her own age to suffer her to think of a confidence in which the holy
ties of natural affection did not give a claim to a participation. Mrs.
Wilson had found it necessary to give her charge very different views on
many subjects from those which Jane and Clara had been suffered to imbibe
of themselves; but in no degree had she impaired the obligations of filial
piety or family concord. Emily was, if anything, more respectful to her
parents, more affectionate to her friends, than any of her connexions; for
in her the warmth of natural feeling was heightened by an unvarying sense
of duty.

In Grace Chatterton she found, in many respects, a temper and taste
resembling her own. She therefore loved her better than others who had
equally general claims on her partiality, and as such a friend she now
received her with cordial and sincere affection.

Jane, who had not felt satisfied with the ordering of Providence for the
disposal of her sympathies, and had long felt a restlessness that prompted
her to look abroad for a confiding spirit to whom to communicate
her--secrets she had none that delicacy would suffer her to reveal--but to
communicate her crude opinions and reflections, she had early selected
Catherine for this person. Catherine, however, had not stood the test of
trial. For a short time the love of heraldry kept them together; but Jane,
finding her companion's gusto limited to the charms of the coronet and
supporters chiefly, abandoned the attempt in despair, and was actually on
the look-out for a new candidate for the vacant station as Colonel Egerton
came into the neighborhood. A really delicate female mind shrinks from the
exposure of its love to the other sex, and Jane began to be less anxious
to form a connexion which would either violate the sensibility of her
nature, or lead to treachery to her friend.

"I regret extremely, Lady Moseley," said the dowager, as they entered the
drawing-room, "that the accident which befel Chatterton should have kept
us until it was too late for the ceremony: we made it a point to hasten
with our congratulations, however, as soon as Astley Cooper thought it
safe for him to travel."

"I feel indebted for your kindness," replied the smiling hostess. "We are
always happy to have our friends around us, and none more than yourself
and family. We were fortunate in finding a friend to supply your son's
place, in order that the young people might go to the altar in a proper
manner. Lady Chatterton, allow me to present our friend, Colonel
Egerton"--adding, in a low tone, and with a little emphasis,--"heir to Sir
Edgar."

The colonel bowed gracefully, and the dowager dropped a hasty courtesy at
the commencement of the speech; but lower bend followed the closing
remark, and a glance of the eye was thrown in quest of her daughters, as
if she instinctively wished to bring them into what the sailors term "the
line of battle."



Chapter IX.



The following morning, Emily and Grace, declining the invitation to join
the colonel and John in their usual rides, walked to the rectory,
accompanied by Mrs. Wilson and Chatterton. The ladies felt a desire to
witness the happiness that they so well knew reigned in the rectory, for
Francis had promised his father to drive Clara over in the course of the
day. Emily longed to see Clara, from whom it appeared that she had been
already separated a month. Her impatience as they approached the house
hurried her ahead of her companions, who waited the more sober gait of
Mrs. Wilson. She entered the parlor at the rectory without meeting any
one, glowing with exercise, her hair falling over her shoulders, released
from the confinement of the hat she had thrown down hastily as she reached
the door. In the room there stood a gentleman in deep black, with his back
towards the entrance, intent on a book, and she naturally concluded it was
Francis.

"Where is dear Clara, Frank?" cried the beautiful girl, faying her hand
affectionately on his shoulder.

The gentleman turned suddenly, and presented to her astonished gaze the
well remembered countenance of the young man whose parent's death was not
likely to be forgotten at B----.

"I thought, sir," said Emily, almost sinking with confusion, "that Mr.
Francis Ives--"

"Your brother 'has not yet arrived, Miss Moseley," simply replied the
stranger, who felt for her embarrassment. "But I will immediately
acquaint Mrs. Ives with your visit." Bowing, he delicately left the room.

Emily, who felt greatly relieved by his manner, immediately confined her
hair in its proper bounds, and had recovered her composure by the time her
aunt and friends joined her. She had not time to mention the incident, and
laughed at her own precipitation, when the rector's wife came into the
room.

Chatterton and his sister were both known to Mrs. Ives, and both were
favorites. She was pleased to see them, and after reproaching the brother
with compelling her son to ask a favor of a comparative stranger, she
turned to Emily, and smilingly said--

"You found the parlor occupied, I believe?"

"Yes," said Emily, laughing and blushing, "I suppose Mr. Denbigh told you
of my heedlessness."

"He told me of your attention in calling so soon to inquire after Clara,
but said nothing more"--a servant just then telling her Francis wished to
see her, she excused herself and withdrew. In the door she met Mr.
Denbigh, who made way for her, saying, "your son has arrived, ma'am," and
in an easy but respectful manner he took his place with the guests, no
introduction passing, and none seeming necessary. His misfortunes appeared
to have made him acquainted with Mrs. Wilson, and his strikingly ingenuous
manner won insensibly on the confidence of those who heard him. Everything
was natural, yet everything was softened by education; and the little
party in the rector's parlor in fifteen minutes felt as if they had known
him for years. The doctor and his son now joined them. Clara had not come,
but she was looking forward in delightful expectation of to-morrow, and
wished greatly for Emily as a guest at the new abode. This pleasure Mrs.
Wilson promised she should have as soon as they had got over the hurry of
their visit; "our friends," she added, turning to Grace, "will overlook
the nicer punctilios of ceremony, where sisterly regard calls for the
discharge of more important duties. Clara needs the society of Emily just
now."

"Certainly," said Grace, mildly; "I hope no useless ceremony on the part
of Emily would prevent her manifesting natural attachment to her sister--I
should feel hurt at her not entertaining a better opinion of us than to
suppose so for a moment."

"This, young ladies, is the real feeling to keep alive esteem," cried the
doctor, gaily: "go on, and say and do nothing of which either can
disapprove, when tried by the standard of duty, and you need never be
afraid of losing a friend that is worth keeping."

It was three o'clock before the carriage of Mrs. Wilson arrived at the
rectory; and the time stole away insensibly in free and friendly
communications. Denbigh had joined modestly, and with the degree of
interest a stranger might be supposed to feel, in the occurrences of a
circle to which he was nearly a stranger; there was at times a slight
display of awkwardness, however, about both him and Mrs. Ives, for which
Mrs. Wilson easily accounted by recollections of his recent loss and the
scene they had all witnessed in that very room. This embarrassment escaped
the notice of the rest of the party. On the arrival of the carriage, Mrs.
Wilson took her leave.

"I like this Mr. Denbigh greatly," said Lord Chatterton, as they drove
from the door; "there is something strikingly natural and winning in his
manner."

"In his matter too, judging of the little we have seen of him," replied
Mrs. Wilson.

"Who is he, ma'am?"

"I rather suspect he is someway related to Mrs. Ives; her staying from
Bolton to-day must be owing to Mr. Denbigh, and as the doctor has just
gone he must be near enough to them to be neither wholly neglected nor yet
a tax upon their politeness. I rather wonder he did not go with them."

"I heard him tell Francis," remarked Emily, "that he could not think of
intruding, and he insisted on Mrs. Ives's going, but she had employments
to keep her at home."

The carriage soon reached an angle in the road where the highways between
Bolton Castle and Moseley Hall intersected each other, at a point on the
estate of the former. Mrs. Wilson stopped a moment to inquire after an
aged pensioner, who had lately met with a loss in business, which she was
fearful must have greatly distressed him. In crossing a ford in the little
river between his cottage and the market-town, the stream, which had been
swollen unexpectedly higher than usual by heavy rains, had swept away his
horse and cart loaded with the entire produce of his small field, and with
much difficulty he had saved even his own life. Mrs. Wilson had not had it
in her power until this moment to inquire particularly into the affair, or
to offer the relief she was ever ready to bestow on proper objects.
Contrary to her expectations, she found Humphreys in high spirits, showing
his delighted grand-children a new cart and horse which stood at the door,
and exultingly pointing out the excellent qualities of both. He ceased
talking on the approach of the party, and at the request of his ancient
benefactress he gave a particular account of the affair.

"And where did you get this new cart and horse, Humphreys?" inquired Mrs.
Wilson, when he had ended.

"Oh, madam, I went up to the castle to see the steward, and Mr. Martin
just mentioned my loss to Lord Pendennyss, ma'am, and my lord ordered me
this cart, ma'am, and this noble horse, and twenty golden guineas into
the bargain to put me on my legs again--God bless him for it, for ever!"

"It was very kind of his lordship, indeed," said Mrs. Wilson,
thoughtfully: "I did not know he was at the castle."

"He's gone, already, madam; the servants told me that he just called to
see the earl, on his way to Lon'on; but finding he'd went a few days agone
to Ireland my lord went for Lon'on, without stopping the night even. Ah!
madam," continued the old man, who stood leaning on a stick, with his hat
in his hand, "he's a great blessing to the poor; his servants say he gives
thousands every year to the poor who are in want--he is main rich, too;
some people say, much richer and more great like than the earl himself.
I'm sure I have need to bless him every day of my life."

Mrs. Wilson smiled mournfully as she wished Humphreys good day and put up
her purse, finding the old man so well provided for; a display or
competition in charity never entering into her system of benevolence.

"His lordship is munificent in his bounty," said Emily, as they drove from
the door.

"Does it not savor of thoughtlessness to bestow so much where he can know
so little?" Lord Chatterton ventured to inquire.

"He is," replied Mrs. Wilson, "as old Humphrey says, main rich; but the
son of the old man and the father of these children is a soldier in the
----th dragoons, of which the earl is colonel, and that accounts to me for
his liberality," recollecting, with a sigh, the feelings which had drawn
her out of the usual circle of her charities in the case of the same man.

"Did you ever see Lord Pendennyss, aunt?"

"Never, my dear; he has been much abroad, but my letters were filled with
his praises, and I confess my disappointment is great in not seeing him
on this visit to Lord Bolton who is his relation; but," fixing her eyes
thoughtfully on her niece, "we shall meet in London this winter, I trust."

As she spoke a cloud passed over her features, and she continued much
absorbed in thought for the remainder of their drive.

General Wilson had been a cavalry officer, and he commanded the very
regiment now held by Lord Pendennyss. In an excursion near the British
camp he had been rescued from captivity, if not from death, by a gallant
and timely interference of this young nobleman, then in command of a troop
in the same corps. He had mentioned the occurrence to his wife in his
letters, and from that day his correspondence was filled with the praises
of the bravery and goodness to the soldiery of his young comrade. When he
fell he had been supported from the field by, and he actually died in the
arms of the young peer. A letter announcing his death had been received by
his widow from the earl himself, and the tender and affectionate manner in
which he spoke of her husband had taken a deep hold on her affections. All
the circumstances together threw an interest around him that had made Mrs.
Wilson almost entertain the romantic wish he might be found worthy and
disposed to solicit the hand of Emily. Her anxious inquiries into his
character had been attended with such answers as flattered her wishes; but
the military duties of the earl or his private affairs had never allowed a
meeting; and she was now compelled to look forward to what John laughingly
termed their winter campaign, as the only probable place where she could
be gratified with the sight of a young man to whom she owed so much, and
whose name was connected with some of the most tender though most
melancholy recollections of her life.

Colonel Egerton, who now appeared to be almost domesticated in the
family, was again of the party at dinner, to the no small satisfaction of
the dowager, who from proper inquiries in the course of the day had
learned that Sir Edgar's heir was likely to have the necessary number of
figures in the sum total of his rental. While sitting in the drawing-room
that afternoon she made an attempt to bring her eldest daughter and the
elegant soldier together over a chess-board; a game the young lady had
been required to learn because it was one at which a gentleman could be
kept longer than any other without having his attention drawn away by any
of those straggling charms which might be travelling a drawing-room
"seeking whom they may devour." It was also a game admirably suited to the
display of a beautiful hand and arm. But the mother had for a long time
been puzzled to discover a way of bringing in the foot also, the young
lady being particularly remarkable for the beauty of that portion of the
frame. In vain her daughter hinted at dancing, an amusement of which she
was passionately fond. The wary mother knew too well the effects of
concentrated force to listen to the suggestion: dancing might do for every
manager, but she prided herself in acting _en masse_, like Napoleon, whose
tactics consisted in overwhelming by uniting his forces on a given point.
After many experiments in her own person she endeavored to improve
Catharine's manner of sitting, and by dint of twisting and turning she
contrived that her pretty foot and ankle should be thrown forward in a way
that the eye dropping from the move, should unavoidably rest on this
beauteous object; giving, as it were, a Scylla and Charybdis to her
daughter's charms.

John Moseley was the first person on whom she undertook to try the effect
of her invention; and after comfortably seating the parties she withdrew
to a little distance to watch the effect.

"Check to your king, Miss Chatterton," cried John, early in the game--and
the young lady thrust out her foot. "Check to _your_ king, Mr. Moseley,"
echoed the damsel, and John's eyes wandered from hand to foot and foot to
hand. "Check king and queen, sir."--"Check-mate."--"Did you speak?" said
John. Looking up he caught the eye of the dowager fixed on him in
triumph--"Oh, ho," said the young man, internally, "Mother Chatterton, are
you playing too?" and, coolly taking up his hat, he walked off, nor could
they ever get him seated at the game again.

"You beat me too easily, Miss Chatterton," he would say when pressed to
play, "before I have time to look up it's check-mate--excuse me."

The dowager next settled down into a more covert attack through Grace; but
here she had two to contend with: her own forces rebelled, and the war had
been protracted to the present hour with varied success, and at least
without any material captures, on one side.

Colonel Egerton entered on the duties of his dangerous undertaking with
the indifference of foolhardiness. The game was played with tolerable
ability by both parties; but no emotions, no absence of mind could be
discovered on the part of the gentleman. Feet and hands were in motion;
still the colonel played as well as usual; he had answers for all Jane's
questions, and smiles for his partner; but no check-mate could she obtain,
until wilfully throwing away an advantage he suffered the lady to win the
game. The dowager was satisfied nothing could be done with the colonel.



Chapter X.



The first carriages that rolled over the lawn to Bolton parsonage, on the
succeeding day, were those of the baronet and his sister; the latter in
advance.

"There, Francis," cried Emily, who was impatiently waiting for him to
remove some slight obstruction to her alighting, "thank you, thank you;
that will do."

In the next moment she was in the extended arms of Clara. After pressing
each other to their bosoms for a few moments in silence, Emily looked up,
with a tear glistening in her eye, and first noticed the form of Denbigh,
who was modestly withdrawing, as if unwilling to intrude on such pure and
domestic feelings as the sisters were betraying, unconscious of the
presence of a witness. Mrs. Wilson and Jane, followed by Miss Chatterton,
now entered, and cordial salutes and greetings flowed upon Clara from her
various friends.

The baronet's coach reached the door; it contained himself and wife, Mr.
Benfield, and Lady Chatterton. Clara stood on the portico of the building,
ready to receive them; her face all smiles, and tears, and blushes, and
her arm locked in that of Emily.

"I wish you joy of your new abode, Mrs. Francis." Lady Moseley forgot her
form, and bursting into tears, she pressed her daughter with ardor to her
bosom.

"Clara, my love!" said the baronet, hastily wiping his eyes, and
succeeding his wife in the embrace of their child. He kissed her, and,
pressing Francis by the hand, walked into the house in silence.

"Well, well," cried the dowager, as she saluted her cousin, "all looks
comfortable and genteel here, upon my word, Mrs. Ives: grapery--
hot-houses--everything in good style too; and Sir Edward tells me the
living is worth a good five hundred a year."

"So, girl, I suppose you expect a kiss," said Mr. Benfield who ascended
the steps slowly, and with difficulty. "Kissing has gone much out of
fashion lately. I remember, on the marriage of my friend, Lord Gosford, in
the year fifty-eight, that all the maids and attendants were properly
saluted in order. The lady Juliana was quite young then; not more than
fifteen: it was there I got my first salute from her--but--so--kiss me."
After which he continued, as they went into the house, "Marrying in that
day was a serious business. You might visit a lady a dozen times before
you could get a sight of her naked hand. Who's that?" stopping short, and
looking earnestly at Denbigh, who now approached them.

"Mr. Denbigh, sir," said Clara, "my uncle, Mr. Benfield."

"Did you ever know, sir, a gentleman of your name, who sat in the
parliament of this realm in the year sixty?" Mr. Benfield abruptly asked,
as soon as the civilities of the introduction were exchanged. "You don't
look much like him."

"That was rather before my day, sir," said Denbigh, with a smile,
respectfully offering-to relieve Clara, who supported him on one side,
while Emily held his arm on the other.

The old gentleman was particularly averse to strangers, and Emily was in
terror lest he should say something rude; but, after examining Denbigh
again from head to foot, he took the offered arm, and coolly replied--

"True; very true; that was sixty years ago; you can hardly recollect as
long. Ah! Mr. Denbigh, times are sadly altered since my youth. People who
were then glad to ride on a pillion now drive their coaches; men who
thought ale a luxury, drink their port; aye! and those who went barefoot
must have their shoes and stockings, too. Luxury, sir, and the love of
ease, will ruin this mighty empire. Corruption has taken hold of
everything; the ministry buy the members, he members buy the ministry;
everything is bought and sold. Now, sir, in the parliament in which I had
the honor of a seat, there was a knot of us, as upright as posts, sir. My
Lord Gosford was one, and General Denbigh was another, although I can't
say he was much a favorite with me. You do not look in the least like him.
How was he related to you, sir?"

"He was my grandfather," replied Denbigh, looking pleasantly at Emily, as
if to tell her he understood the character of her uncle.

Had the old man continued his speech an hour longer, Denbigh would not
have complained. They had stopped while talking, and he thus became
confronted with the beautiful figure that supported the other arm. Denbigh
contemplated in admiration the varying countenance which now blushed with
apprehension, and now smiled in affection, or even with an archer
expression, as her uncle proceeded in his harangue on the times. But all
felicity in this world has an end, as well as misery. Denbigh retained the
recollection of that speech long after Mr. Benfield was comfortably seated
in the parlor, though for his life he could not recollect a word he had
said.

The Haughtons, the Jarvises, and a few more of their intimate
acquaintances, arrived, and the parsonage had a busy air; but John, who
had undertaken to drive Grace Chatterton in his own phaeton, was yet
absent. Some little anxiety had begun to be manifested, when he appeared,
dashing through the gates at a great rate, and with the skill of a member
of the four-in-hand.

Lady Chatterton had begun to be seriously uneasy, and she was about to
speak to her son to go in quest of them, as they came in sight; but now
her fears vanished, and she could only suppose that a desire to have Grace
alone could keep one who bad the reputation of a Jehu so much behind the
rest of the party. She met them in great spirits, crying,

"Upon my word, Mr. Moseley, I began to think you had taken the road to
Scotland, you stayed so long."

"Your daughter, my Lady Chatterton," said John, pithily, "would go to
Scotland neither with me nor any other man, or I am greatly deceived in
her character. Glara, my sister, how do you do?" He saluted the bride with
great warmth and affection.

"But what detained you, Moseley?" inquired the mother.

"One of the horses was restive, and he broke the harness. We merely
stopped in the village while it was mended."

"And how did Grace behave?" asked Emily, laughing.

"Oh, a thousand times better than you would, sister; as she always does,
and like an angel."

The only point in dispute between Emily and her brother was her want of
faith in his driving; while poor Grace, naturally timid, and unwilling to
oppose any one, particularly the gentleman who then held the reins, had
governed herself sufficiently to be silent and motionless. Indeed, she
could hardly do otherwise had she wished it, so great was his impetuosity
of character; and John felt flattered to a degree of which he was himself
unconscious. Self-complacency, aided by the merit, the beauty, and the
delicacy of the young lady herself, might have led to the very results her
mother so anxiously wished to produce, had that mother been satisfied with
letting things take their course. But managers very generally overdo their
work.

"Grace _is_ a good girl," said her gratified mother; "and you found her
very valiant, Mr. Moseley?"

"Oh, as brave as Cæsar," answered John, carelessly, in a way that was not
quite free from irony.

Grace, whose burning cheek showed but too plainly that praise from John
Moseley was an incense too powerful for her resistance, now sank back
behind some of the company, endeavoring to conceal the tears that almost
gushed from her eyes. Denbigh was a silent spectator of the whole scene,
and he now considerately observed, that he had lately seen an improvement
which would obviate the difficulty Mr. Moseley had experienced. John
turned to the speaker, and they were soon engaged in the discussion of
curbs and buckles, when the tilbury of Colonel Egerton drove to the door,
containing himself and his friend the captain.

The bride undoubtedly received congratulations that day more sincere than
those which were now offered, but none were delivered in a more graceful
and insinuating manner than the compliments which fell from Colonel
Egerton. He passed round the room, speaking to his acquaintances, until he
arrived at the chair of Jane, who was seated next her aunt. Here he
stopped, and glancing his eye round, and saluting with bows and smiles the
remainder of the party, he appeared fixed at the centre of all attraction.

"There is a gentleman I think I have never seen before," he observed, to
Mrs. Wilson, casting his eyes on Denbigh, whose back was towards him in
discourse with Mr. Benfield.

"It is Mr. Denbigh, of whom you heard us speak," replied Mrs. Wilson.
While she spoke, Denbigh faced them. Egerton started as he caught a view
of his face, and seemed to gaze on the countenance which was open to his
inspection with an earnestness that showed an interest of some kind, but
of a nature that was inexplicable to Mrs. Wilson, who was the only
observer of this singular recognition; for such it evidently was. All was
now natural in the colonel for the moment; his color sensibly changed, and
there was an expression of doubt in his face. It might be fear, it might
be horror, it might be a strong aversion; it clearly was not love. Emily
sat by her aunt, and Denbigh approached them, making a cheerful remark. It
was impossible for the colonel to avoid him had he wished it, and he kept
his ground. Mrs. Wilson thought she would try the experiment of an
introduction.

"Colonel Egerton--Mr. Denbigh."

Both gentlemen bowed, but nothing striking was seen in the deportment of
either. The colonel, who was not exactly at ease, said hastily--

"Mr. Denbigh is, or has been in the army, I believe."

Denbigh was now taken by surprise in his turn: he cast a look on Egerton
of fixed and settled meaning; then carelessly observed, but still as if
requiring an answer:

"I am yet; but I do not recollect having had the pleasure of meeting with
Colonel Egerton on service."

"Your countenance is familiar, sir," replied the colonel, coldly; "but at
this moment I cannot tax my memory with the place of-our meeting, though
one sees so many strange faces in a campaign, that they come and go like
shadows."

He then changed the conversation. It was some time, however, before either
gentleman entirely recovered his ease--and many days elapsed ere anything
like intercourse passed between them. The colonel attached himself during
this visit to Jane, with occasional notices of the Misses Jarvis, who
began to manifest symptoms of uneasiness at the decided preference he
showed to a lady they now chose to look upon, in some measure, as a rival.

Mrs. Wilson and her charge, on the other hand, were entertained by the
conversation of Chatterton and Denbigh, relieved by occasional sallies
from the lively John. There was something in the person and manners of
Denbigh that insensibly attracted those whom chance threw in his way. His
face was not strikingly handsome, but it was noble; and when he smiled, or
was much animated, it invariably communicated a spark of his own
enthusiasm to the beholder. His figure was faultless; his air and manner,
if less easy than those of Colonel Egerton, were more sincere and
ingenuous; his breeding was clearly higher; his respect for others rather
bordering on the old school. But in his voice there existed a charm which
would make him, when he spoke, to a female ear, almost resistless: it was
soft, deep, melodious, and winning.

"Baronet," said the rector, looking with a smile towards his son and
daughter, "I love to see my children happy, and Mrs. Ives threatens a
divorce if I go on in the manner I have commenced. She says I desert her
for Bolton."

"Why, doctor, if our wives conspire against us, and prevent our enjoying a
comfortable dish of tea with Clara, or a glass of wine with Frank, we must
call in the higher authorities as umpires. What say you, sister? Is a
parent to desert his child in any case?"

"My opinion is," said Mrs. Wilson, with a smile, yet speaking with
emphasis, "that a parent is _not_ to desert a child, in any case or in any
manner."

"Do you hear that, my Lady Moseley?" cried the good-humored baronet.

"Do you hear that, my Lady Chatterton?" echoed John, who had just taken a
seat by Grace, when her mother approached them.

"I hear it, but do not see the application, Mr. Moseley."

"No, my lady! Why, there is the honorable Miss Chatterton almost dying to
play a game of her favorite chess with Mr. Denbigh. She has beaten us all
but him, and her triumph will not be complete until she has him too at her
feet."

And as Denbigh politely offered to meet the challenge, the board was
produced, and the parties were seated. Lady Chatterton stood leaning over
her daughter's chair, with a view, however, to prevent any of those
consequences she was generally fond of seeing result from this amusement;
every measure taken by this prudent mother being literally governed by
judicious calculation.

"Umph," thought John, as he viewed the players, while listening with
pleasure to the opinions of Grace, who had recovered her composure and
spirits; "Kate, after all, has played one game without using her feet."



Chapter XI.



Ten days or a fortnight flew swiftly by, during which Mrs. Wilson suffered
Emily to give Clara a week, having first ascertained that Denbigh was a
settled resident at the rectory, and thereby not likely to be oftener at
the House of Francis than at the hall, where he was a frequent and welcome
guest, both oh his own account and as a friend of Doctor Ives. Emily had
returned, and she brought the bride and groom with her; when one evening
as they were pleasantly seated at their various amusements, with the ease
of old acquaintances, Mr. Haughton entered. It was at an hour rather
unusual for his visits; and throwing down his hat, after making the usual
inquiries, he began without preface--

"I know, good people, you are all wondering what has brought me out this
time of night, but the truth is, Lucy has coaxed her mother to persuade me
into a ball in honor of the times; so, my lady, I have consented, and my
wife and daughter have been buying up all the finery in B----, by the way,
I suppose, of anticipating their friends. There is a regiment of foot come
into barracks within fifteen miles of us, and to-morrow I must beat up for
recruits among the officers--girls are never wanting on such occasions."

"Why," cried the baronet, "you are growing young again, my friend."

"No, Sir Edward, but my daughter is young, and life has so many cares that
I am willing she should get rid of as many as she can at my expense."

"Surely you would not wish her to dance them away," said Mrs. Wilson;
"such relief I am afraid will prove temporary."

"Do you disapprove of dancing, ma'am?" said Mr. Haughton, who held her
opinions in great respect as well as a little dread.

"I neither approve nor disapprove of it--jumping up and down is innocent
enough in itself, and if it must be done it is well it were done
gracefully; as for the accompaniments of dancing I say nothing--what do
you say, Doctor Ives?"

"To what, my dear madam?"

"To dancing."

"Oh let the girls dance if they enjoy it."

"I am glad you think so, doctor," cried the delighted Mr. Haughton; I was
afraid I recollected your advising your son never to dance nor to play at
games of chance."

"You thought right, my friend," said the doctor, laying down his
newspaper; "I did give that advice to Frank, whom you will please to
remember is now rector of Bolton. I do not object to dancing as not
innocent in itself or as an elegant exercise; but it is like drinking,
generally carried to excess: now as a Christian I am opposed to all
excesses; the music and company lead to intemperance in the recreation,
and they often induce neglect of duties--but so may anything else."

"I like a game of whist, doctor, greatly," said Mr. Haughton; "but
observing that you never play, and recollecting your advice to Mr.
Francis, I have forbidden cards when you are my guest"

"I thank you for the compliment, good sir," replied the doctor, with a
smile; "still I would much rather see you play cards than hear you talk
scandal, as you sometimes do."

"Scandal!" echoed Mr. Haughton.

"Ay, scandal," said the doctor, coolly, "such as the remark you made the
last time, which was only yesterday, I called to see you. You accused Sir
Edward of being wrong in letting that poacher off so easily; the baronet,
you said, did not shoot himself, and did not know how to prize game as he
ought."

"Scandal, Doctor--do you call that scandal? why I told Sir Edward so
himself, two or three times."

"I know you did, and that was rude."

"Rude! I hope sincerely Sir Edward has put no such construction on it?"

The baronet smiled kindly, and shook his head.

"Because the baronet chooses to forgive your offences, it does not alter
their nature," said the doctor, gravely: "no, you must repent and amend;
you impeached his motives for doing a benevolent act, and that I call
scandal."

"Why, doctor, I was angry the fellow should be let loose; he is a pest to
all the game in the county, and every sportsman will tell you so--here,
Mr. Moseley, you know Jackson, the poacher."

"Oh! a poacher is an intolerable wretch!" cried Captain Jarvis.

"Oh! a poacher," echoed John, looking drolly at Emily, "hang all
poachers."

"Poacher or no poacher, does not alter the scandal," said the doctor; "now
let me tell you, good sir, I would rather play at fifty games of whist
than make one such speech, unless indeed it interfered with my duties;
now, sir, with your leave I'll explain myself as to my son. There is an
artificial levity about dancing that adds to the dignity of no man: from
some it may detract: a clergyman for instance is supposed to have other
things to do, and it might hurt him in the opinions of those with whom his
influence is necessary, and impair his usefulness; therefore a clergyman
should never dance. In the same way with cards; they are the common
instruments of gambling, and an odium is attached to them on that account;
women and clergymen must respect the prejudices of mankind in some cases,
or lose their influence in society."

"I did hope to have the pleasure of your company, doctor, said Mr.
Haughton, hesitatingly.

"And if it will give you pleasure," cried the rector, "you shall have it
with all my heart, good sir; it would be a greater evil to wound the
feelings of such a neighbor as Mr. Haughton, than to show my face once at
a ball," and rising, he laid his hand on the shoulder of the other kindly.
"Both your scandal and rudeness are easily forgiven; but I wished to show
you the common error of the world which has attached odium to certain
things, while it charitably overlooks others of a more heinous nature."

Mr. Haughton, who had at first been a little staggered with the attack of
the doctor, recovered himself, and laying a handful of notes on the table,
hoped he should have the pleasure of seeing every body. The invitation was
generally accepted, and the worthy man departed, happy if his friends did
but come, and were pleased.

"Do you dance, Miss Moseley?" inquired Denbigh of Emily, as he sat
watching her graceful movements in netting a purse for her father.

"Oh, yes! the doctor said nothing of us girls, you know I suppose he
thinks we have no dignity to lose."

"Admonitions are generally thrown away on young ladies when pleasure is in
the question," said the doctor, with a look of almost paternal affection.

"I hope you do not seriously disapprove of it in moderation," said Mrs.
Wilson.

"That depends, madam, upon circumstances; if it is to be made subsidiary
to envy, malice, coquetry, vanity, or any other such little lady-like
accomplishment, it certainly had better be let alone. But in moderation,
and with the feelings of my little pet here, I should be cynical, indeed,
to object."

Denbigh appeared lost in his own ruminations during this dialogue; and as
the doctor ended, he turned to the captain, who was overlooking a game of
chess between the colonel and Jane, of which the latter had become
remarkably fond of late, playing with her hands and eyes instead of her
feet--and inquired the name of the corps in barracks at F----.

"The ----th foot, sir," replied the captain, haughtily, who neither
respected him, owing to his want of consequence, nor loved him, from the
manner in which Emily listened to his conversation.

"Will Miss Moseley forgive a bold request," said Denbigh, with some
hesitation.

Emily looked up from her work in silence, but with some little flutterings
at the heart.

"The honor of her hand for the first dance," continued Denbigh, observing
she was in expectation that he would proceed.

Emily laughingly said, "Certainly, Mr. Denbigh, if you can submit to the
degradation."

The London papers now came in, and most of the gentlemen sat down to their
perusal. The colonel, however, replaced the men for a second game, and
Denbigh still kept his place beside Mrs. Wilson and her niece. The
manners, the sentiments, the whole exterior of this gentleman were such as
both the taste and judgment of the aunt approved of; his qualities were
those which insensibly gained on the heart, and yet Mrs. Wilson noticed,
with a slight uneasiness, the very evident satisfaction her niece took in
his society. In Dr. Ives she had great confidence, yet Dr. Ives was a
friend, and probably judged him favorably; and again, Dr. Ives was not to
suppose he was introducing a candidate for the hand of Emily in every
gentleman he brought to the hall. Mrs. Wilson had seen too often the ill
consequences of trusting to impressions received from inferences of
companionship, not to know the only safe way was to judge for ourselves:
the opinions of others might be partial--might be prejudiced--and many an
improper connexion had been formed by listening to the sentiments of those
who spoke without interest, and consequently without examination. Not a
few matches are made by this idle commendation of others, uttered by those
who are respected, and which are probably suggested more by a desire to
please than by reflection or even knowledge. In short Mrs. Wilson knew
that as our happiness chiefly interests ourselves, so it was to ourselves,
or to those few whose interest was equal to our own, we could only trust
those important inquiries necessary to establish a permanent opinion of
character. With Doctor Ives her communications on subjects of duty were
frequent and confiding, and although she sometimes thought his benevolence
disposed him to be rather too lenient to the faults of mankind, she
entertained a profound respect for his judgment. It had great influence
with her, if it were not always conclusive; she determined, therefore, to
have an early conversation with him on the subject so near her heart, and
be in a great measure regulated by his answers in the steps to be
immediately taken. Every day gave her what he thought melancholy proof of
the ill consequences of neglecting a duty, in the increasing intimacy of
Colonel Egerton and Jane.

"Here, aunt," cried John, as he ran over a paper, "is a paragraph relating
to your favorite youth, our trusty and well beloved cousin the Earl of
Pendennyss."

"Read it," said Mrs. Wilson, with an interest his name never failed to
excite.

"We noticed to-day the equipage of the gallant Lord Pendennyss before the
gates of Annandale-house, and understand the noble earl is last from
Bolton castle, Northamptonshire."

"A very important fact," said Captain Jarvis, sarcastically; "Colonel
Egerton and myself got as far as the village, to pay our respects to him,
when we heard he had gone on to town."

"The earl's character, both as a man and a soldier," observed the colonel,
"gives him a claim to our attentions that his rank would not: on that
account we would have called."

"Brother," said Mrs. Wilson, "you would oblige me greatly by asking his
lordship to waive ceremony; his visits to Bolton castle will probably be
frequent, now we have peace; and the owner is so much from home that we
may never see him without some such invitation."

"Do you want him as a husband for Emily?" cried John, as he gaily seated
himself by the side of his sister.

Mrs. Wilson smiled at an observation which reminded her of one of her
romantic wishes; and as she raised her head to reply in the same tone, met
the eye of Denbigh fixed on her with an expression that kept her silent.
This is really an incomprehensible young man in some respects, thought the
cautious widow, his startling looks on the introduction to the colonel
crossing her mind at the same time; and observing the doctor opening the
door that led to the baronet's library, Mrs. Wilson, who generally acted
as soon as she had decided, followed him. As their conversations were
known often to relate to the little offices of charity in which they both
delighted, the movement excited no surprise, and she entered the library
with the doctor uninterrupted.

"Doctor," said Mrs. Wilson, impatient to proceed to the point, "you know
my maxim, prevention is better than cure, This young friend of yours is
very interesting."

"Do you feel yourself in danger?" said the rector, smiling.

"Not very imminent," replied the lady, laughing good-naturedly. Seating
herself, she continued, "Who is he? and who was his father, if I may ask?"

"George Denbigh, madam, both father and son," said the doctor, gravely.

"Ah, doctor, I am almost tempted to wish Frank had been a girl. You know
what I wish to learn."

"Put your questions in order, dear madam," said the doctor, in a kind
manner, "and they shall be answered."

"His principles?"

"So far as I can learn, they are good. His acts, as they have come to my
notice, are highly meritorious, and I hope they originated in proper
motives. I have seen but little of him of late years, however, and on this
head you are nearly as good a judge as myself. His filial piety," said the
doctor, dashing a tear from his eye, and speaking with fervor, "was
lovely."

"His temper--his disposition?"

"His temper is under great command, although naturally ardent; his
disposition eminently benevolent towards his fellow-creatures."

"His connexions?"

"Suitable," said the doctor, gravely.

His fortune was of but little moment. Emily would be amply provided, for
all the customary necessaries of her station; and, thanking the divine,
Mrs. Wilson returned to the parlor, easy in mind, and determined to let
things take their own course for a time, but in no degree to relax the
vigilance of her observation.

On her return to the room, Mrs. Wilson observed Denbigh approach Egerton,
and enter into conversation of a general nature. It was the first time
anything more than unavoidable courtesies had passed between them. The
colonel appeared slightly uneasy under his novel situation, while, on the
other hand, his companion showed an anxiety to be on a more friendly
footing than heretofore. There was something mysterious in the feelings
manifested by both these gentlemen that greatly puzzled the good lady; and
from its complexion, she feared one or the other was not entirely free
from censure. It could not have been a quarrel, or their names would have
been familiar, to each other. They had both served in Spain, she knew, and
excesses were often committed by gentlemen at a distance from home their
pride would have prevented where they were anxious to maintain a
character. Gambling, and a few other prominent vices, floated through her
imagination, until, wearied of conjectures where she had no data, and
supposing, after all, it might be only her imagination, the turned to more
pleasant reflections.



Chapter XII.



The bright eyes of Emily Moseley unconsciously wandered round the
brilliant assemblage at Mr. Haughton's, as she took her seat, in search of
her partner. The rooms were filled with scarlet coats, and belles from the
little town of F----; and if the company were not the most select
imaginable, it was disposed to enjoy the passing moment cheerfully and in
lightness of heart. Ere, however, she could make out to scan the
countenances of the men, young Jarvis, decked in the full robes of his
dignity, as captain in the ----th foot, approached and solicited the honor
of her hand. The colonel had already secured her sister, and it was by the
instigation of his friend, Jarvis had been thus early in his application.
Emily thanked him, and pleaded her engagement. The mortified youth, who
had thought dancing with the ladies a favor conferred on them, from the
anxiety his sister always manifested to get partners, stood for a few
moments in sullen silence; and then, as if to be revenged on the sex, he
determined not to dance the whole evening. Accordingly, he withdrew to a
room appropriated to the gentlemen, where he found a few of the military
beaux, keeping alive the stimulus they had brought with them from the
mess-table.

Clara had prudently decided to comport herself as became a clergyman's
wife, and she declined dancing altogether. Catherine Chatterton was
entitled to open the ball, as superior in years and rank to any who were
disposed to enjoy the amusement. The dowager, who in her heart loved to
show her airs upon such occasions, had chosen to be later than the rest
of the family; and Lucy had to entreat her father to have patience more
than once during the interregnum in their sports created by Lady
Chatterton's fashion. This lady at length appeared, attended by her son,
and followed by her daughters, ornamented in all the taste of the reigning
fashions Doctor Ives and his wife, who came late from choice, soon
appeared, accompanied by their guest, and the dancing commenced, Denbigh
had thrown aside his black for the evening, and as he approached to claim
her promised hand, Emily thought him, if not as handsome, much more
interesting than Colonel Egerton, who just then passed them while leading
her sister to the set. Emily danced beautifully, but perfectly like a
lady, as did Jane; but Denbigh, although graceful in his movements and in
time, knew but little of the art; and but for the assistance of his
partner, he would have more than once gone wrong in the figure. He very
gravely asked her opinion of his performance as he handed her to a chair,
and she laughingly told him his movements were but a better sort of march.
He was about to reply, when Jarvis approached. By the aid of a pint of
wine and his own reflections, the youth wrought himself into something of
a passion, especially as he saw Denbigh enter, after Emily had declined
dancing with himself. There was a gentleman in the corps who unfortunately
was addicted to the bottle, and he had fastened on Jarvis as a man at
leisure to keep him company. Wine openeth the heart, and the captain
having taken a peep at the dancers, and seen the disposition of affairs,
returned to his bottle companion, bursting with the indignity offered to
his person. He dropped a hint, and a question or two brought the whole
grievance forth.

There is a certain set of men in every service who imbibe extravagant
notions that are revolting to humanity, and which too often prove to be
fatal in their results. Their morals are never correct, and the little
they have set loosely about them. In their own cases, their appeals to
arms are not always so prompt; but in that of their friends, their
perceptions of honor are intuitively keen, and their inflexibility in
preserving it from reproach unbending; and such is the weakness of
mankind, their "tenderness on points where the nicer feelings of a soldier
are involved, that these machines of custom, these thermometers graduated
to the scale of false honor, usurp the place of reason and benevolence,
and become too often the arbiters of life and death to a whole corps.
Such, then, was the confidant to whom Jarvis communicated the cause of his
disgust, and the consequences may easily be imagined. As he passed Emily
and Denbigh, he threw a look of fierceness at the latter, which he meant
as an indication of his hostile intentions. It was lost on his rival, who
at that moment was filled with passions of a very different kind from
those which Captain Jarvis thought agitated his own bosom; for had his new
friend let him alone, the captain would have gone quietly home and gone to
sleep.

"Have you ever fought?" said Captain Digby coolly to his companion, as
they seated themselves in his father's parlor, whither they had retired to
make their arrangements for the following morning.

"Yes," said Jarvis, with a stupid look, "I fought once with Tom Halliday
at school."

"At school! My dear friend, you commenced young indeed," said Digby,
helping himself to another glass. "And how did it end?"

"Oh! Tom got the better, and so I cried enough," said Jarvis, surlily.

"Enough! I hope you did not flinch," eyeing him keenly "Where were you
hit?"

"He hit me all over."

"All over! The d---l! Did you use small shot? How did you fight?"

"With fists," said Jarvis, yawning.

His companion, seeing how matters were, rang for his servant to put him to
bed, remaining himself an hour longer to finish the bottle.

Soon after Jarvis had given Denbigh the look big with his intended
vengeance, Colonel Egerton approached Emily, asking permission to present
Sir Herbert Nicholson, the lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, and a
gentleman who was ambitious of the honor of her acquaintance; a particular
friend of his own. Emily gracefully bowed her assent. Soon after, turning
her eyes on Denbigh, who had been speaking to her at the moment, she saw
him looking intently on the two soldiers, who were making their way
through the crowd to the place where she sat. He stammered, said something
she could not understand, and precipitately withdrew; and although both
she and her aunt sought his figure in the gay throng that flitted around
them, he was seen no more that evening.

"Are you acquainted with Mr. Denbigh?" said Emily to her partner, after
looking in vain to find his person in the crowd.

"Denbigh! Denbigh! I have known one or two of that name" replied the
gentleman. "In the army there are several."

"Yes," said Emily, musing, "he is in the army;" and looking up, she saw
her companion reading her countenance with an expression that brought the
color to her cheeks with a glow that was painful. Sir Herbert smiled, and
observed that the room was warm. Emily acquiesced in the remark, for the
first time in her life conscious of a feeling she was ashamed to have
scrutinized, and glad of any excuse to hide her confusion.

"Grace Chatterton is really beautiful to-night," whispered John Moseley
to his sister Clara. "I have a mind to ask her to dance."

"Do, John." replied his sister, looking with pleasure on her beautiful
cousin, who, observing the movements of John as he drew near where she
sat, moved her face on each side rapidly, in search of some one who was
apparently not to be found. Her breathing became sensibly quicker, and
John was on the point of speaking to her as the dowager stepped in between
them. There is nothing so flattering to the vanity of a man as the
discovery of emotions in a young woman excited by himself, and which the
party evidently wishes to conceal; there is nothing so touching, so sure
to captivate; or, if it seem to be affected, so sure to disgust.

"Now, Mr. Moseley," cried the mother, "you shall not ask Grace to dance!
She can refuse you nothing, and she has been up the last two figures."

"Your wishes are irresistible, Lady Chatterton," said John, coolly turning
on his heel. On gaining the other side of the room, he turned to
reconnoitre the scene. The dowager was fanning herself as violently as if
_she_ had been up the last two figures instead of her daughter, while
Grace sat with her eyes fastened on the floor, paler than usual. "Grace,"
thought the young man, "would be very handsome--very sweet--very--very
everything that is agreeable, if--if it were not for Mother Chatterton."
He then led out one of the prettiest girls in the room.

Col. Egerton was peculiarly fitted to shine in a ball room. He danced
gracefully and with spirit; was perfectly at home with all the usages of
the best society, and was never neglectful of any of those little
courtesies which have their charm for the moment; and Jane Moseley, who
saw all those she loved around her, apparently as happy as herself, found
in her judgment or the convictions of her principles, no counterpoise
against the weight of such attractions, all centred as it were in one
effort to please herself. His flattery was deep for it was respectful--his
tastes were her tastes--his opinions her opinions. On the formation of
their acquaintance they differed on some trifling point of poetical
criticism, and for near a month the colonel had maintained his opinion
with a show of firmness; but opportunities not wanting for the discussion,
he had felt constrained to yield to her better judgment, her purer taste.
The conquest of Colonel Egerton was complete, and Jane who saw in his
attentions the submission of a devoted heart, began to look forward to the
moment with trembling that was to remove the thin barrier that existed
between the adulation of the eyes and the most delicate assiduity to
please, and the open confidence of declared love. Jane Moseley had a heart
to love, and to love strongly; her danger existed in her imagination: it
was brilliant, unchastened by her judgment, we had almost said unfettered
by her principles. Principles such as are found in every-day maxims and
rules of conduct sufficient to restrain her within the bounds of perfect
decorum she was furnished with in abundance; but to that principle which
was to teach her submission in opposition to her wishes, to that principle
that could alone afford her security against the treachery of her own
passions, she was an utter stranger.

The family of Sir Edward were, among the first to retire, and as the
Chattertons had their own carriage, Mrs. Wilson and her charge returned
alone in the coach of the former. Emily, who had been rather out of
spirits the latter-part of the evening, broke the silence by suddenly
observing,

"Colonel Egerton is, or soon will be, a perfect hero!"

Her aunt somewhat surprised, both with the abruptness and with the
strength of the remark, inquired her meaning.

"Oh, Jane will make him one, whether or not."

This was spoken with an air of vexation which she was unused to, and Mrs.
Wilson gravely corrected her for speaking in a disrespectful manner of her
sister, one whom neither her years nor-situation entitled her in any
measure to advise or control. There was an impropriety in judging so near
and dear a relation harshly, even in thought. Emily pressed the hand of
her aunt and tremulously acknowledged her error; but she added, that she
felt a momentary irritation at the idea of a man of Colonel Egerton's
character gaining the command over feelings such as her sister possessed.
Mrs. Wilson kissed the cheek of her niece, while she inwardly acknowledged
the probable truth of the very remark she had thought it her duty to
censure. That the imagination of Jane would supply her lover with those
qualities she most honored herself, she believed was taken as a matter of
course; and that when the veil she had helped to throw before her own eyes
was removed, she would cease to respect, and of course cease to love him,
when too late to remedy the evil, she greatly feared. But in the
approaching fate of Jane she saw new cause to call forth her own activity.

Emily Moseley had just completed her eighteenth year, and was gifted by
nature with a vivacity and ardency of feeling that gave a heightened zest
to the enjoyments of that happy age. She was artless but intelligent;
cheerful, with a deep conviction of the necessity of piety; and uniform in
her practice of all the important duties. The unwearied exertions of her
aunt, aided by her own quickness of perception, had made her familiar with
the attainments suitable to her sex and years. For music she had no taste,
and the time which would have been thrown away in endeavoring to cultivate
a talent she did not possess, was dedicated under the discreet guidance of
her aunt, to works which had a tendency both to qualify her for the
duties of this life, and fit her for that which comes hereafter. It might
be said Emily Moseley had never read a book that contained a sentiment or
inculcated an opinion improper for her sex or dangerous to her morals; and
it was not difficult for those who knew the fact, to fancy they could
perceive the consequences in her guileless countenance and innocent
deportment. Her looks--her actions--her thoughts, wore as much of nature
as the discipline of her well-regulated mind and softened manners could
admit. In person she was of the middle size, exquisitely formed, graceful
and elastic in her step, without, however, the least departure from her
natural movements; her eye was a dark blue, with an expression of joy and
intelligence; at times it seemed all soul, and again all heart; her color
was rather high, but it varied with every emotion of her bosom; her
feelings were strong, ardent, and devoted to those she loved. Her
preceptress had never found it necessary to repeat an admonition of any
kind, since her arrival at years to discriminate between the right and the
wrong.

"I wish," said Doctor Ives to his wife, the evening his son had asked
their permission to address Clara, "Francis had chosen my little Emily."

"Clara is a good girl," replied his wife; "she is so mild, so
affectionate, that I doubt not she will make him happy--Frank might have
done worse at the Hall."

"For himself he has done well, I hope," said the father, "a young woman of
Clara's heart may make any man happy but a union with purity, sense,
principles, like those of Emily would be more--it would be blissful."

Mrs. Ives smiled at her husband's animation. "You remind me more of the
romantic youth I once knew than of the grave divine. There is but one man
I know that I could wish to give Emily to; it is Lumley. If Lumley sees
her, he will woo her; and if he wooes, he will win her."

"And Lumley I believe to be worthy of her," cried the rector, now taking
up a candle to retire for the night.



Chapter XIII.



The following day brought a large party of the military _elegants_ to the
Hall, in acceptance of the baronet's hospitable invitation to dinner. Lady
Moseley was delighted; so long as her husband's or her children's interest
had demanded a sacrifice of her love of society it had been made without a
sigh, almost without a thought. The ties of affinity in her were sacred;
and to the happiness, the comfort of those in which she felt an interest,
there were few sacrifices of her own propensities she would not cheerfully
have made: it was this very love of her offspring that made her anxious to
dispose of her daughters in wedlock. Her own marriage had been so happy,
that she naturally concluded it the state most likely to ensure the
happiness of her children; and with Lady Moseley, as with thousands of
others, who averse or unequal to the labors of investigation, jump to
conclusions over the long line of connecting reasons, marriage was
marriage, a husband was a husband. It is true there were certain
indispensables, without which the formation of a connexion was a thing she
considered not within the bounds of nature. There must be fitness in
fortune, in condition, in education, and manners; there must be no glaring
evil, although she did not ask for positive good. A professor of religion
herself, had any one told her it was a duty of her calling to guard
against a connexion with any but a Christian for her girls, she would have
wondered at the ignorance that would embarrass the married state, with
feelings exclusively belonging to the individual. Had any one told her it
were possible to give her child to any but a gentleman, she would have
wondered at the want of feeling that could devote the softness of Jane or
Emily, to the association with rudeness or vulgarity. It was the
misfortune of Lady Moseley to limit her views of marriage to the scene of
this life, forgetful that every union gives existence to a long line of
immortal beings, whose future welfare depends greatly on the force of
early examples, or the strength of early impressions.

The necessity for restriction in their expenditures had ceased, and the
baronet and his wife greatly enjoyed the first opportunity their secluded
situation had given them, to draw around their board their
fellow-creatures of their own stamp. In the former, it was pure
philanthropy; the same feeling urged him to seek out and relieve distress
in humble life; while in the latter it was love of station and seemliness.
It was becoming the owner of Moseley Hall, and it was what the daughters
of the Benfield family had done since the conquest.

"I am extremely sorry," said the good baronet at dinner, "Mr. Denbigh
declined our invitation to-day; I hope he will yet ride over in the
evening."

Looks of a singular import were exchanged between Colonel Egerton and Sir
Herbert Nicholson, at the mention of Denbigh's name; which, as the latter
had just asked the favor of taking wine with Mrs. Wilson, did not escape
her notice. Emily had innocently mentioned his precipitate retreat the
night before; and he had, when reminded of his engagement to dine with
them that very day, and promised an introduction to Sir Herbert Nicholson
by John, in her presence, suddenly excused himself and withdrawn. With an
indefinite suspicion of something wrong, she ventured, therefore, to
address Sir Herbert Nicholson.

"Did you know Mr. Denbigh, in Spain?"

"I told Miss Emily Moseley, I believe, last evening, that I knew some of
the name," replied the gentleman evasively; then pausing a moment, he
added with great emphasis, "there is a circumstance connected with _one_
of that name, I shall ever remember."

"It was creditable, no doubt, Sir Herbert," cried young Jarvis,
sarcastically. The soldier affected not to hear the question, and asked
Jane to take wine with him. Lord Chatterton, however, putting his knife
and fork down gravely, and with a glow of animation, observed with unusual
spirit,

"I have no doubt it was, sir."

Jarvis in his turn, affected not to hear this speech, and nothing farther
was said, as Sir Edward saw that the name of Mr. Denbigh excited a
sensation amongst his guests for which he was unable to account, and which
he soon forgot himself.

After the company had retired, Lord Chatterton, however, related to the
astonished and indignant family of the baronet the substance of the
following scene, of which he had been a witness that morning, while on a
visit to Denbigh at the rectory. They had been sitting in the parlor by
themselves, over their breakfast, when a Captain Digby was announced.

"I have the honor of waiting upon you, Mr. Denbigh," said the soldier,
with the stiff formality of a professed duellist, "on behalf of Captain
Jarvis, but will postpone my business until you are at leisure," glancing
his eye on Chatterton.

"I know of no business with Captain Jarvis," said Denbigh, politely
handing the stranger a chair, "to which Lord Chatterton cannot be privy;
if he will excuse the interruption. The nobleman bowed, and Captain Digby,
a little awed by the rank of Denbigh's friend, proceeded in a more
measured manner.

"Captain Jarvis has empowered me, sir, to make any arrangement with
yourself or friend, previously to your meeting, which he hopes may be as
soon as possible, if convenient to yourself," replied the soldier, coolly.

Denbigh viewed him for a moment with astonishment, in silence; when
recollecting himself, he said mildly, and without the least agitation, "I
cannot affect, sir, not to understand your meaning, but am at a loss to
imagine what act of mine can have made Mr. Jarvis wish to make such an
appeal."

"Surely Mr. Denbigh cannot think a man of Captain Jarvis's spirit can
quietly submit to the indignity put upon him last evening, by your dancing
with Miss Moseley, after she had declined the honor to himself," said the
captain, affecting an incredulous smile. "My Lord Chatterton and myself
can easily settle the preliminaries, as Captain Jarvis is much disposed to
consult your wishes, sir, in this affair."

"If he consults my wishes," said Denbigh, smiling, "he will think no more
about it."

"At what time, sir, will it be convenient to give him the meeting?" then,
speaking with a kind of bravado gentlemen of his cast are fond of
assuming, "my friend would not hurry any settlement of your affairs."

"I can never meet Captain Jarvis with hostile intentions," replied
Denbigh, calmly.

"Sir!"

"I decline the combat, sir," said Denbigh, with more firmness.

"Your reasons, sir, if you please?" asked Captain Digby compressing his
lips, and drawing up with an air of personal interest.

"Surely," cried Chatterton, who had with difficulty estrained his
feelings, "surely Mr. Denbigh could never so far forget himself as
cruelly' to expose Miss Moseley by accepting this invitation."

"Your reason, my lord," said Denbigh, with interest, "would at all times
have its weight; but I wish not to qualify an act of what I conceive to be
principle by any lesser consideration. I cannot meet Captain Jarvis, or
any other man, in private combat. There can exist no necessity for an
appeal to arms in any society where the laws rule, and I am averse to
bloodshed."

"Very extraordinary," muttered Captain Digby, somewhat at a loss how to
act; but the calm and collected manner of Denbigh prevented a reply; and
after declining a cup of tea, a liquor he never drank, he withdrew, saying
he would acquaint his friend with Mr. Denbigh's singular notions.

Captain Digby had left Jarvis at an inn, about half a mile from the
rectory, for the convenience of receiving early information of the result
of his conference. The young man had walked up and down the room during
Digby's absence, in a train of reflections entirely new to him. He was the
only son of his aged father and mother, the protector of his sisters, and,
he might say, the sole hope of a rising family; and then, possibly,
Denbigh might not have meant to offend him--he might even have been
engaged before they came to the house; or if not, it might have been
inadvertence on the part of Miss Moseley. That Denbigh would offer some
explanation he believed, and he had fully made up his mind to accept it,
let it be what it might, as his fighting friend entered.

"Well," said Jarvis, in a tone that denoted anything but a consciousness
that all _was_ well.

"He says he will not meet you," dryly exclaimed his friend, throwing
himself into a chair, and ordering a glass of randy and water.

"Not meet me!" exclaimed Jarvis, in surprise. "Engaged, perhaps?"

"Engaged to his d--d conscience."

"To his conscience! I do not know whether I rightly understand you,
Captain Digby," said Jarvis, catching his breath, and raising his voice a
very little.

"Then, Captain Jarvis," said his friend, tossing off his brandy, and
speaking with great deliberation, "he says that nothing--understand
me--_nothing_ will ever make him fight a duel."

"He will not!" cried Jarvis, in a loud voice.

"No, he will not," said Digby, handing his glass to the waiter for a fresh
supply.

"He shall, by----!"

"I don't know how you will make him."

"Make him! I'll--I'll post him."

"Never do that," said the captain, turning to him, as he leaned his elbows
on the table. "It only makes both parties ridiculous. But I'll tell you
what you may do. There's a Lord Chatterton who takes the matter up with
warmth. If I were not afraid of his interests hurting my promotion, I
should have resented something that fell from him myself. He will fight, I
dare say, and I'll just return and require an explanation of his words on
your behalf."

"No, no," said Jarvis, rather hastily; "he--_he_ is related to the
Moseleys, and I have views there it might injure."

"Did you think to forward your views by making the young lady the subject
of a duel?" asked Captain Digby sarcastically, and eyeing his companion
with contempt.

"Yes, yes," said Jarvis; "it would certainly hurt my views."

"Here's to the health of His Majesty's gallant ---- regiment of foot!"
cried Captain Digby, in a tone of irony, when three-quarters drunk, at the
mess-table, that evening, "and to its champion, Captain Henry Jarvis!"

One of the corps was present accidentally as a guest; and the following
week, the inhabitants of F---- saw the regiment in their barracks,
marching to slow time after the body of Horace Digby.

Lord Chatterton, in relating the part of the foregoing circumstances which
fell under his observation, did ample justice to the conduct of Denbigh; a
degree of liberality which did him no little credit, as he plainly saw in
that gentleman he had, or soon would have, a rival in the dearest wish of
his heart; and the smiling approbation with which his cousin Emily
rewarded him for his candor almost sickened him with apprehension. The
ladies were not slow in expressing their disgust at the conduct of Jarvis,
or backward in their approval of Denbigh's forbearance. Lady Moseley
turned with horror from a picture in which she could see nothing but
murder and bloodshed; but both Mrs. Wilson and her niece secretly
applauded a sacrifice of worldly feelings on the altar of duty; the former
admiring the consistent refusal of admitting any collateral inducements,
in explanation of his decision: the latter, while she saw the act in its
true colors, could hardly help believing that a regard for _her_ feelings
had, in a trifling degree, its influence in inducing him to decline the
meeting. Mrs. Wilson saw at once what a hold such unusual conduct would
take on the feelings of her niece, and inwardly determined to increase, if
possible, the watchfulness she had invariably observed on all he said or
did, as likely to elucidate his real character, well knowing that the
requisites to bring or to keep happiness in the married state were
numerous and indispensable; and that the display of a particular
excellence, however good in itself, was by no means conclusive as to
character; in short, that we perhaps as often meet with a favorite
principle as with a besetting sin.



Chapter XIV.



Sir Edward Moseley had some difficulty in restraining the impetuosity of
his son, who was disposed to resent this impertinent interference of young
Jarvis with the conduct of his favorite sister; indeed, the young man only
yielded to his profound respect to his father's commands, aided by a
strong representation on the part of his sister of the disagreeable
consequences of connecting her name with such a quarrel. It was seldom the
good baronet felt himself called on to act as decidedly as on the present
occasion. He spoke to the merchant in warm, but gentleman-like terms, of
the consequences which might have resulted to his own child from the
intemperate act of his son; exculpated Emily entirely from censure, by
explaining her engagement to dance with Denbigh, previously to Captain
Jarvis's application; and hinted the necessity, if the affair was not
amicably terminated, of protecting the peace of mind of his daughters
against any similar exposures, by declining the acquaintance of a neighbor
he respected as much as Mr. Jarvis.

The merchant was a man of few words, but of great promptitude. He had made
his fortune, and more than once saved it, by his decision; and assuring
the baronet he should hear no more of it, he took his hat and hurried home
from the village, where the conversation passed. On arriving at his own
house, he found the family collected in the parlor for a morning ride, and
throwing himself into a chair, he broke out on the whole party with great
violence.

"So, Mrs. Jarvis," he cried, "you _would_ spoil a very tolerable
book-keeper, by wishing to have a soldier in your family; and there stands
the puppy who would have blown out the brains of a deserving young man, if
the good sense of Mr. Denbigh had not denied him the opportunity."

"Mercy!" cried the alarmed matron, on whom Newgate (for her early life had
been passed near its walls), with all its horrors, floated, and a
contemplation of its punishments had been her juvenile lessons of
morality--"Harry! Harry! would you commit murder?"

"Murder!" echoed her son, looking askance, as if dodging the bailiffs.
"No, mother; I wanted nothing but what was fair. Mr. Denbigh would have
had an equal chance to blow out my brains; I am sure everything would have
been fair."

"Equal chance!" muttered his father, who had cooled himself, in some
measure, by an extra pinch of snuff. "No, sir, you have no brains to lose.
But I have promised Sir Edward that you shall make proper apologies to
himself, to his daughter, and to Mr. Denbigh." This was rather exceeding
the truth, but the alderman prided himself on performing rather more than
he promised.

"Apology!" exclaimed the captain. "Why, sir, the apology is due to me. Ask
Colonel Egerton if he ever heard of apologies being made by the
challenger."

"No, sure," said the mother, who, having made out the truth of the matter,
thought it was likely enough to be creditable to her child; "Colonel
Egerton never heard of such a thing. Did you, colonel?"

"Why, madam," said the colonel, hesitatingly, and politely handing the
merchant his snuff-box, which, in his agitation, had fallen on the floor,
"circumstances sometimes justify a departure from ordinary measures. You
are certainly right as a rule; but not knowing the particulars in the
present case, it is difficult for me to decide. Miss Jarvis, the tilbury
is ready."

The colonel bowed respectfully to the merchant, kissed his hand to his
wife, and led their daughter to his carriage.

"Do you make the apologies?" asked Mr. Jarvis, as the door closed.

"No, sir," replied the captain, sullenly

"Then you must make your pay answer for the next sit months," cried the
father, taking a signed draft on his banker from his pocket, coolly
tearing it in two pieces, carefully putting the name in his mouth, and
chewing it into a ball.

"Why, alderman," said his wife (a name she never used unless she had
something to gain from her spouse, who loved to hear the appellation after
he had relinquished the office), "it appears to me that Harry has shown
nothing but a proper spirit. You are unkind--indeed you are."

"A proper spirit? In what way? Do you know anything of the matter?"

"It is a proper spirit for a soldier to fight, I suppose," said the wife,
a little at a loss to explain.

"Spirit, or no spirit, apology, or ten and sixpence."

"Harry," said his mother, holding up her finger in a menacing attitude, as
soon as her husband had left the room (for he had last spoken with the
door in his hand), "if you _do_ beg his pardon, you are no son of mine."

"No," cried Miss Sarah, "nor any brother of mine. I would be insufferably
mean."

"Who will pay my debts?" asked the son, looking up at the ceiling.

"Why, I would, my child, if--if--I had not spent my own allowance."

"I would," echoed the sister; "but if we go to Bath, you know, I shall
want all my money."

"Who will pay my debts?" repeated the son.

"Apology, indeed! Who is he, that you, a son of Alderman--of--Mr. Jarvis,
of the deanery, B----, North 'amptonshire, should beg his pardon--a
vagrant that nobody knows!"

"Who will pay my debts?" again inquired the captain drumming with his
foot."

"Harry," exclaimed the mother, "do you love money better than honor--a
soldier's honor?"

"No, mother; but I like good eating and drinking. Think mother; it's a
cool five hundred, and that's a famous deal of money."

"Harry," cried the mother, in a rage, "you are not fit for a soldier. I
wish I were in your place."

"I wish, with all my heart, you had been for an hour this morning,"
thought the son. After arguing for some time longer, they compromised, by
agreeing to leave it to the decision of Colonel Egerton, who, the mother
did not doubt, would applaud her maintaining; the Jarvis dignity, a family
in which he took quite as much interest as he felt for his own--so he had
told her fifty times. The captain, however, determined within himself to
touch the five hundred, let the colonel decide as he might; but the
colonel's decision obviated all difficulties. The question was put to him
by Mrs. Jarvis, on his return from the airing, with no doubt the decision
would be favorable to her opinion. The colonel and herself, she said,
never disagreed; and the lady was right--for wherever his interest made it
desirable to convert Mrs. Jarvis to his side of the question, Egerton had
a manner of doing it that never failed to succeed.

"Why, madam," said he, with one of his most agreeable smiles, "apologies
are different things, at different times. You are certainly right in your
sentiments, as relates to a proper spirit in a soldier; but no one can
doubt the spirit of the captain, after the stand he took in this affair;
if Mr. Denbigh would not meet him (a very extraordinary measure, in deed,
I confess), what can your son do more? He cannot _make_ a man fight
against his will, you know."

"True, true," cried the matron, impatiently, "I do not want him to fight;
heaven forbid! but why should he, the challenger, beg pardon? I am sure,
to have the thing regular, Mr. Denbigh is the one to ask forgiveness."

The colonel felt at a little loss how to reply, when Jarvis, in whom the
thoughts of the five hundred pounds had worked a revolution, exclaimed--

"You know, mother, I accused him--that is, I suspected him of dancing with
Miss Moseley against my right to her; now you find that it was all a
mistake, and so I had better act with dignity, and confess my error."

"Oh, by all means," cried the colonel, who saw the danger of an
embarrassing rupture between the families, otherwise: "delicacy to _your_
sex particularly requires that, ma'am, from your son;" and he accidentally
dropped a letter as he spoke.

"From Sir Edgar, colonel?" asked Mrs. Jarvis, as he stooped to pick it up.

"From Sir Edgar, ma'am, and he begs to be remembered to yourself and all
of your amiable family."

Mrs. Jarvis inclined her body, in what she intended for a graceful bend,
and sighed--a casual observer might have thought, with maternal anxiety
for the reputation of her child--but it was conjugal regret, that the
political obstinacy of the alderman had prevented his carrying up an
address, and thus becoming Sir Timothy. Sir Edgar's heir prevailed, and
the captain received permission to do what he had done several hours
before.

On leaving the room, after the first discussion, and before the appeal,
the captain had hastened to his father with his concessions. The old
gentleman knew too well the influence of five hundred pounds to doubt the
effect in the present in stance, and he had ordered his carriage for the
excursion It came, and to the hall they proceeded. The captain found his
intended antagonist, and in a rather uncouth manner, he made the required
concession. He was restored to his former favor--no great distinction--and
his visits to the hall were suffered, but with a dislike Emily could never
conquer, nor at all times conceal.

Denbigh was occupied with a book, when Jarvis commenced his speech to the
baronet and his daughter, and was apparently too much engaged with its
contents, to understand what was going on, as the captain blundered
through. It was necessary, the captain saw by a glance of his father's
eyes, to say something to that gentleman, who had delicately withdrawn to
a distant window. His speech was consequently made here too, and Mrs.
Wilson could not avoid stealing a look at them. Denbigh smiled, and bowed
in silence. It is enough, thought the widow; the offence was not against
him, it was against his Maker; he should not arrogate to himself, in any
manner, the right to forgive, or to require apologies--the whole is
consistent. The subject was never afterwards alluded to: Denbigh appeared
to have forgotten it; and Jane sighed gently, as she devoutly hoped the
colonel was not a duellist.

Several days passed before the deanery ladies could sufficiently forgive
the indignity their family had sustained, to resume the customary
intercourse. Like all other grievances, where the passions are chiefly
interested, it was forgotten in time, however, and things were put in some
measure on their former footing. The death of Digby served to increase the
horror of the Moseleys, and Jarvis himself felt rather uncomfortable, on
more accounts than one, at the fatal termination of the unpleasant
business.

Chatterton, who to his friends had not hesitated to avow his attachment to
his cousin, but who had never proposed for her, as his present views and
fortune were not, in his estimation, sufficient for her proper support,
had pushed every interest he possessed, and left no steps unattempted an
honorable man could resort to, to effect his object. The desire to provide
for his sisters had been backed by the ardor of a passion that had reached
its crisis; and the young peer who could not, in the present state of
things, abandon the field to a rival so formidable as Denbigh, even to
further his views to preferment, was waiting in anxious suspense the
decision on his application. A letter from his friend informed him, his
opponent was likely to succeed; that, in short, all hopes of success had
left him. Chatterton was in despair. On the following day, however, he
received a second letter from the same friend, unexpectedly announcing his
appointment. After mentioning the fact, he went on to say--"The cause of
this sudden revolution in your favor is unknown to me, and unless your
lordship has obtained interest I am ignorant of, it is one of the most
singular instances of ministerial caprice I have ever known." Chatterton
was as much at a loss as his friend, to understand the affair; but it
mattered not; he could now offer to Emily--it was a patent office of great
value, and a few years would amply portion his sisters. That very day,
therefore, he proposed, and was refused.

Emily had a difficult task to avoid self-reproach, in regulating her
deportment on this occasion. She was fond of Chatterton as a relation--as
her brother's friend--as the brother of Grace, and even on his own
account; but it was the fondness of a sister. His manner--his words,
which, although never addressed to herself, were sometimes overheard
unintentionally, and sometimes reached her through her sisters, had left
her in no doubt of his attachment; she was excessively grieved at the
discovery, and had innocently appealed to her aunt for directions how to
proceed. Of his intentions she had no doubt, but at the same time he had
not put her in a situation to dispel his hopes; as to encouragement, in
the usual meaning of the term, she gave none to him, nor to any one else.
There are no little attentions that lovers are fond of showing to their
mistresses, and which mistresses are fond of receiving, that Emily ever
permitted to any gentleman--no rides--no walks--no tête-à-têtes. Always
natural and unaffected, there was a simple dignity about her that forbade
the request, almost the thought, in the gentlemen of her acquaintance: she
had no amusements, no pleasures of any kind in which her sisters were not
her companions; and if anything was on the carpet that required an
attendant, John was ever ready. He was devoted to her; the decided
preference she gave him over every other man, upon such occasions,
flattered his affection; and he would, at any time, leave even Grace
Chatterton to attend his sister. All this too was without affectation, and
generally without notice. Emily so looked the delicacy and reserve she
acted with so little ostentation that not even her own sex had affixed to
her conduct the epithet of squeamish; it was difficult, therefore, for her
to do anything which would show Lord Chatterton her disinclination to his
suit, without assuming a dislike she did not feel, or giving him slights
that neither good breeding nor good nature could justify. At one time,
indeed, she had expressed a wish to return to Clara; but this Mrs. Wilson
thought would only protract the evil, and she was compelled to wait his
own time. The peer himself did not rejoice more in his ability to make the
offer, therefore, than Emily did to have it in her power to decline it.
Her rejection was firm and unqualified, but uttered with a grace and a
tenderness to his feelings, that bound her lover tighter than ever in her
chains, and he resolved on immediate flight as his only recourse.

"I hope nothing unpleasant has occurred to Lord Chatterton," said Denbigh,
with great interest, as he reached the spot where the young peer stood
leaning his head against a tree, on his way from the rectory to the hall.

Chatterton raised his face as he spoke: there were evident traces of tears
on it, and Denbigh, greatly shocked, was about to proceed as the other
caught his arm.

"Mr. Denbigh," said the young man, in a voice almost choked with emotion,
"may you never know the pain I have felt this morning. Emily--Emily
Moseley--is lost to me--for ever."

For a moment the blood rushed to the face of Denbigh, and his eyes flashed
with a look that Chatterton could not stand. He turned, as the voice of
Denbigh, in those remarkable tones which distinguished it from every other
voice he had ever heard, uttered--

"Chatterton, my lord, we are friends, I hope--I wish it; from my heart."

"Go, Mr. Denbigh--go. You were going to Miss Moseley--do not let me detain
you."

"I am going with _you_, Lord Chatterton, unless you forbid it," said
Denbigh, with emphasis, slipping his arm through that of the peer.

For two hours they walked together in the park; and when they appeared at
dinner, Emily wondered why Mr. Denbigh had taken a seat next to her
mother, instead of his usual place between herself and her aunt. In the
evening, he announced his intention of leaving B---- for a short time
with Lord Chatterton. They were going to London together; but he hoped to
return within ten days. This sudden determination caused some surprise;
but, as the dowager supposed it was to secure the new situation, and the
remainder of their friends thought it might be business, it was soon
forgotten, though much regretted for the time. The gentlemen left the hall
that night to proceed to an inn, from which they could obtain a chaise and
horses; and the following morning, when the baronet's family assembled
around their social breakfast, they were many miles on the road to the
metropolis.



Chapter XV.



Lady Chatterton, finding that little was to be expected in her present
situation, excepting what she looked forward to from the varying
admiration of John Moseley to her youngest daughter, determined to accept
an invitation of Borne standing to a nobleman's seat about fifty miles
from the hall, and, in order to keep things in their proper places, to
leave Grace with her friends, who had expressed a wish to that effect.
Accordingly, the day succeeding the departure of her son, she proceeded on
her expedition, accompanied by her willing assistant in the matrimonial
speculations.

Grace Chatterton was by nature retiring and delicate; but her feelings
were acute, and on the subject of female propriety sensitive to a degree,
that the great want of it in a relation she loved as much as her mother
had possibly in some measure increased. Her affections were too single in
their objects to have left her long in doubt as to their nature with
respect to the baronet's son; and it was one of the most painful orders
she had ever received, that which compelled her to accept her cousin's
invitation. Her mother was peremptory, however, and Grace was obliged to
comply. Every delicate feeling she possessed revolted at the step: the
visit itself was unwished for on her part; but there did exist a reason
which had reconciled her to that--the wedding of Clara. But now to remain,
after all her family had gone, in the house where resided the man who had
as yet never solicited those affections she had been unable to withhold,
it was humiliating--it was degrading her in her own esteem, and she could
scarcely endure it.

It is said that women are fertile in inventions to further their schemes
of personal gratification, vanity, or even mischief. It may be it is true;
but the writer of these pages is a man--one who has seen much of the other
sex, and he is happy to have an opportunity of paying a tribute to female
purity and female truth. That there are hearts so disinterested as to lose
the considerations of self, in advancing the happiness of those they love;
that there are minds so pure as to recoil with disgust from the admission
of deception, indelicacy, or management, he knows; for he has seen it from
long and close examination. He regrets that the very artlessness of those
who are most pure in the one sex, subjects them to the suspicions of the
grosser-materials which compose the other He believes that innocency,
singleness of heart, ardency of feeling, and unalloyed, shrinking
delicacy, sometimes exist in the female bosom, to an extent that but few
men are happy enough to discover, and that most men believe incompatible
with the frailties of human nature. Grace Chatterton possessed no little
of what may almost be called this ethereal spirit and a visit to Bolton
parsonage was immediately proposed by her to Emily. The latter, too
innocent herself to suspect the motives of her cousin, was happy to be
allowed to devote a fortnight to Clara, uninterrupted by the noisy round
of visiting and congratulations which had attended her first week; and
Mrs. Wilson and the two girls left the hall the same day with the Dowager
Lady Chatterton. Francis and Clara were happy to receive them, and they
were immediately domesticated in their new abode. Doctor Ives and his wife
had postponed an annual visit to a relation of the former on account of
the marriage of their son, and they now availed themselves of this visit
to perform their own engagement. B---- appeared in some measure deserted,
and Egerton had the field almost to himself. Summer had arrived, and the
country bloomed in all its luxuriance of vegetation: everything was
propitious to the indulgence of the softer passions; and Lady Moseley,
ever a strict adherent to forms and decorum, admitted the intercourse
between Jane and her admirer to be carried to as great lengths as those
forms would justify. Still the colonel was not explicit; and Jane, whose
delicacy dreaded the exposure of feelings that was involved in his
declaration, gave or sought no marked opportunities for the avowal of his
passion. Yet they were seldom separate, and both Sir Edward and his wife
looked forward to their future union as a thing not to be doubted. Lady
Moseley had given up her youngest child so absolutely to the government of
her aunt, that she seldom thought of her future establishment. She had
that kind of reposing confidence in Mrs. Wilson's proceedings that feeble
minds ever bestow on those who are much superior to them; and she even
approved of a system in many respects which she could not endeavor to
imitate. Her affection for Emily was not, however, less than what she felt
for her other children: she was, in fact, her favorite, and, had the
discipline of Mrs. Wilson admitted of so weak an interference, might have
been injured as such.

John Moseley had been able to find out exactly the hour they breakfasted
at the deanery, the length of time it took Egerton's horses to go the
distance between that house and the hall; and on the sixth morning after
the departure of his aunt, John's bays were in his phaeton, and allowing
ten minutes for the mile and a half to the park gates, John had got
happily off his own territories, before he met the tilbury travelling
eastward. I am not to know which road the colonel may turn, thought John:
and after a few friendly, but rather hasty greetings, the bays were again
in full trot to the parsonage.

"John," said Emily, holding out her hand affectionately, and smiling a
little archly, as he approached the window where she stood, "you should
take a lesson in driving from Frank; you have turned more than one hair, I
believe."

"How is Clara?" cried John, hastily, taking the offered hand, with a kiss,
"aye, and aunt Wilson?"

"Both well, brother, and out walking this fine morning."

"How happens it you are not with them?" inquired the brother, throwing his
eyes round the room. "Have they left you alone?"

"No Grace has this moment left me."

"Well, Emily," said John, taking his seat very composedly, but keeping his
eyes on the door, "I have come to dine with you. I thought I owed Clara a
visit, and have managed nicely to give the colonel the go-by."

"Clara will be happy to see you, dear John, and so will aunt, and so am
I"--as she drew aside his fine hair with her fingers to cool his forehead.

"And why not Grace, too?" asked John, with a look of a little alarm.

"And Grace, too, I fancy--but here she is, to answer for herself."

Grace said little on her entrance, but her eyes were brighter than usual,
and she looked so contented and happy that Emily observed to her, in an
affectionate manner--

"I knew the eau-de-Cologne would do your head good."

"Is Miss Chatterton unwell?" asked John, with a look of interest.

"A slight headache," said Grace, faintly, "but I feel much better."

"Want of air and exercise: my horses are at the door; phaeton will hold
three easily; run, sister, for your hat," almost pushing Emily out of the
room as he spoke. In a few; minutes the horses might have been suffering
for air, but surely not for exercise.

"I wish," cried John, with impatience, when at the distance of a couple of
miles from the parsonage, "that gentleman had driven his gig out of the
road."

There was a small group on one side of the road, consisting of a man, a
woman, and several children. The owner of the gig had alighted, and was in
the act of speaking to them, as the phaeton approached at a great rate.

"John," cried Emily, in terror, "You never can pass--you upset us."

"There is no danger, dear Grace," said the brother, endeavoring to check
his horses; he succeeded in part, but not so as to prevent his passing at
a spot where the road was very narrow; a wheel hit violently against a
stone, and some of his works gave way. The gentleman immediately hastened
to his assistance--it was Denbigh.

"Miss Moseley!" cried he, in a voice of the tenderest interest "you are
not hurt in the least, I hope."

"No," said Emily, recovering her breath, "only frightened;" and taking his
hand, she sprang from the carriage.

Miss Chatterton found courage to wait quietly for the care of John. His
"dear Grace," had thrilled on every nerve, and she afterwards often
laughed at Emily for her terror when there was so little danger. The
horses were not in the least frightened, and after a little mending, John
declared all was safe. To ask Emily to enter, the carriage again, was to
exact no little sacrifice of her feelings to her reason; and she stood in
a suspense that too plainly showed that, the terror she had been in had
not left her.

"If," said Denbigh, modestly, "if Mr. Moseley will take the ladies in my
gig, I will drive the phaeton to the hall, as it is rather unsafe for so
heavy a load."

"No, no, Denbigh," said John, coolly, "you are not used to such mettled
nags as mine--it would be indiscreet for you to drive them: if, however,
you will be good enough to take Emily into your gig--Grace Chatterton, I
am sure, is not afraid to trust my driving, and we might all get back as
well as ever."

Grace gave her hand almost unconsciously to John, and he handed her into
the phaeton, as Denbigh stood willing to execute his part of the
arrangement, but too diffident to speak. It was not a moment for
affectation, if Emily had been capable of it, and blushing with the
novelty of her situation, she took her place in the gig. Denbigh stopped
and turned his eyes on the little group with which he had been talking,
and at that moment they caught the attention of John also. The latter
inquired after their situation. The tale was a piteous one, the distress
evidently real. The husband had been gardener to a gentleman in a
neighboring county, and he had been lately discharged, to make way, in the
difficulty of the times, for a relation of the steward, who was in want of
the place. Suddenly thrown on the world, with a wife and four children,
with but the wages of a week for his and their support, they had travelled
thus far on the way to a neighboring parish, where he said he had a right
to, and must seek, public assistance. The children were crying for hunger,
and the mother, who was a nurse, had been unable to walk further than
where she sat, but had sunk on the ground overcome with fatigue, and weak
from the want of nourishment. Neither Emily nor Grace could refrain from
tears at the recital of these heavy woes; the want of sustenance was
something so shocking in itself, and brought, as it were, immediately
before their eyes, the appeal was irresistible. John forgot his
bays--forgot even Grace, as he listened to the affecting story related by
the woman, who was much revived by some nutriment Denbigh had obtained
from a cottage near them, and to which they were about to proceed by his
directions, as Moseley interrupted them. His hand shook, his eyes
glistened as he took his purse from his pocket, and gave several guineas
from it to the mendicant. Grace thought John had never appeared so
handsome as the moment, he banded the money to the gardener; his face
glowed with unusual excitement, and his symmetry had lost the only charm
he wanted in common, softness. Denbigh, after waiting patiently until
Moseley had bestowed his alms, gravely repeated his directions for their
proceeding to the cottage, when the carriages moved on.

Emily revolved, in her mind, during their short ride, the horrid distress
she had witnessed. It had taken a strong hold on her feelings. Like her
brother, she was warm-hearted and compassionate, if we may use the term,
to excess; and had she been prepared with the means, the gardener would
have reaped a double harvest of donations. It struck her, at the moment,
unpleasantly, that Denbigh had been so backward in his liberality. The man
had rather sullenly displayed half a crown as his gift, in contrast with
the golden shower of John's generosity. It had been even somewhat
offensive in its exhibition, and urged her brother to a more hasty
departure than, under other circumstances, he would just at the moment
have felt disposed to make. Denbigh, however, had taken no notice of the
indignity, and continued his directions in the same mild and benevolent
manner he had used during the whole interview. Half a crown was but
little, thought Emily, for a family that was starving; and, unwilling to
judge harshly of one she had begun to value so highly, she came to the
painful conclusion, her companion was not as rich as he deserved to be.
Emily had not yet to learn that charity was in proportion to the means of
the donor, and a gentle wish insensibly stole over her that Denbigh might
in some way become more richly endowed with the good things of this world.
Until this moment her thoughts had never turned to his temporal condition.
She knew he was an officer in the army, but of what rank, or even of what
regiment, she was ignorant. He had frequently touched in his conversations
on the customs of the different countries he had seen. He had served in
Italy, in the north of Europe, in the West Indies, in Spain. Of the
manners of the people, of their characters, he not unfrequently spoke, and
with a degree of intelligence, a liberality, a justness of discrimination,
that had charmed his auditors; but on the point of personal service he had
maintained a silence that was inflexible, and not a little
surprising--more particularly of that part of his history which related to
the latter country; from all which she was rather inclined to think his
military rank was not as high as she thought he merited, and that possibly
he felt an awkwardness of putting it in contrast with the more elevated
station of Colonel Egerton. The same idea had struck the whole family, and
prevented any inquiries which might be painful. He was so connected with
the mournful event of his father's death, that no questions could be put
with propriety to the doctor's family; and if Francis had been more
communicative to Clara, she was too good a wife to mention it, and her own
family was possessed of too just a sense of propriety to touch upon points
that might bring her conjugal fidelity in question.

Though Denbigh appeared a little abstracted during the ride, his questions
concerning Sir Edward and her friends kind and affectionate. As they
approached the house he suffered his horse to walk, and, after some
hesitation, he took a letter from his pocket, and handing it to her,
said--

"I hope Miss Moseley will not think me impertinent in becoming the bearer
of a letter 'from her cousin, Lord Chatterton. He requested it so
earnestly, that I could not refuse taking what I am sensible is a great
liberty; for it would be deception did I affect to be ignorant of his
admiration, or of his generous treatment of a passion she cannot return.
Chatterton," and he smiled mournfully, "is yet too true to cease his
commendations."

Emily blushed painfully, but she took the letter in silence; and as
Denbigh pursued the topic no further, the little distance they had to go
was ridden in silence. On entering the gates, however, he said,
inquiringly, and with much interest--

"I sincerely hope I have not given offence to your delicacy, Miss Moseley.
Lord Chatterton has made me an unwilling confidant. I need not say the
secret is sacred, on more accounts than one."

"Surely not, Mr. Denbigh," replied Emily, in a low tone; and the gig
stopping, she hastened to accept the assistance of her brother to alight.

"Well, sister," cried John, laughing, "Denbigh is a disciple to Frank's
system of horse-flesh. Hairs smooth enough here, I see. Grace and I
thought you would never get home." Now, John fibbed a little, for neither
Grace nor he had thought in the least about them, or anything else but
each other, from the moment they separated until the gig arrived.

Emily made no reply to this speech, and as the gentlemen were engaged in
giving directions concerning their horses, she seized an opportunity to
read Chatterton's letter.

"I avail myself of the return of my friend Mr. Denbigh to that happy
family from which reason requires my self-banishment to assure my amiable
cousin, of my continued respect for her character, and to convince her of
my gratitude for the tenderness she has manifested to feelings she cannot
return. I may even venture to tell her what few women would be pleased to
hear, but what I know Emily Moseley too well to doubt, for a moment, will
give her unalloyed pleasure--that owing to the kind, the benevolent, the
brotherly attentions of my true friend, Mr. Denbigh, I have already gained
a peace of mind and resignation I once thought was lost to me for ever.
Ah! Emily, my beloved cousin, in Denbigh you will find, I doubt not, a
mind, principles, congenial to your own. It is impossible that he could
see you without wishing to possess such a treasure; and, if I have a wish
that is now uppermost in my heart, it is, that you may learn to esteem
each other as you ought, when, I doubt not, you will become as happy as
you both deserve to be. What greater earthly blessing can I implore upon
you!

"Chatterton."

Emily, while reading this epistle, felt a confusion but little inferior to
that which would have oppressed her had Denbigh himself been at her feet,
soliciting that love Chatterton thought him so worthy of possessing; and
when they met, she could hardly look in the face a man who, it would seem,
had been so openly selected by another, as the fittest to be her partner
for life. The unaltered manner of Denbigh himself, however, soon convinced
her that he was entirely ignorant of the contents of the note, and it
greatly relieved her from the awkwardness his presence at first
occasioned.

Francis soon returned, accompanied by his wife and aunt, and was overjoyed
to find the guest who had so unexpectedly arrived. His parents had not yet
returned from their visit, and Denbigh, of course, would remain at his
present quarters. John promised to continue with them for a couple of
days: and everything was soon settled to the perfect satisfaction of the
whole party. Mrs. Wilson knew the great danger of suffering young people
to be inmates of the same house too well, wantonly to incur the penalties,
but her visit had nearly expired, and it might give her a better
opportunity of judging Denbigh's character; and Grace Chatterton, though
too delicate to follow herself, was well contented to be followed,
especially when John Moseley was the pursuer.



Chapter XVI.



"I am sorry, aunt, Mr. Denbigh is not rich," said Emily to Mrs, Wilson,
after they had retired in the evening, almost unconscious of what she
uttered. The latter looked at her niece in surprise, at a remark so
abrupt, and one so very different from the ordinary train of Emily's
reflections, as she required an explanation. Emily, slightly coloring at
the channel her thoughts had insensibly strayed into, gave her aunt an
account of their adventure in the course of the morning's drive, and
touched lightly on the difference in the amount of the alms of her brother
and those of Mr. Denbigh.

"The bestowal of money is not always an act of charity," observed Mrs.
Wilson, gravely, and the subject was dropped: though neither ceased to
dwell on it in her thoughts, until sleep closed the eyes of both.

The following day Mrs. Wilson invited Grace and Emily to accompany her in
a walk; the gentlemen having preceded them in pursuit of their different
avocations. Francis had his regular visits of spiritual consolation; John
had gone to the hall for his pointers and fowling-piece, the season for
woodcock having arrived; and Denbigh had proceeded no one knew whither. On
gaining the high-road, Mrs. Wilson desired her companions to lead the way
to the cottage where the family of the mendicant gardener had been lodged,
and thither they soon arrived. On knocking at the door, they were
immediately admitted to an outer room; in which they found the wife of the
laborer who inhabited the building, engaged in her customary morning
employments. They explained the motives of the visit, and were told that
the family they sought were in an adjoining room, but she rather thought
at that moment engaged with a clergyman who had called a quarter of an
hour before. "I expect, my lady, it's the new rector, who everybody says
is so good to the poor and needy; but I have not found time yet to go to
church to hear his reverence preach, ma'am," courtseying and handing the
fresh dusted chairs to her unexpected visitors. The ladies seated
themselves, too delicate to interrupt Francis in his sacred duties, and
were silently waiting his appearance, when a voice was distinctly heard
through the thin partition, the first note of which undeceived them as to
the character of the gardener's visitor.

"It appears then, Davis, by your own confession," said Denbigh, mildly,
but in a tone of reproof, "that your frequent acts of intemperance have at
least given ground for the steward's procuring your discharge if it has
not justified him in doing that which his duty to your common employer
required."

"It is hard, sir," replied the man sullenly, "to be thrown on the world
with a family like mine, to make way for a younger man with but one
child."

"It may be unfortunate for your wife and children," said Denbigh, "but
just, as respects yourself. I have already convinced you, that my
interference or reproof is not an empty one: carry the letter to the
person to whom it is directed, and I pledge you, you shall have a new
trial; and should you conduct yourself soberly, and with propriety,
continued and ample support; the second letter will gain you children
immediate admission to the school I mentioned; and I now leave you, with
an earnest injunction to remember that habits of intemperance not only
disqualify you to support those who have such great claims on your
protection, but inevitably lead to a loss of those powers which are
necessary to insure your own eternal welfare."

"May Heaven bless your honor," cried the woman, with fervor, and evidently
in tears, "both for what you have said, and what you have done. Thomas
only wants to be taken from temptation, to become a sober man again--an
honest one he has ever been, I am sure."

"I have selected a place for him," replied Denbigh "where there is no
exposure through improper companions, and everything now depends upon
himself, under Providence."

Mrs. Wilson had risen from her chair on the first intimation given by
Denbigh of his intention to go, but had paused at the door to listen to
this last speech; when beckoning her companions, she hastily withdrew,
having first made a small present to the woman of the cottage, and
requested her not to mention their having called.

"What becomes now of the comparative charity of your brother and Mr.
Denbigh, Emily?" asked Mrs. Wilson, as they gained the road on their
return homewards. Emily was not accustomed to hear any act of John
slightly spoken of without at least manifesting some emotion, which
betrayed her sisterly regard; but on the present occasion she chose to be
silent; while Grace, after waiting in expectation that her cousin would
speak, ventured to say timidly--

"I am sure, dear madam, Mr. Moseley was very liberal and the tears were in
his eyes while he gave the money. I was looking directly at them the whole
time."

"John is compassionate by nature," continued Mrs. Wilson with an almost
imperceptible smile. "I have no doubt his sympathies were warmly enlisted
in behalf of this family and possessing much, he gave liberally. I have no
doubt he would have undergone personal privation to have relieved their
distress, and endured both pain and labor, with such an excitement before
him. But what is all that to the charity of Mr. Denbigh?"

Grace was unused to contend, and, least of all, with Mrs. Wilson; but,
unwilling to abandon John to such censure, with increased animation, she
said--

"If bestowing freely, and feeling for the distress you relieve, be not
commendable, madam, I am sure I am ignorant what is."

"That compassion for the woes of others is beautiful in itself, and the
want of it an invariable evidence of corruption from too much, and an
ill-governed, intercourse with the world, I am willing to acknowledge, my
dear Grace," said Mrs. Wilson, kindly; "but the relief of misery, where
the heart has not undergone this hardening ordeal, is only a relief to our
own feelings: this is compassion; but Christian charity is a higher order
of duty: it enters into every sensation of the heart; disposes us to
judge, as well as to act, favorably to our fellow creatures; is deeply
seated in the sense of our own unworthiness; keeps a single eye, in its
dispensations of temporal benefits, to the everlasting happiness of the
objects of its bounty; is consistent, well regulated; in short,"--and Mrs.
Wilson's pale cheek glowed with an unusual richness of color--"it is an
humble attempt to copy after the heavenly example of our Redeemer, in
sacrificing ourselves to the welfare of others, and does and must proceed
from a love of his person, and an obedience to his mandates."

"And Mr. Denbigh, aunt," exclaimed Emily, the blood mantling to her cheeks
with a sympathetic glow, while she lost all consideration for John in the
strength of her feelings, "his charity you think to be of this
description?"

"So far, my child, as we can understand motives from the nature of the
conduct, such appears to have been the charity of Mr. Denbigh."

Grace was silenced, if not convinced; and the ladies continued their walk,
lost in their own reflections, until they reached a bend in the road which
hid the cottage from view. Emily involuntarily turned her head as they
arrived at the spot, and saw that Denbigh had approached within a few
paces of them. On joining them, he commenced his complimentary address in
such a way as convinced them the cottager had been true to the injunction
given by Mrs. Wilson. No mention was made of the gardener, and Denbigh
began a lively description of some foreign scenery, of which their present
situation reminded him. The discourse was maintained with great interest
by himself and Mrs. Wilson for the remainder of their walk.

It was yet early when they reached the parsonage, where they found John,
who had driven to the hall to breakfast, and who, instead of pursuing his
favorite amusement of shooting, laid down his gun as they entered,
observing, "It is rather soon yet for the woodcocks, and I believe I will
listen to your entertaining conversation, ladies, for the remainder of the
morning." He threw himself upon a sofa at no great distance from Grace,
and in such a position as enabled him, without rudeness, to study the
features of her lovely face, while Denbigh read aloud to the ladies
Campbell's beautiful description of wedded love, in Gertrude of Wyoming.

There was a chastened correctness in the ordinary manner of Denbigh which
wore the appearance of the influence of his reason, and a subjection of
the passions, that, if anything, gave him less interest with Emily than
had it been marked by an evidence of stronger feeling. But on the present
occasion, this objection was removed: his reading was impressive; he
dwelt on those passages which most pleased him with a warmth of eulogium
fully equal to her own undisguised sensations. In the hour occupied in the
reading this exquisite little poem, and in commenting on its merits and
sentiments, Denbigh gained more on her imagination than in all their
former intercourse. His ideas were as pure, as chastened, and almost as
vivid as those of the poet; and Emily listened to his periods with intense
attention, as they flowed from him in language as glowing as his ideas.
The poem had been first read to her by her brother, and she was surprised
to discover how she had overlooked its beauties on that occasion. Even
John acknowledged that it certainly appeared a different thing now from
what he had then thought it; but Emily had taxed his declamatory power in
the height of the pheasant season, and, somehow or other, John now
imagined that Gertrude was just such a delicate, feminine, warm-hearted
domestic girl as Grace Chatterton. As Denbigh closed the book, and entered
into a general conversation with Clara and her sister, John followed Grace
to a window, and speaking in a tone of unusual softness for him, he said--

"Do you know, Miss Chatterton, I have accepted your brother's invitation
to go into Suffolk this summer, and that you are to be plagued with me and
my pointers again?"

"Plagued, Mr. Moseley!" said Grace, in a voice even softer than his own.
"I am sure--I am sure, we none of us think you or your dogs in the least a
plague."

"Ah! Grace," and John was about to become what he had never been
before--sentimental--- when he saw the carriage of Chatterton, containing
the dowager and Catherine entering the parsonage gates.

Pshaw! _thought_ John, there comes Mother Chatterton "Ah! Grace," said
John, "there are your mother and sister returned already."

"Already!" said the young lady, and, for the first time in her life, she
felt rather unlike a dutiful child. Five minutes could have made no great
difference to her mother, and she would greatly have liked to hear what
John Moseley meant to have said; for the alteration in his manner
convinced her that his first "ah! Grace" was to have been continued in a
somewhat different language from that in which the second "ah! Grace" was
ended.

Young Moseley and her daughter, standing together at the open window,
caught the attention of Lady Chatterton the moment she got a view of the
house, and she entered with a good humor she had not felt since the
disappointment in her late expedition in behalf of Catherine; for the
gentleman she had had in view in this excursion had been taken up by
another rover, acting on her own account, and backed by a little more wit
and a good deal more money than what Kate could be fairly thought to
possess. Nothing further in that quarter offering in the way of her
occupation, she turned her horses' heads towards London, that great
theatre on which there never was a loss for actors. The salutations had
hardly passed before, turning to John, she exclaimed, with what she
intended for a most motherly smile, "What! not shooting this fine day, Mr.
Moseley? I thought you never missed a day in the season."

"It is rather early yet, my lady," said John, coolly, a little alarmed by
the expression of her countenance.

"Oh!" continued the dowager, in the same strain, "I see how it is; the
ladies have too many attractions for so gallant a young man as yourself."
Now, as Grace, her own daughter, was the only lady of the party who could
reasonably be supposed to have much influence over John's movements--a
young gentleman seldom caring as much for his own as for other people's
sisters, this may be fairly set down as a pretty broad hint of the
opinion the dowager entertained of the real state of things; and John saw
it, and Grace saw it. The former coolly replied, "Why, upon the whole, if
you will excuse the neglect, I will try a shot this fine day," In five
minutes, Carlo and Rover were both delighted. Grace kept her place at the
window, from a feeling she could not define, and of which perhaps she was
unconscious, until the gate closed, and the shrubbery hid the sportsman
from her sight, and then she withdrew to her room to weep.

Had Grace Chatterton been a particle less delicate--less retiring--blessed
with a managing mother, as she was, John Moseley would not have thought
another moment about her. But, on every occasion when the dowager made any
of her open attacks, Grace discovered so much distress, so much
unwillingness to second them, that a suspicion of a confederacy never
entered his brain. It is not to be supposed that Lady Chattelton's
manoeuvres were limited to the direct and palpable schemes we have
mentioned; no--these were the effervescence, the exuberance of her zeal;
but as is generally the case, they sufficiently proved the ground-work of
all her other machinations; none of the little artifices of such as
placing--of leaving alone--of showing similarity of tastes:--of
compliments to the gentlemen, were neglected.--This latter business she
had contrived to get Catherine to take off her hands; but Grace could
never pay a compliment in her life, unless changing of color, trembling,
undulations of the bosom, and such natural movements can be so called; but
she loved dearly to receive them from John Moseley.

"Well, my child," said the mother, as she seated herself by the side of
her daughter, who hastily endeavored to conceal her tears, "when are we to
have another wedding? I trust everything is settled between you and Mr.
Moseley, by this time."

"Mother! Mother!" said Grace, nearly gasping for breath, "Mother, you
will break my heart, indeed you will." She hid her face in the clothes of
the bed by which she sat, and wept with a feeling of despair.

"Tut, my dear," replied the dowager, not noticing her anguish, or
mistaking it for a girlish shame, "you young people are fools in these
matters, but Sir Edward and myself will arrange everything as it should
be."

The daughter now not only looked up, but sprang from her seat, her hands
clasped together, her eyes fixed in horror, her cheek pale as death; but
the mother had retired, and Grace sank back into her chair with a
sensation of disgrace, of despair, which could not have been surpassed,
had she really merited the obloquy and shame which she thought were about
to be heaped upon her.



Chapter XVII.



The succeeding morning, the whole party, with, the exception of Denbigh,
returned to the hall. Nothing had occurred out of the ordinary course of
the colonel's assiduities; and Jane, whose sense of propriety forbad the
indulgence of premeditated tête-à-têtes, and such little accompaniments of
every-day attachments, was rejoiced to see a sister she loved, and an aunt
she respected, once more in the bosom of her family.

The dowager impatiently waited an opportunity to effect, what she intended
for a master-stroke of policy in the disposal of Grace. Like all other
managers, she thought no one equal to herself in devising ways and means,
and was unwilling to leave anything to nature. Grace had invariably
thwarted all her schemes by her obstinacy; and as she thought young
Moseley really attached to her, she determined by a bold stroke to remove
the impediments of false shame, and the dread of repulse, which she
believed alone kept the youth from an avowal of his wishes, and get rid at
once of a plague that had annoyed her not a little--her daughter's
delicacy.

Sir Edward spent an hour every morning in his library, overlooking his
accounts, and in other necessary employments of a similar nature, and it
was here she determined to have the conference.

"My Lady Chatterton, you do me honor," said the baronet, handing her a
chair on her entrance.

"Upon my word, cousin," cried the dowager, "you have a very convenient
apartment here," looking around her in affected admiration of all she saw.

The baronet replied, and a short discourse on the arrangements of the
whole house insensibly led to some remarks on the taste of his mother, the
Honorable Lady Moseley (a Chatterton), until, having warmed the feelings
of the old gentleman by some well-timed compliments of that nature, she
ventured on the principal object of her visit.

"I am happy to find, Sir Edward, you are so well pleased with the family
as to wish to make another selection from it. I sincerely hope it may
prove as judicious as the former one."

Sir Edward was a little at a loss to understand her meaning, although he
thought it might allude to his son, who he had some time suspected had
views on Grace Chatterton; and willing to know the truth, and rather
pleased to find John had selected a young woman he loved in his heart, he
observed--

"I am not sure I rightly understand your ladyship, though I hope I do."

"No!" cried the dowager, in well-counterfeited affectation of surprise.
"Perhaps, after all, maternal anxiety has deceived me, then. Mr. Moseley
could hardly have ventured to proceed without your approbation."

"I have ever declined influencing any of my children, Lady Chatterton,"
said the baronet, "and John is not ignorant of my sentiments. I sincerely
hope, however, you allude to an attachment to Grace?"

"I did certainly, Sir Edward," said the lady, hesitatingly "I may be
deceived; but you must understand the feelings of a mother, and a young
woman ought not to be trifled with."

"My son is incapable of trifling, I hope," cried Sir Edward; with
animation, "and, least of all, with Grace Chatterton No; you are quite
right. If he has made his choice, he should not be ashamed to avow it."

"I would not wish, on any account, to hurry matters," said the dowager;
"but the report which is abroad will prevent other young men from putting
in their claims, Sir Edward" (sighing). "I have a mother's feelings: if I
have been hasty, your goodness will overlook it." And Lady Chatterton
placed her handkerchief to her eyes, to conceal the tears that did not
flow.

Sir Edward thought all this very natural, and as it should be, and he
sought an early conference with his son.

"John," said the father, taking his hand kindly, "you have no reason to
doubt my affection or my compliance to your wishes. Fortune is a thing out
of the question-with a young man of your expectations." And Sir Edward, in
his eagerness to smoothe the way, went on: "You can live here, or occupy
my small seat in Wiltshire. I can allow you five thousand a year, with
much ease to myself. Indeed, your mother and myself would both straighten
ourselves, to add to your comforts; but it is unnecessary--we have enough,
and you have enough."

Sir Edward, in a few moments, would have settled everything to the
dowager's perfect satisfaction, had not John interrupted him by the
exclamation of--

"To what do you allude, father?"

"Allude?" said Sir Edward, simply. "Why, Grace Chatterton, my son."

"Grace Chatterton! Sir Edward. What have I to do with Grace Chatterton?"

"Her mother has made me acquainted with your proposals, and"--

"Proposals!"

"Attentions, I ought to have said; and you have no reason to apprehend
anything from me, my child."

"Attentions!" said John, haughtily. "I hope Lady Chatterton does not
accuse me of improper attentions to her daughter?"

"No, not improper, my son," said his father: "on the contrary, she is much
pleased with them."

"She is, is she? But I am displeased that she should undertake to put
constructions on my acts that no attention or words of mine will justify."

It was now Sir Edward's turn to be surprised. He had thought he was doing
his son a kindness, when he had only been forwarding the dowager's
schemes; but averse from contention, and wondering at his cousin's
mistake, which he at once attributed to her anxiety in behalf of a
favorite daughter, he told John he was sorry there had been any
misapprehension, and left him.

"No, no," said Moseley, internally, as he paced up and down his father's
library, "my lady dowager, you are not going to force a wife down my
throat. If you do, I am mistaken; and Grace, if Grace"--John softened and
began to feel unhappy a little, but anger prevailed.

From the moment Grace Chatterton conceived a dread of her mother's saying
anything to Sir Edward, her whole conduct was altered. She could hardly
look any of the family in the face, and it was her most ardent wish that
they might depart. John she avoided as she would an adder, although it
nearly broke her heart to do so.

Mr. Benfield had stayed longer than usual, and he now wished to return.
John Moseley eagerly profited by this opportunity, and the very day after
the conversation in the library he went to Benfield Lodge as a dutiful
nephew, to see his venerable uncle safely restored once more to the abode
of his ancestors.

Lady Chatterton now perceived, when too late, that she had overshot her
mark, while, at the same time, she wondered at the reason of a result so
strange from such well-digested and well-conducted plans. She determined,
however, never again to interfere between her daughter and the baronet's
heir; concluding, with a nearer approach to the truth than always
accompanied her deductions, that they resembled ordinary lovers in neither
their temperaments nor opinions.

Perceiving no further use in remaining any longer at the hail, she took
her leave, and, accompanied by both her daughters, proceeded to the
capital, where she expected to meet her son.

Dr. Ives and his wife returned to the rectory on the same day, and Denbigh
immediately resumed his abode under their roof. The intercourse between
the rector's family and Sir Edward's was renewed with all its former
friendly confidence.

Colonel Egerton began to speak of his departure also, but hinted at
intentions of visiting L---- at the period of the baronet's visit to his
uncle, before he proceeded to town in the winter.

L---- was a small village on the coast, within a mile of Benfield Lodge;
and from its natural convenience, it had long been resorted to by the
neighboring gentry for the benefit of sea bathing. The baronet had
promised Mr. Benfield his visit should be made at an earlier day than
usual, in order to gratify Jane with a visit to Bath, before they went to
London, at which town they were promised by Mrs. Jarvis the pleasure of
her society, and that of her son and daughters.

Precaution is a word of simple meaning in itself, but various are the
ways adopted by different individuals in this life to enforce its import;
and not a few are the evils which it is thought necessary to guard
against. To provide in season against the dangers of want; personal
injury, loss of character, and a great many other such acknowledged
misfortunes, has become a kind of instinctive process of our natures. The
few exceptions which exist only go to prove the rule: in addition to
these, almost every man has some ruling propensity to gratify, to advance
which his ingenuity is ever on the alert, or some apprehended evil to
avert, which calls all his prudence into activity. Yet how seldom is it
exerted, in order to give a rational ground to expect permanent happiness
in wedlock.

Marriage is called a lottery, and it is thought, like all other,
lotteries, there are more blanks than prizes; yet is it not made more
precarious than it ought to be, by our neglect of that degree of
precaution which we would be ridiculed for omitting in conducting our
every-day concerns? Is not the standard of matrimonial felicity placed too
low? Ought we not to look more to the possession of principles than to the
possession of wealth? Or is it at all justifiable in a Christian to commit
a child, a daughter, to the keeping of a man who wants the very essential
they acknowledge most necessary to constitute a perfect character? Most
men revolt at infidelity in a woman, and most men, however licentious
themselves, look for, at least, the exterior of religion in their wives.
The education of their children is a serious responsibility; and although
seldom conducted on such rules as will stand the test of reason, it is not
to be entirely shaken off: they choose their early impressions should be
correct, their infant conduct at least blameless. And are not-one half
mankind of the male sex? Are precepts in religion, in morals, only for
females? Are we to reverse the theory of the Mahommedans, and though we
do not believe it, act as if _men_ had no souls. Is not the example of the
father as important to the son as that of the mother to the daughter? In
short, is there any security against the commission of enormities, but an
humble and devout dependence on the assistance of that Almighty Power,
which alone is able to hold us up against temptation?

Uniformity of taste is no doubt necessary to what we call love, but is not
taste acquired? Would our daughters admire a handsome deist, if properly
impressed with a horror of his doctrines, sooner than they now would
admire a handsome Mahommedan? We would refuse our children to a pious
dissenter, to give them to impious members of the establishment: we make
the substance less than the shadow.

Our principal characters are possessed of these diversified views of the
evils to be averted. Mrs. Wilson considers Christianity an indispensable
requisite in the husband to be _permitted_ to her charge, and watches
against the _possibility_ of any other than a Christian's gaining the
affections of Emily. Lady Chatterton considers the want of an
establishment as the unpardonable sin, and directs her energies to prevent
this evil; while John Moseley looks upon a free will as the birthright of
an Englishman, and is, at the present moment, anxiously alive to prevent
the dowager's making him the husband of Grace, the thing of all others he
most strenuously desires.



Chapter XVIII.



John Moseley returned from L---- within a week, and appeared as if his
whole delight consisted in knocking over the inoffensive birds. His
restlessness induced him to make Jarvis his companion; for although he
abhorred the captain's style of pursuing the sport, being in his opinion
both out of rule and without taste, yet he was a constitutional fidget,
and suited his own moving propensities at the moment. Egerton and Denbigh
were both frequently at the hall, but generally gave their time to the
ladies, neither being much inclined to the favorite amusement of John.

There was a little arbor within the walls of the park, which for years had
been a retreat from the summer heats to the ladies of the Moseley family;
even so long as the youth of Mrs. Wilson it had been in vogue, and she
loved it with a kind of melancholy pleasure, as the spot where she had
first listened to the language of love from the lips of her late husband.
Into this arbor the ladies had one day retired, during the warmth of a
noon-day sun, with the exception of Lady Moseley, who had her own
engagement in the house. Between Egerton and Denbigh there was maintained
a kind of courtly intercourse, which prevented any disagreeable collision
from their evident dislike. Mrs. Wilson thought, on the part of Denbigh,
it was the forbearance of a principled indulgence to another's weakness;
while the colonel's otherwise uniform good breeding was hardly able to
conceal a something amounting to very near repugnance. Egerton had taken
his seat on the ground, near the feet of Jane; and Denbigh was stationed
on a bench placed without the arbor but so near as to have the full
benefit of the shade of the noble oak, branches of which had been trained
so as to compose its principal covering. It might have been accident, that
gave each his particular situation; but it is certain they were so placed
as not to be in sight of each other, and so placed that the colonel was
ready to hand Jane her scissors, or any other little implement that she
occasionally dropped, and that Denbigh could read every lineament of the
animated countenance of Emily as she listened to his description of the
curiosities of Egypt, a country in which he had spent a few months while
attached to the army in Sicily. In this situation we will leave them for
an hour, happy in the society of each other, while we trace the route of
John Moseley and his companion, in their pursuit of woodcock, on the same
day.

"Do you know, Moseley," said Jarvis, who began to think he was a favorite
with John, now that he was admitted to his _menus plaisirs_, "that I have
taken it into my head this Mr. Denbigh was very happy to plead his morals
for not meeting me. He is a soldier, but I cannot find out what battles he
has been in."

"Captain Jarvis," said John, coolly, "the less you say about that business
the better. Call in Rover."

Now, another of Jarvis's recommendations was a set of lungs that might
have been heard half a mile with great ease on a still morning.

"Why," said Jarvis, rather humbly, "I am sensible, Mr Moseley, I was very
wrong as regards your sister; but don't you think it a little odd in a
soldier not to fight when properly called upon?"

"I suppose Mr. Denbigh did not think himself properly called upon, or
perhaps he had heard what a great shot you were."

Six months before his appearance in B----, Captain Jarvis had been a
clerk in the counting-room of Jarvis, Baxter & Co., and had never held
fire-arms of any kind in his hand, with the exception of an old
blunderbuss, which had been a kind of sentinel over the iron chest for
years. On mounting the cockade, he hail taken up shooting as a martial
exercise, inasmuch as the burning of gunpowder was an attendant of the
recreation. He had never killed but one bird in his life, and that, was an
owl, of which he took the advantage of daylight and his stocking feet to
knock off a tree in the deanery grounds, very early after his arrival. In
his trials with John, he sometimes pulled trigger at the same moment with
his companion; and as the bird generally fell, he thought he had an equal
claim to the honor. He was fond of warring with crows and birds of the
larger sort, and invariably went provided with small balls fitted to the
bore of his fowling-piece for such accidental rencontres. He had another
habit, which was not a little annoying to John, who had several times
tried in vain to break him of it--that of shooting at marks. If birds were
not plenty, he would throw up a chip, and sometimes his hat, by way of
shooting on the wing.

As the clay was excessively hot, and the game kept close, John felt
willing to return from such unprofitable labor. The captain now commenced
his chip firing, which in a few minutes was succeeded by his hat.

"See, Moseley, see; I have hit the band," cried the captain, delighted to
find he had at last wounded his old antagonist. "I don't think you can
beat that yourself."

"I am not sure I can," said John, slipping a handful of gravel in the
muzzle of his piece slily, "but I can do, as you did--try."

"Do," cried the captain, pleased to get his companion down to his own
level of amusements. "Are you ready?"

"Yes; throw."

Jarvis threw, and John fired: the hat fairly bounced.

"Have I hit it?" asked John, while reloading the barrel he had discharged.

"Hit it!" said the captain, looking ruefully at his hat. "It looks like a
cullender; but, Moseley, your gun don't scatter well: a dozen shot have
gone through in the same place."

"It does look rather like a cullender," said John, as he overlooked his
companion's beaver, "and, by the _size_ of some of the holes, one that has
been a good deal used."

The reports of the fowling-pieces announced to the party in the arbor the
return of the sportsmen, it being an invariable practice with John Moseley
to discharge his gun before he came in; and Jarvis had imitated him, from
a wish to be what he called in rule.

"Mr. Denbigh," said John, as he put down his gun, "Captain Jarvis has got
the better of his hat at last."

Denbigh smiled without speaking; and the captain, unwilling to have
anything to say to a gentleman to whom be had been obliged to apologize,
went into the arbor to show the mangled condition of his head-piece to the
colonel, on whose sympathies he felt a kind of claim, being of the same
corps. John complained of thirst, and went to a little run of water but a
short distance from them, in order to satisfy it. The interruption of
Jarvis was particularly unseasonable. Jane was relating, in a manner
peculiar to herself, in which was mingled that undefinable exchange of
looks lovers are so fond of, some incident of her early life to the
colonel that greatly interested him. Knowing the captain's foibles, he
pointed, therefore, with his finger, as he said--

"There is one of your old enemies, a hawk."

Jarvis threw down his hat, and ran with boyish eagerness to drive away the
intruder. In his haste, he caught up the gun of John Moseley, and loading
it rapidly/threw in a ball from his usual stock; but whether the hawk saw
and knew him, or whether it saw something else it liked better, it made a
dart for the baronet's poultry-yard at no great distance, and was out of
sight in a minute. Seeing that his foe had vanished, the captain laid the
piece where he had found it, and, recovering his old train of ideas,
picked up his hat again.

"John," said Emily, as she approached him affectionately, "you were too
warm to drink."

"Stand off, sis," cried John, playfully, taking up the gun from against
the body of the tree, and dropping it towards her.

Jarvis had endeavored to make an appeal to the commiseration of Emily in
favor of the neglected beaver, and was within a few feet of them. At this
moment, recoiling from the muzzle of the gun, he exclaimed, "It is
loaded!" "Hold," cried Denbigh, in a voice of horror, as he sprang between
John and his sister. Both were too late; the piece was discharged.
Denbigh, turning to Emily, and smiling mournfully, gazed for a moment at
her with an expression of tenderness, of pleasure, of sorrow, so blended
that she retained the recollection of it for life, and fell at her feet.

The gun dropped from the nerveless grasp of young Moseley. Emily sank in
insensibility by the side of her preserver. Mrs. Wilson and Jane stood
speechless and aghast. The colonel alone retained the presence of mind
necessary to devise the steps to be immediately taken. He sprang to the
examination of Denbigh; the eyes of the wounded man were open, and his
recollection perfect: the first were fixed in intense observation on the
inanimate body which lay at his side.

"Leave me, Colonel Egerton," he said, speaking with difficulty, and
pointing in the direction of the little run of water, "assist Miss
Moseley--your hat--your hat will answer."

Accustomed to scenes of blood, and not ignorant that time and care were
the remedies to be applied to the wounded man, Egerton flew to the stream,
and returning immediately, by the help of her sister and Mrs. Wilson, soon
restored Emily to life. The ladies and John had now begun to act. The
tenderest assiduities of Jane were devoted to her sister; while Mrs.
Wilson observing her niece to be uninjured by anything but the shock,
assisted John in supporting the wounded man.

Denbigh spoke, requesting to be carried to the house; and Jarvis was
despatched for help. Within half an hour, Denbigh was placed on a couch in
the house of Sir Edward, and was quietly waiting for that professional aid
which could only decide on his probable fate. The group assembled in the
room were in fearful expectation of the arrival of the surgeons, in
pursuit of whom messengers had been sent both to the barracks in F---- and
to the town itself. Sir Edward sat by the side of the sufferer, holding
one of his hands in his own, now turning his tearful eyes on that daughter
who had so lately been rescued as it were from the certainty of death, in
mute gratitude and thanksgiving; and now dwelling on the countenance of
him, who, by bravely interposing his bosom to the blow, had incurred in
his own person the imminent danger of a similar fate, with a painful sense
of his perilous situation, and devout and earnest prayers for his safety.
Emily was with her father, as with the rest of his family, a decided
favorite; and no reward would have been sufficient, no gratitude lively
enough, in the estimation of the baronet, to compensate the protector of
such a child. She sat between her mother and Jane, with a hand held by
each, pale and oppressed with a load of gratitude, of thanksgiving, of
woe, that almost bowed her to the earth. Lady Moseley and Jane were both
sensibly touched with the deliverance of Emily, and manifested the
interest they took in her by the tenderest caresses, while Mrs. Wilson sat
calmly collected within herself, occasionally giving those few directions
which were necessary under the circumstances, and offering up her silent
petitions in behalf of the sufferer. John had taken horse immediately for
F----, and Jarvis had volunteered to go to the rectory and Bolton. Denbigh
inquired frequently and with much anxiety for Dr. Ives; but the rector was
absent from home on a visit to a sick parishioner, and it was late in the
evening before he arrived. Within three hours of the accident, however,
Dr. Black, the surgeon of the ----th, reached the hall, and immediately
proceeded to examine the wound. The ball had penetrated the right breast,
and gone directly through the body; it was extracted with very little
difficulty, and his attendant acquainted the anxious friends of Denbigh
that the heart certainly, and he hoped the lungs, had escaped uninjured.
The ball was a very small one, and the principal danger to be apprehended
was from fever: he had taken the usual precautions against that, and
should it not set in with a violence greater than he apprehended at
present, the patient might be abroad within the month.

"But," continued the surgeon, with the hardened indifference of his
profession, "the gentleman has had a narrow chance in the passage of the
ball itself; half an inch would have settled his accounts with this
world."

This information greatly relieved the family, and orders were given to
preserve a silence in the house that would favor the patient's disposition
to quiet, or, if possible, sleep.

Dr. Ives now reached the hall. Mrs. Wilson had never Been the rector in
the agitation, or with the want of self-command he was in, as she met him
at the entrance of the house.

"Is he alive?--is there hope?--where is George?"--cried the doctor, as he
caught the extended hand of Mrs. Wilson. She briefly acquainted him with
the surgeon's report, and the reasonable ground there was to expect
Denbigh would survive the injury.

"May God be praised," said the rector, in a suppressed voice, and he
hastily withdrew into another room. Mrs. Wilson followed him slowly and in
silence; but was checked on opening the door with the sight of the rector
on his knees, the tears stealing down his venerable cheeks in quick
succession. "Surely," thought the widow, as she drew back unnoticed, "a
youth capable of exciting such affection in a man like Dr. Ives, cannot be
unworthy."

Denbigh, hearing of the arrival of his friend, desired to see him alone.
Their conference was short, and the rector returned from it with increased
hopes of the termination of this dreadful accident. He immediately left
the hall for his own house, with a promise of returning early on the
following morning.

During the night, however, the symptoms became unfavorable; and before the
return of Dr. Ives, Denbigh was in a state of delirium from the height of
his fever, and the apprehensions of his friends were renewed with
additional force.

"What, what, my good sir, do you think of him?" said the baronet to the
family physician, with an emotion that the danger of his dearest child
would not have exceeded, and within hearing of most of his children, who
were collected in the ante-chamber of the room in which Denbigh was
placed.

"It is impossible to say, Sir Edward," replied the physician: "he refuses
all medicines, and unless this fever abates, there is but little hope of
recovery."

Emily stood during this question and answer, motionless, pale as death,
and with her hands clasped together, betraying by the workings of her
fingers in a kind of convulsive motion, the intensity of her interest. She
had seen the draught prepared which it was so desirable that Denbigh
should take, and it now stood rejected on a table, where it could be seen
through the open door of his room. Almost breathless, she glided in, and
taking the draught in her hand, she approached the bed, by which sat John
alone, listening with a feeling of despair to the wanderings of the sick
man. Emily hesitated once or twice, as she drew near Denbigh; her face had
lost the paleness of anxiety, and glowed with another emotion.

"Mr. Denbigh--dear Denbigh." said Emily, with energy, unconsciously
dropping her voice into the softest notes of persuasion, "will you refuse
_me?--me_, Emily Moseley, whose life you have saved?"

"Emily Moseley!" repeated Denbigh, and in those tones so remarkable to his
natural voice. "Is she safe? I thought she was killed--dead." Then, as if
recollecting himself, he gazed intently on her countenance--his eye became
less fiery--his muscles relaxed--he smiled, and took, with the docility of
a well-trained child, the prescribed medicines from her hand. His ideas
still wandered, but his physician, profiting by the command Emily
possessed over his patient, increased his care, and by night the fever had
abated, and before morning the wounded man was in a profound sleep. During
the whole day, it was thought necessary to keep Emily by the side of his
bed; but at times it was no trifling tax on her feelings to remain there.
He spoke of her by name in the tenderest manner, although incoherently,
and in terms that restored to the blanched cheeks of the distressed girl
more than the richness of their native color. His thoughts were not
confined to Emily, however: he talked of his father, of his mother, and
frequently spoke of his poor deserted Marian. The latter name he dwelt on
in the language of the warmest affection, condemned his own desertion of
her, and, taking Emily for her, would beg her forgiveness, tell her her
sufferings had been enough, and that he would return, and never leave her
again. At such moments his nurse would sometimes show, by the paleness of
her cheeks, her anxiety for his health; and then, as he addressed her by
her proper appellation, all her emotions appeared absorbed in the sense of
shame at the praises with which he overwhelmed her. Mrs. Wilson succeeded
her in the charge of the patient, and she retired to seek that repose she
so greatly needed.

On the second morning after receiving the wound, Denbigh dropped into a
deep sleep, from which he awoke refreshed and perfectly collected in mind.
The fever had left him, and his attendants pronounced, with the usual
cautions to prevent a relapse, his recovery certain. It were impossible to
have communicated any intelligence more grateful to all the members of the
Moseley family; for Jane had even lost sight of her own lover, in sympathy
for the fate of a man who had sacrificed himself to save her beloved
sister.



Chapter XIX.



The recovery of Denbigh was as rapid as the most sanguine expectation of
his friends could hope for, and in ten days he left his bed, and would sit
an hour or two at a time in his dressing-room, where Mrs. Wilson,
accompanied by Jane or Emily, came and read to him; and it was a remark of
Sir Edward's gamekeeper, that the woodcocks had become so tame during the
time Mr. Moseley was shut up in attendance on his friend, that Captain
Jarvis was at last actually seen to bag one honestly.

As Jarvis felt something like a consciousness that but for his folly the
accident would not have happened, and also something very like shame for
the manner he had shrunk from the danger Denbigh had so nobly met, he
pretended a recall to his regiment, then on duty near London, and left the
deanery. He went off as he came in--in the colonel's tilbury, and
accompanied by his friend and his pointers, John, who saw them pass from
the windows of Denbigh's dressing-room, fervently prayed he might never
come back again--the chip-shooting poacher!

Colonel Egerton had taken leave of Jane the evening preceding, with many
assurances of the anxiety with which he should look forward to the moment
of their meeting at L----, whither he intended repairing as soon as his
corps had gone through its annual review. Jane had followed the bent of
her natural feelings too much, during the period of Denbigh's uncertain
fate, to think much of her lover, or anything else but her rescued sister
and her preserver; but now the former was pronounced in safety, and the
latter, by the very reaction of her grief, was, if possible, happier than
ever, Jane dwelt in melancholy sadness on the perfections of the man who
had taken with him the best affections (as she thought) of her heart. With
him all was perfect: his morals were unexceptionable; his manners showed
it; his tenderness of disposition manifest, for they had wept together
over the distresses of more than one fictitious heroine; his temper, how
amiable! he was never angry--she had never Been it; his opinions, his
tastes, how correct! they were her own; his form, his face, how
agreeable!--her eyes had seen it, and her heart acknowledged it; besides,
his eyes confessed the power of her own charms; he was brave, for he was a
soldier;--in short, as Emily had predicted, he was a hero--for he was
Colonel Egerton.

Had Jane been possessed of less exuberance of fancy, she might have been a
little at a loss to identify all these good properties with her hero: or
had she possessed a matured or well-regulated judgment to control that
fancy, they might possibly have assumed a different appearance. No
explanation had taken place between-them, however. Jane knew, both by her
own feelings and by all the legends of love from its earliest days, that
the moment of parting was generally a crisis in affairs of the heart, and,
with a backwardness occasioned by her modesty, had rather avoided than
sought an opportunity to favor the colonel's wishes. Egerton had no been
over anxious to come to the point, and everything was left as heretofore:
neither, however, appeared to doubt in the least the state of the other's'
affections; and there might be said to exist between them one of those not
unusual engagements by implication which it would have been, in their own
estimation, a breach of faith to recede from, but which, like all other
bargains that are loosely made, are sometimes violated when convenient.
Man is a creature that, as experience has sufficiently proved, it is
necessary to keep in his proper place in society by wholesome
restrictions; and we have often thought it a matter of regret that some
well understood regulations did not exist by which it became not only
customary, but incumbent on him, to proceed in his road to the temple of
Hymen. We know that it is ungenerous, ignoble, almost unprecedented, to
doubt the faith, the constancy, of a male paragon; yet, somehow, as the
papers occasionally give us a sample of such infidelity; as we have
sometimes seen a solitary female brooding over her woes in silence, and,
with the seemliness of feminine decorum shrinking from the discovery of
its cause, or which the grave has revealed for the first time, we cannot
but wish that either the watchfulness of the parent, or a sense of
self-preservation in the daughter, would, for the want of a better, cause
them to adhere to those old conventional forms of courtship which require
a man to speak to be understood, and a woman to answer to be committed.

There was a little parlor in the house of Sir Edward Moseley, that was the
privileged retreat of none but the members of his own family. Here the
ladies were accustomed to withdraw into the bosom of their domestic
quietude, when occasional visitors had disturbed their ordinary
intercourse; and many were the hasty and unreserved communications it had
witnessed between the sisters, in their stolen flights from the graver
scenes of the principal apartments. It might be aid to be sacred to the
pious feelings of the domestic affections. Sir Edward would retire to it
when fatigued with his occupations, certain of finding some one of those
he loved to draw his thoughts off from the cares of life to the little
incidents of his children's happiness; and Lady Moseley, even in the
proudest hours of her reviving splendor, seldom passed the door without
looking in, with a smile, on the faces she might find there. It was, in
fact, the room in the large mansion of the baronet, expressly devoted, by
long usage and common consent, to the purest feelings of human nature.
Into this apartment Denbigh had gained admission, as the one nearest to
his own room and requiring the least effort of his returning strength to
reach; and, perhaps, by an undefinable feeling of the Moseleys which had
begun to connect him with themselves, partly from his winning manners, and
partly by the sense of the obligation he had laid them under.

One warm day, John and his friend had sought this retreat, in expectation
of meeting his sisters, who they found, however, on inquiry, had walked to
the arbor. After remaining conversing for an hour by themselves, John was
called away to attend to a pointer that had been taken ill, and Denbigh
throwing a handkerchief over his head to guard against the danger of cold,
quietly composed himself on one of the comfortable sofas of the room, with
a disposition to sleep. Before he had entirely lost his consciousness, a
light step moving near him, caught his ear; believing it to be a servant
unwilling to disturb him, he endeavored to continue in his present mood,
until the quick but stifled breathing of some one nearer than before
roused his curiosity. He commanded himself, however, sufficiently, to
remain quiet; a blind of a window near him was carefully closed; a screen
drawn from a corner and placed so as sensibly to destroy the slight
draught of air in which he laid himself; and other arrangements were
making, but with a care to avoid disturbing him that rendered them hardly
audible. Presently the step approached him again, the breathing was
quicker, though gentle, the handkerchief was moved, but the hand was with
drawn hastily as if afraid of itself. Another effort was successful, and
Denbigh stole a glance through his dark lashes, on the figure of Emily as
she-stood over him in the fulness of her charms, and with a face in which
glowed an interest he had never witnessed in it before. It undoubtedly was
_gratitude_. For a moment she gazed on him, as her color increased in
richness. His hand was carelessly thrown over an arm of the sofa; she
stooped towards it with her face gently, but with an air of modesty that
shone in her very figure. Denbigh felt the warmth of her breath, but her
lips did not touch it. Had he been inclined to judge the actions of Emily
Moseley harshly, it were impossible to mistake the movement for anything
but the impulse of natural feeling. There was a pledge of innocence, of
modesty in her countenance, that would have prevented any misconstruction;
and he continued quietly awaiting what the preparations on her little
mahogany secretary were intended for.

Mrs. Wilson entertained a great abhorrence of what is commonly called
accomplishments in a woman; she knew that too much of that precious time
which could never be recalled, was thrown away in endeavoring to acquire a
smattering in what, if known, could never be of use to the party, and what
can never be well known but to a few, whom nature and long practice have
enabled to conquer. Yet as her niece had early manifested a taste for
painting, and a vivid perception of the beauties of nature, her
inclination had been indulged, and Emily Moseley sketched with neatness
and accuracy, and with great readiness. It would have been no subject of
surprise, had admiration, or some more powerful feeling, betrayed to the
artist, on this occasion, the deception the young man was practising. She
had entered the room from her walk, warm and careless; her hair, than
which none was more beautiful, had strayed on her shoulders, freed, from
the confinement of the comb, and a lock was finely contrasted to the rich
color of a cheek that almost burnt with the exercise and the excitement.
Her dress, white as the first snow of the winter; her looks, as she now
turned them on the face of the sleeper, and betrayed by their animation
the success of her art; formed a picture in itself, that Denbigh would
have been content to gaze on for ever. Her back was to a window that threw
its strong light on the paper--the figures of which were reflected, as she
occasionally held it up to study its effect, in a large mirror so placed
that Denbigh caught a view of her subject. He knew it at a glance--the
arbor--the gun--himself, all were there; it appeared to have been drawn
before--it must have been, from its perfect state, and Emily had seized a
favorable moment to complete his own resemblance. Her touches were light
and finishing, and as the picture was frequently held up for
consideration, he had some time allowed for studying it. His own
resemblance was strong; his eyes were turned on herself, to whom Denbigh
thought she had not done ample justice, but the man who held the gun bore
no likeness to John Moseley, except in dress. A slight movement of the
muscles of the sleeper's mouth might have betrayed his consciousness, had
not Emily been too intent on the picture, as she turned it in such a way
that a strong light fell on the recoiling figure of Captain Jarvis. The
resemblance was wonderful. Denbigh thought he would have known it, had he
seen it in the Academy itself. The noise of some one approaching closed
the portfolio; it was only a servant, yet Emily did not resume her pencil.
Denbigh watched her motions, as she put the picture carefully in a private
drawer of the secretary, reopened the blind, replaced the screen, and laid
the handkerchief, the last thing on his face, with a movement almost
imperceptible to himself.

"It is later than I thought," said Denbigh, looking at his watch; "I owe
an apology, Miss Moseley, for making so free with your parlor; but I was
too lazy to move."

"Apology! Mr. Denbigh," cried Emily, with a color varying with every word
she spoke, and trembling at what she thought the nearness of detection,
"you have no apology to make for your present debility; and surely,
surely, least of all to me!"

"I understand from Mr. Moseley," continued Denbigh, with a smile, "that
our obligation is at least mutual; to your, perseverance and care, Miss
Moseley, after the physicians had given me up, I believe I am, under
Providence, indebted for my recovery."

Emily was not vain, and least of all addicted to a display of any of her
acquirements; very few even of her friends knew she ever held a pencil in
her hand; yet did she now unaccountably throw open her portfolio, and
offer its contents to the examination of her companion. It was done almost
instantaneously, and with great freedom, though not without certain
flushings of the face and heavings of the bosom, that would have eclipsed
Grace Chatterton in her happiest moments of natural flattery. Whatever
might have been the wishes of Mr. Denbigh to pursue a subject which had
begun to grow extremely interesting, both from its import and the
feelings' of the parties, it would have been rude to decline viewing the
contents of a lady's portfolio. The drawings were, many of them,
interesting, and the exhibitor of them now appeared as anxious to remove
them in haste, as she had but the moment before been to direct his
attention to her performances. Denbigh would have given much to dare to
ask for the paper so carefully secreted in the private drawer; but neither
the principal agency he had himself in the scene, nor delicacy to his
companion's wish for concealment, would allow of the request.

"Doctor Ives! how happy I am to see you," said Emily, hastily closing her
portfolio, and before Denbigh had gone half through its contents; "you
have become almost a stranger to us since Clara left us."

"No, no, my little friend, never a stranger, I hope, at Moseley Hall,"
cried the doctor, pleasantly; "George, I am happy to see you look so
well--you have even a color--there is a letter for you, from Marian."

Denbigh took the letter eagerly, and retired to a window to peruse it. His
hand shook as he broke the seal, and his interest in the writer, or its
contents, could not have escaped the notice of any observer, however
indifferent.

"Now, Miss Emily, if you will have the goodness to order me a glass of
wine and water after my ride, believe me, you will do a very charitable
act," cried the doctor, as he took his seat on the sofa.

Emily was standing by the little table, deeply musing on the contents of
her portfolio; for her eyes were intently fixed on the outside, as if she
expected to see through the leather covering their merits and faults.

"Miss Emily Moseley," continued the doctor, gravely, "am I to die of
thirst or not, this warm day?"

"Do you wish anything, Doctor Ives?"

"A servant to get me a glass of wine and water."

"Why did you not ask me, my dear sir?" said Emily, as she threw open a
cellaret, and handed him what he wanted.

"There, my dear, there is a great plenty," said the doctor, with an arch
expression; "I really thought I had asked you thrice--but I believe you
were studying something in that portfolio."

Emily blushed, and endeavored to laugh at her own absence of mind; but she
would have given the world to know who Marian was.



Chapter XX.



As a month had elapsed since he received his wound, Denbigh took an
opportunity, one morning at breakfast, where he was well enough now to
meet his friends, to announce his intention of trespassing no longer on
their kindness, but of returning that day to the rectory. The
communication distressed the whole family, and the baronet turned to him
in the most cordial manner, as he took one of his hands; and said with an
air of solemnity--

"Mr. Denbigh, I could wish you to make this house your home; Dr. Ives may
have known you longer, and may have the claim of relationship on you, but
I am certain he cannot love you better; and are not the ties of gratitude
as binding as those of blood?"

Denbigh was affected by the kindness of Sir Edward's manner.

"The regiment I belong to, Sir Edward, will be reviewed next week, and it
has become my duty to leave here; there is one it is proper I should
visit, a near connexion, who is acquainted with the escape I have met
with, and wishes naturally to see me; besides, my dear Sir Edward, she has
many causes of sorrow, and it is a debt I owe her affection to endeavor to
relieve them."

It was the first time he had ever spoken of his family, or hardly of
himself, and the silence which prevailed plainly showed the interest his
listeners took in the little he uttered.

That connexion, thought Emily--I wonder if her name be Marian? But nothing
further passed, excepting the affectionate regrets of her father, and the
promises of Denbigh to visit them again before he left B----, and of
joining them at L---- immediately after the review of which he had spoken.
As soon as he had breakfasted, John drove him in his phaeton to the
rectory.

Mrs. Wilson, like the rest of the baronet's family, had been too deeply
impressed with the debt they owed this young man to interfere with her
favorite system of caution against too great an intimacy between her niece
and her preserver. Close observation and the opinion of Dr. Ives had
prepared her to give him her esteem; but the gallantry, the self-devotion
he had displayed to Emily was an act calculated to remove heavier
objections than she could imagine as likely to exist to his becoming her
husband. That he meant it, was evident from his whole deportment of late.
Since the morning the portfolio was produced, Denbigh had given a more
decided preference to her niece. The nice discrimination of Mrs, Wilson
would not have said his feelings had become stronger, but that he labored
less to conceal them. That he loved her niece she suspected from the first
fortnight of their acquaintance, and it had given additional stimulus to
her investigation into his character; but to doubt it, after stepping
between her and death, would have been to have mistaken human nature.
There was one qualification she would have wished to have been certain he
possessed: before this accident, she would have made it an indispensable
one; but the gratitude, the affections of Emily, she believed now to be
tab deeply engaged to make the strict inquiry she otherwise would have
done; and she had the best of reasons for believing that if Denbigh were
not a true Christian, he was at least a strictly moral man, and assuredly
one who well understood the beauties of a religion she almost conceived it
impossible for any impartial and intelligent man long to resist. Perhaps
Mrs. Wilson, having in some measure interfered with her system, like
others, had, on finding it impossible to conduct so that reason would
justify all she did, began to find reasons for what she thought best to be
done under the circumstances. Denbigh, however, both by his acts and his
opinions, had created such an estimate of his worth in the breast of Mrs.
Wilson, that there would have been but little danger of a repulse had no
fortuitous accident helped him in his way to her favor.

"Who have we here?" said Lady Moseley. "A landaulet and four--the Earl of
Bolton, I declare!"

Lady Moseley turned from the window with that collected grace she so well
loved, and so well knew how to assume, to receive her noble visitor. Lord
Bolton was a bachelor of sixty-five, who had long been attached to the
court, and retained much of the manners of the old school. His principal
estate was in Ireland, and most of that time which his duty at Windsor did
not require he gave to the improvement of his Irish property. Thus,
although on perfectly good terms with the baronet's family, they seldom
met. With General Wilson he had been at college, and to his widow he
always showed much of that regard he had invariably professed for her
husband, The obligation he had conferred, unasked, on Francis Ives, was
one conferred on all his friends, and his reception was now warmer than
usual.

"My Lady Moseley," said the earl, bowing formally on her hand, "your looks
do ample justice to the air of Northamptonshire. I hope you enjoy your
usual health."

Then, waiting her equally courteous answer, he paid his compliments, in
succession, to all the members of the family; a mode undoubtedly well
adapted to discover their several conditions, but not a little tedious in
its operations, and somewhat tiresome to the legs.

"We are under a debt of gratitude to your lordship," said Sir Edward, in
his simple and warm-hearted way, "that I am sorry it is not in our power
to repay more amply than by our thanks."

The earl was, or affected to be, surprised, as he required an explanation.

"The living at Bolton," said Lady Moseley, with dignity.

"Yes," continued her husband; "in giving the living to Frank you did me a
favor, equal to what you would have done had he been my own child; and
unsolicited, too, my lord, it was an additional compliment."

The earl sat rather uneasy during this speech, but the love of truth
prevailed; for he had been too much round the person of our beloved
sovereign not to retain all the impressions of his youth; and after a
little struggle with his self-love, he answered--

"Not unsolicited, Sir Edward. I have no doubt, had nay better fortune
allowed me the acquaintance of my present rector, his own merit would have
obtained what a sense of justice requires I should say was granted to an
applicant to whom the ear of royalty itself would not have been deaf."

It was the turn of the Moseleys now to look surprised, and Sir Edward
ventured to ask an explanation.

"It was my cousin, the Earl of Pendennyss, who applied for it, as a favor
done to himself; and Pendennyss is a man not to be refused anything."

"Lord Pendennyss!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson, with animation; "and in what way
came we to be under this obligation to Lord Pendennyss?"

"He did me the honor of a call during my visit to Ireland, madam," replied
the earl; "and on inquiring of my steward after his old friend, Doctor
Stevens, learnt his death, and the claims of Mr. Ives; but the reason he
gave _me_ was his interest in the widow of General Wilson," bowing with
much solemnity to the lady as he spoke.

"I am gratified to find the earl yet remembers us," said Mrs. Wilson,
struggling to restrain her tears. "Are we to have the pleasure of seeing
him soon?"

"I received a letter from him yesterday, saying he should be here in all
next week, madam." And turning pleasantly to Jane and her sister, he
continued, "Sir Edward, you have here rewards fit for heavier services,
and the earl is a great admirer of female charms."

"Is he not married, my lord?" asked the baronet, with great simplicity.

"No, baronet, nor engaged; but how long he will remain so after his
hardihood in venturing into this neighborhood, will, I trust, depend on
one of these young ladies."

Jane looked grave--for trifling on love was heresy, in her estimation; but
Emily laughed, with an expression in which a skilful physiognomist might
have read--if he means me, he is mistaken.

"Your cousin, Lord Chatterton, has found interest, Sir Edward," continued
the peer, "to obtain his father's situation; and if reports speak truth,
he wishes to become more nearly related to you, baronet."

"I do not well see how that can happen," said Sir Edward with a smile, and
who had not art enough to conceal his thoughts, "unless he takes my sister
here."

The cheeks of both the young ladies now vied with the rose; and the peer,
observing he had touched on forbidden ground, added, "Chatterton was
fortunate to find friends able to bear up against the powerful interest of
Lord Haverford."

"To whom was he indebted for the place, my lord?" asked Mis. Wilson.

"It was whispered at court, madam," said the earl, sensibly lowering his
voice, and speaking with an air of mystery "and a lord of the bed-chamber
is fonder of discoveries than a lord of the council--that His Grace of
Derwent threw the whole of his parliamentary interest into the scale on
the baron's side, but you are not to suppose," raising his hand
gracefully, with a wave of rejection, "that I speak from authority; only a
surmise, Sir Edward, only a surmise, my lady."

"Is not the name of the Duke of Derwent, Denbigh?" inquired Mrs. Wilson,
with a thoughtful manner.

"Certainly, madam, Denbigh," replied the earl, with a gravity with which
he always spoke of dignities; "one of our most ancient names, and
descended on the female side from the Plantagenets and Tudors."

He now rose to take his leave, and on bowing to the younger ladies,
laughingly repeated his intention of bringing his cousin (an epithet he
never omitted), Pendennyss, to their feet.

"Do you think, sister," said Lady Moseley, after the earl had retired,
"that Mr. Denbigh is of the house of Derwent?"

"I cannot say," replied Mrs. Wilson, musing, "yet it is odd, Chatterton
told me of his acquaintance with Lady Harriet Denbigh, but not with the
Duke."

As this was spoken in the manner of a soliloquy, it received no answer,
and was in fact but little attended to by any of the party, excepting
Emily, who glanced her eye once or twice at her aunt as she was speaking,
with an interest the name of Denbigh never failed to excite. Harriet was,
she thought, a pretty name, but Marian was a prettier; if, thought Emily,
I could know a Marian Denbigh, I am sure I could love her, and her name
too.

The Moseleys now began to make their preparations for their departure to
L----, and the end of the succeeding week was fixed for the period at
which they were to go. Mrs. Wilson urged a delay of two or three days, in
order to give her an opportunity of meeting with the Earl of Pendennyss, a
young man in whom, although she had relinquished her former romantic wish
of uniting him to Emily, in favor of Denbigh, she yet felt a deep
interest, growing out of his connexion with the last moments of her
husband, and, his uniformly high character.

Sir Edward accordingly acquainted his uncle, that on the following
Saturday he might expect to receive himself and family, intending to leave
the hall in the afternoon of the preceding day, and reach Benfield lodge
to dinner. This arrangement once made, and Mr. Benfield notified of it,
was unalterable, the old man holding a variation from an engagement a
deadly sin. The week succeeding the accident which had nearly proved so
fatal to Denbigh, the inhabitants of the hall were surprised with the
approach of a being, as singular in his manners and dress as the equipage
which conveyed him to the door of the house. The latter consisted of a
high-backed, old-fashioned sulky, loaded with leather and large-headed
brass nails; wheels at least a quarter larger in circumference than those
of the present day, and wings on each side large enough to have supported
a full grown roc in the highest regions of the upper air. It was drawn by
a horse, once white, but whose milky hue was tarnished through age with
large and numerous red spots, and whose mane and tail did not appear to
have suffered by the shears during the present reign. The being who
alighted from this antiquated vehicle was tall and excessively thin, wore
his own hair drawn over his almost naked head into a long thin queue,
which reached half way down his back, closely cased in numerous windings
of leather, or the skin of some fish. His drab coat was in shape between a
frock and a close-body--close-body, indeed, it was; for the buttons, which
were in size about equal to an old-fashioned China saucer, were buttoned
to the very throat, thereby setting off his shape to peculiar advantage;
his breeches were buckskin, and much soiled; his stockings blue yarn,
although it was midsummer; and his shoes were provided with buckles of
dimensions proportionate to the aforesaid buttons; his age might have been
seventy, but his walk was quick, and the movements of his whole system
showed great activity both of mind and body. He was ushered into the room
where the gentlemen were sitting, and having made a low and extremely
modest bow, he deliberately put on his spectacles, thrust his hand into an
outside pocket of his coat, and produced from under its huge flaps a black
leathern pocket-book about as large as a good-sized octavo volume; after
examining the multitude of papers it contained carefully, he selected a
letter, and having returned the pocket-book to its ample apartment, read
aloud,

"For Sir Edward Moseley, bart. of Moseley Hall, B----,
Northamptonshire--with care and speed, by the hands of Mr. Peter Johnson,
steward of Benfield Lodge, Norfolk;" and dropping his sharp voice, he
stalked up to the baronet, and presented the epistle, with another
reverence.

"Ah, my good friend, Johnson," said Sir Edward as soon as he delivered his
errand (for until he saw the contents of the letter, he had thought some
accident had occurred to his uncle), "this is the first visit you have
ever honored me with; come, take a glass of wine before you go to your
dinner; let us drink, that it may not be the last."

"Sir Edward Moseley, and you, honorable gentlemen, will pardon me,"
replied the steward, in his own solemn key, "this is the first time I was
ever out of his majesty's county of Norfolk, and I devoutly wish it may
prove the last--Gentlemen, I drink your honorable healths."

This was the only real speech the old man made during his visit, unless an
occasional monosyllabic reply to a question could be thought so. He
remained, by Sir Edward' positive order, until the following day; for
having delivered his message, and receiving its answer, he was about to
take his departure that evening, thinking he might get a good piece on his
road homewards, as it wanted half an hour to sunset. On the following
morning, with the sun, he was on his way to the house in which he had been
born, and which he had never left for twenty-four hours at a time in his
life. In the evening, as he was ushered in by John (who had known him from
his own childhood, and loved to show him attention) to the room in which
he was to sleep, he broke what the young man called his inveterate
silence, with, "Young Mr. Moseley--young gentleman--might I presume--to
ask--to see the gentleman?"

"What gentleman?" cried John, astonished at the request, and at his
speaking so much.

"That saved Miss Emmy's life, sir."

John now fully comprehended him, and led the way to Denbigh's room; he was
asleep, but they were admitted to his bed-side. The steward stood for ten
minutes gazing on the sleeper in silence; and John observed, as he blew
his nose on regaining his own apartment, that his little grey eyes
twinkled with a lustre which could not be taken for anything but a tear.

As the letter was as characteristic of the writer as its bearer was of his
vocation, we may be excused giving it at length.

_"Dear Sir Edward and Nephew_,

"Your letter reached the lodge too late to be answered that evening, as I
was about to step into my bed; but I hasten to write my congratulations,
remembering the often repeated maxim of my kinsman Lord Gosford, that
letters should be answered immediately; indeed, a neglect of it had very
nigh brought about an affair of honor between the earl and Sir Stephens
Hallett. Sir Stephens was always opposed to us in the House of Commons of
this realm; and I have often thought something might have passed in the
debate itself, which commenced the correspondence, as the earl certainly
told him as much as if he were a traitor to his King and country.

"But it seems that your daughter Emily has been rescued from death by the
grandson of General Denbigh, who sat with us in the house. Now I always
had a good opinion of this young Denbigh, who reminds me, every time I
look at him, of my late brother, your father-in-law that was; and I send
my steward, Peter Johnson, express to the hall in order that he may see
the sick man, and bring me back a true account how he fares: for should he
be wanting for anything within the gift of Roderic Benfield, he has only
to speak to have it; not that I suppose, nephew, you will willingly allow
him to suffer for anything, but Peter is a man of close observation,
although he is of few words, and may suggest something beneficial, that
might escape younger heads. I pray for--that is, I hope, the young man
will recover, as your letter gives great hopes; and if he should want any
little matter to help him along in the army, as I take it he is not over
wealthy, you have now a good opportunity to offer your assistance
handsomely; and that it may not interfere with your arrangements for this
winter, your draft on me for five thousand pounds will be paid at sight;
for fear he may be proud, and not choose to accept your assistance, I have
this morning detained Peter, while he has put a codicil to my will,
leaving him ten thousand pounds. You may tell Emily she is a naughty
child, or she would have written me the whole story; but, poor dear, I
suppose she has other things on her mind just now. God bless Mr. ---- that
is, God bless, you all, and try if you cannot get a lieutenant-colonelcy
at once--the brother of Lady Juliana's friend was made a
lieutenant-colonel at the first step.

"RODERIC BENFIELD."


The result of Peter's reconnoitering expedition has never reached our
knowledge, unless the arrival of a servant some days after he took his
leave, with a pair of enormous-goggles, and which the old gentleman
assured his nephew in a note, both Peter and himself had found useful to
weak eyes in their occasional sickness, might have been owing to the
prudent forecast of the sagacious steward.



Chapter XXI.



The morning on which Denbigh-left B---- was a melancholy one to all the
members of the little circle, in which he had been so distinguished for
his modesty, his intelligence, and his disinterested intrepidity. Sir
Edward took an opportunity solemnly to express his gratitude for the
services he had rendered him, and having retired to his library,
delicately and earnestly pressed his availing himself of the liberal offer
of Mr. Benfield to advance his interest in the army.

"Look upon me, my dear Mr. Denbigh," said the good baronet, pressing him
by the hand, while the tears stood in his eyes, "as a father, to supply
the place of the one you have so recently lost. You _are_ my child; I feel
as a parent to you, and must be suffered to act as one."

To this affectionate offer of Sir Edward, Denbigh replied with an emotion
equal to that of the baronet, though he declined, with respectful
language, his offered assistance as unnecessary. He had friends powerful
enough to advance his interests, without resorting to the use of money;
and on taking Sir Edward's hand, as he left the apartment, he added with
great warmth, "yet, my dear Sir, the day will come, I hope, when I shall
ask a boon from your hands, that no act of mine or a life of service could
entitle me to receive."

The baronet smiled his assent to a request he already understood, and
Denbigh withdrew.

John Moseley insisted on putting the bays in requisition to carry Denbigh
for the first stage, and they now stood caparisoned for the jaunt, with
their master in a less joyous mood than common, waiting the appearance of
his companion.

Emily delighted in their annual excursion to Benfield Lodge. She was
beloved so warmly, and returned the affection of its owner so sincerely,
that the arrival of the day never failed to excite that flow of spirits
which generally accompanies anticipated pleasures, ere experience has
proved how trifling are the greatest enjoyments the scenes of this life
bestow. Yet as the day of their departure drew near, her spirits sunk in
proportion; and on the morning of Denbigh's leave-taking, Emily seemed
anything but excessively happy. There was a tremor in her voice and a
redness about her eyes that alarmed Lady Moseley; but as the paleness of
her cheeks was immediately succeeded by as fine a color as the heart could
wish, the anxious mother allowed herself to be persuaded by Mrs. Wilson
there was no danger, and she accompanied her sister to her own room for
some purpose of domestic economy. It was at this moment Denbigh entered:
he had paid his adieus to the matrons at the door, and been directed by
them to the little parlor in quest of Emily.

"I have come to make my parting compliments, Miss Moseley," he said, in a
tremulous voice, as he ventured to hold forth his hand. "May heaven
preserve you," he continued, holding it in fervor to his bosom: then
dropping it, he hastily retired, as if unwilling to trust himself any
longer to utter all he felt. Emily stood a few moments, pale and almost
inanimate, as the tears flowed rapidly from her eyes; and then she sought
a shelter in a seat of the window. Lady Moseley, on returning, was alarmed
lest the draught would increase her indisposition; but her sister,
observing that the window commanded a view of the road, thought the air
too mild to do her injury.

The personages who composed the society at B---- had now, in a great
measure, separated, in pursuit of their duties or their pleasures. The
merchant and his family left the deanery for a watering-place. Francis and
Clara had gone on a little tour of pleasure in the northern counties, to
take L---- in their return homeward; and the morning arrived for the
commencement of the baronet's journey to the same place. The carriages had
been ordered, and servants were running in various ways, busily employed
in their several occupations, when Mrs. Wilson, accompanied by John and
his sisters, returned from a walk they had taken to avoid the bustle of
the house. A short distance from the park gates, an equipage was observed
approaching, creating by its numerous horses and attendants a dust which
drove the pedestrians to one side of the road. An uncommonly elegant and
admirably fitted travelling barouche and six rolled by, with the graceful
steadiness of an English equipage: several servants on horseback were in
attendance; and our little party were struck with the beauty of the whole
_establishment_.

"Can it be possible Lord Bolton drives such elegant horses?" cried John,
with the ardor of a connoisseur in that noble animal. "They are the finest
set in the kingdom."

Jane's eye had seen, through the clouds of dust, the armorial bearings,
which seemed to float in the dark glossy panels of the carriage, and she
observed, "It is an earl's coronet, but they are not the Bolton arms."
Mrs. Wilson and Emily had noticed a gentleman reclining at his ease, as
the owner of the gallant show; but its passage was too rapid to enable
them to distinguish the features of the courteous old earl; indeed, Mrs.
Wilson remarked, she thought him a younger man than her friend.

"Pray, sir," said John to a tardy groom, as he civilly walked his horse
by the ladies, "who has passed in the barouche?"

"My Lord Pendennyss, sir."

"Pendennyss!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson, with a tone of regret, "how
unfortunate!"

She had seen the day named for his visit pass without his arrival, and
now, as it was too late to profit by the opportunity, he had come for the
second time into her neighborhood Emily had learnt, by the solicitude of
her aunt, to take an interest in the young peer's movements, and desired
John to ask a question or two of the groom.

"Where does your lord stop to-night?"

"At Bolton Castle, sir; and I heard my lord tell his valet that he
intended staying one day hereabouts, and the day after to-morrow he goes
to Wales, your honor."

"I thank you, friend," said John; when the man spurred his horse after the
cavalcade. The carriages were at the door, and Sir Edward had been
hurrying Jane to enter, as a servant, in a rich livery and well mounted,
galloped up and delivered a letter for Mrs. Wilson, who, on opening it,
read the following:


"The Earl of Pendennyss begs leave to present his most respectful
compliments to Mrs. Wilson and the family of Sir Edward Moseley. Lord
Pendennyss will have the honor of paying his respects in person at any
moment that the widow of his late invaluable friend, Lieutenant-General
Wilson, will please to appoint.

"Bolton Castle, Friday evening."


To this note Mrs. Wilson, bitterly regretting the necessity which
compelled her to forego the pleasure of meeting her paragon, wrote in
reply a short letter, disliking the formality of a note.


"My LORD,

"I sincerely regret that an engagement which cannot be postponed compels
us to leave Moseley Hall within the hour, and must, in consequence,
deprive us of the pleasure of your intended visit. But as circumstances
have connected your Lordship with some of the dearest, although the most
melancholy events of my life, I earnestly beg you will no longer consider
us as strangers to your person, as we have long ceased to be to your
character. It will afford me the greatest pleasure to hear that there will
be a prospect of our meeting in town next winter, where I may find a more
fitting opportunity of expressing those grateful feelings so long due to
your lordship from your sincere friend,

"CHARLOTTE WILSON.

"Moseley Hall, Friday morning."


With this answer the servant was despatched, and the carriages moved on.
John had induced Emily to trust herself once more to the bays and his
skill; but on perceiving the melancholy of her aunt, she insisted on
exchanging seats with Jane, who had accepted a place in the carriage of
Mrs. Wilson. No objection being made, Mrs. Wilson and her niece rode the
first afternoon together in her travelling chaise. The road run within a
quarter of a mile of Bolton Castle, and the ladies endeavored in vain to
get a glimpse of the person of the young nobleman. Emily was willing to
gratify her aunt's propensity to dwell on the character and history of her
favorite; and hoping to withdraw her attention gradually from more
unpleasant recollections, asked several trifling questions relating to
those points.

"The earl must be very rich, aunt, from the style he maintains."

"Very, my dear; his family I am unacquainted with, but I understand his
title is an extremely ancient one; and some one, I believe Lord Bolton,
mentioned that his estates in Wales alone, exceeded fifty thousand a
year."

"Much good might be done," said Emily, thoughtfully, "with such a
fortune."

"Much good _is_ done," cried her aunt, with fervor. "I am told by every
one who knows him, his donations are large and frequent. Sir Herbert
Nicholson said he was extremely simple in his habits, and it leaves large
sums at his disposal every year."

"The bestowal of money is not always charity," said Emily, with an arch
smile and a slight color.

Mrs. Wilson smiled in her turn as she answered, "not always, but it is
charity to hope for the best."

"Sir Herbert knew him, then?" said Emily.

"Perfectly well; they were associated together in the service for several
years, and he spoke of him with a fervor equal to my warmest
expectations."

The Moseley arms in F---- was kept by an old butler of the family, and Sir
Edward every year, in going to or coming from L----, spent a night under
its roof. He was received by its master with a respect that none who ever
knew the baronet well, could withhold from his goodness of heart and many
virtues.

"Well, Jackson," said the baronet, kindly, as he was seated at the supper
table, "how does custom increase with you--I hope you and the master of
the Dun Cow are more amicable than formerly."

"Why, Sir Edward," replied the host, who had lost a little of the
deference of the servant in the landlord, but none of his real respect,
"Mr. Daniels and I are more upon a footing of late than we was, when your
goodness enabled me to take the house; then he got all the great
travellers, and for more than a twelvemonth I had not a title in my house
but yourself and a great London doctor, that was called here to see a sick
person in the town. He had the impudence to call me the knight
barrow-knight, your honor, and we had a quarrel upon that account."

"I am glad, however, to find you are gaining in the rank of your
customers, and trust, as the occasion has ceased, you will be more
inclined to be good-natured to each other."

"Why, as to good-nature, Sir Edward, I lived with your honor ten years,
and you must know somewhat of my temper," said Jackson, with the
self-satisfaction of an approving conscience; "but Sam Daniels is a man
who is never easy unless he is left quietly at the top of the ladder;
however," continued the host, with a chuckle, "I have given him a dose
lately."

"How so, Jackson?" inquired the baronet, willing to gratify the man's wish
to relate his triumphs.

"Your honor must have heard mention made of a great lord, the Duke of
Derwent; well, Sir Edward, about six weeks agone he passed through with my
Lord Chatterton."

"Chatterton!" exclaimed John, interrupting him, "has he been so near us
again, and so lately?"

"Yes, Mr. Moseley," replied Jackson with a look of importance: "they
dashed into my yard with their chaise and four, with five servants, and
would you think it, Sir Edward, they hadn't been in the house ten minutes,
before Daniels son was fishing from the servants, who they were; I told
him, Sir Edward--dukes don't come every day."

"How came you to get his grace away from the Dun Cow--chance?"

"No, your honor," said the host, pointing to his sign, and bowing
reverently to his old master, "the Moseley Arms did it. Mr. Daniels used
to taunt me with having worn a livery, and has said more than once he
could milk his cow, but that your honor's arms would never lift me into a
comfortable seat for life; so I just sent him a message by the way of
letting him know my good fortune, your honor."

"And what was it?"

"Only that your honor's arms had shoved a duke and a baron into my
house--that's all."

"And I suppose Daniels' legs shoved your messenger out of his," said John,
laughing.

"No, Mr. Moseley; Daniels would hardly dare do that but yesterday, your
honor, yesterday evening, beat everything. Daniels was seated before his
door, and I was taking a pipe at mine, Sir Edward, as a coach and six,
with servants upon servants, drove down the street; it got near us, and
the boys were reining the horses into the yard of the Dun Cow, as the
gentleman in the coach saw my sign: he sent a groom to inquire who kept
the house; I got up, your honor, and told him my name, sir. 'Mr. Jackson,'
said his lordship, 'my respect for the family of Sir Edward Moseley is too
great not to give my custom to an old servant of his family.'"

"Indeed," said the baronet; "pray who was my lord?"

"The Earl of Pendennyss, your honor. Oh, he is a sweet gentleman, and he
asked all about my living with your honor, and about Madam Wilson."

"Did his lordship stay the night?" inquired Mrs. Wilson, excessively
gratified at a discovery of the disposition manifested by the earl towards
her.

"Yes, madam, he left here after breakfast."

"What message did you send the Dun Cow this time, Jackson?" cried John.

Jackson looked a little foolish, but the question being repeated, he
answered--"Why, sir, I was a little crowded for room, and so your honor,
so I just sent Tom across the street, to know if Mr. Daniels couldn't keep
a couple of the grooms."

"And Tom got his head broke."

"No, Mr. John, the tankard missed him; but if--"

"Very well," said the baronet, willing to change the conversation, "you
have been so fortunate of late, you can afford to be generous; and I
advise you to cultivate harmony with your neighbor, or I may take my arms
down, and you may lose your noble visiters--see my room prepared."

"Yes, your honor," said the host, and bowing respectfully he withdrew.

"At least, aunt," cried John, pleasantly, "we have the pleasure of supping
in the same room with the puissant earl, albeit there be twenty-four
hours' difference in the time."

"I sincerely wish there had not been that difference," observed his
father, taking his sister kindly by the hand.

"Such an equipage must have been a harvest indeed to Jackson," remarked
the mother; as they broke up for the evening.

The whole establishment at Benfield Lodge, were drawn up to receive them
on the following day in the great hall, and in the centre was fixed the
upright and lank figure of its master, with his companion in leanness,
honest Peter Johnson, on his right.

"I have made out, Sir Edward and my Lady Moseley, to get as far as my
entrance, to receive the favor you are conferring upon me. It was a rule
in my day, and one invariably practised by all the great nobility, such as
Lord Gosford--and--and--his sister, the lady Juliana Dayton, always to
receive and quit their guests in the country at the great entrance; and in
conformity--ah, Emmy dear," cried the old gentleman, folding her in his
arms as the tears rolled down his cheeks, forgetting his speech in the
warmth of his feeling, "You are saved to us again; God be praised--there,
that will do, let me breathe--let me breathe;" and then by the way of
getting rid of his softer feelings, he turned upon John; "so, youngster,
you would be playing with edge tools, and put the life of your sister in
danger. No gentleman held a gun in my day; that is, no gentleman about the
court. My Lord Gosford had never killed a bird in his life, or drove his
horse; no sir, gentlemen then were not coachmen. Peter how old was I
before I took the reins of the chaise, in driving round the estate--the
time you broke your arm? it was--"

Peter, who stood a little behind his master, in modest retirement, and who
had only thought his elegant form brought thither to embellish the show,
when called upon, advanced a step, made a low bow, and answered in his
sharp key:

"In the year 1798, your honor, and the 38th of his present majesty, and
the 64th year of your life, sir, June the 12th, about meridian."

Peter dropped back as he finished; but recollecting himself, regained his
place with a bow, as he added, "new style."

"How are you, old style?" cried John, with a slap on the back, that made
the steward jump again.

"Mr. John Moseley--young gentleman"--a term Peter had left off using to
the baronet within the last ten years, "did you think--to bring home--the
goggles?"

"Oh yes," said John, gravely, producing them from his pocket. Most of the
party having entered the parlor, he put them carefully on the bald head of
the steward--"There, Mr Peter Johnson, you have your property again, safe
and sound."

"And Mr. Denbigh said he felt much indebted to your consideration in
sending them," said Emily, soothingly, as she took them off with her
beautiful hands.

"Ah, Miss Emmy," said the steward, with one of his best bows, "that was--a
noble act; God bless him!" then holding up his finger significantly, "the
fourteenth codicil--to master's will," and Peter laid his finger alongside
his nose, as he nodded his head in silence.

"I hope the thirteenth contains the name of honest Peter Johnson," said
the young lady, who felt herself uncommonly well pleased with the
steward's conversation.

"As witness, Miss Emmy--witness to all--but God forbid," said the steward
with solemnity, "I should ever live to see the proving of them: no, Miss
Emmy, master has done for me what he intended, while I had youth to enjoy
it. I am rich, Miss Emmy--good three hundred a year." Emily, who had
seldom heard so long a speech as the old man's gratitude drew from him,
expressed her pleasure at hearing it, and shaking him kindly by the hand,
left him for the parlor.

"Niece," said Mr. Benfield, having scanned the party closely with his
eyes, "where is Colonel Denbigh?"

"Colonel Egerton, you mean, sir," interrupted Lady Moseley.

"No, my Lady Moseley," replied her uncle, with great formality, "I mean
Colonel Denbigh. I take it he is a colonel by this time," looking
expressively at the baronet; "and who is fitter to be a colonel or a
general, than a man who is not afraid of gunpowder?"

"Colonels must have been scarce in your youth, sir," cried John, who had
rather a mischievous propensity to start the old man on his hobby.

"No, jackanapes, gentlemen killed one another then, although they did not
torment the innocent birds: honor was as dear to a gentleman of George
the Second's court, as to those of his grandson's, and honesty too,
sirrah--ay, honesty. I remember when we were in, there was not a man of
doubtful integrity in the ministry, or on our side even; and then again,
when we went out, the opposition benches were filled with sterling
characters, making a parliament that was correct throughout. Can you show
me such a thing at this day?"



Chapter XXII.



A Few days after the arrival of the Moseleys at the lodge John drove his
sisters to the little village of L----, which at that time was thronged
with an unusual number of visiters. It had, among other fashionable
arrangements for the accommodation of its guests, one of those circulators
of good and evil, a public library. Books are, in a great measure, the
instruments of controlling the opinions of a nation like ours. They are an
engine, alike powerful to save or to destroy. It cannot be denied, that
our libraries contain as many volumes of the latter, as the former
description; for we rank amongst the latter that long catalogue of idle
productions, which, if they produce no other evil, lead to the misspending
of time, _our own_ perhaps included. But we cannot refrain expressing our
regret, that such formidable weapons in the cause of morality, should be
suffered to be wielded by any indifferent or mercenary dealer, who
undoubtedly will consult rather the public tastes than the private good:
the evil may be remediless, yet we love to express our sentiments, though
we should suggest nothing new or even profitable. Into one of these haunts
of the idle, then, John Moseley entered with a lovely sister leaning on
either arm. Books were the entertainers of Jane, and instructors of Emily.
Sir Edward was fond of reading of a certain sort--that which required no
great depth of thought, or labor of research; and, like most others who
are averse to contention, and disposed to be easily satisfied, the baronet
sometimes found he had harbored opinions on things not exactly
reconcileable with the truth, or even with each other. It is quite as
dangerous to give up your faculties to the guidance of the author you are
perusing, as it is unprofitable to be captiously scrutinizing every
syllable he may happen to advance; and Sir Edward was, if anything, a
little inclined to the dangerous propensity. Unpleasant, Sir Edward
Moseley never was. Lady Moseley very seldom took a book in her hand: her
opinions were established to her own satisfaction on all important points,
and on the minor ones, she made it a rule to coincide with the popular
feeling. Jane had a mind more active than her father, and more brilliant
than her mother; and if she had not imbibed injurious impressions from the
unlicensed and indiscriminate reading she practised, it was more owing to
the fortunate circumstance, that the baronet's library contained nothing
extremely offensive to a pure taste, nor dangerous to good morals, than to
any precaution of her parents against the deadly, the irretrievable injury
to be sustained from ungoverned liberty in this respect to a female mind.
On the other hand, Mrs. Wilson had inculcated the necessity of restraint,
in selecting the books for her perusal, so strenuously on her niece, that
what at first had been the effects of obedience and submission, had now
settled into taste and habit; and Emily seldom opened a book, unless in
search of information; or if it were the indulgence of a less commendable
spirit, it was an indulgence chastened by a taste and judgment that
lessened the danger, if it did not entirely remove it.

The room was filled with gentlemen and ladies; and while John was
exchanging his greetings with several of the neighboring gentry of his
acquaintance, his sisters were running nastily over a catalogue of the
books kept for circulation, as an elderly lady, of foreign accent and
dress, entered; and depositing a couple of religious works on the counter,
she inquired for the remainder of the set. The peculiarity of her idiom
and her proximity to the sisters caused them both to look up at the
moment, and, to the surprise of Jane, her sister uttered a slight
exclamation of pleasure. The foreigner was attracted by the sound, and
after a moment's hesitation, she respectfully curtsied. Emily, advancing,
kindly offered her hand, and the usual inquiries after each other's
welfare succeeded. To the questions asked after the friend of the matron
Emily learnt, with some surprise, and no less satisfaction, that she
resided in a retired cottage, about five miles from L----, where they had
been for the last six months, and where they expected to remain for some
time, "until she could prevail on Mrs. Fitzgerald to return to Spain; a
thing, now there was peace, of which she did not despair." After asking
leave to call on them in their retreat, and exchanging good wishes, the
Spanish lady withdrew, and, as Jane had made her selection, was followed
immediately by John Moseley and his sisters. Emily, in their walk home,
acquainted her brother that the companion of their Bath incognita had been
at the library, and that for the first time she had learnt that their
young acquaintance was, or had been, married, and her name. John listened
to his sister with the interest which the beautiful Spaniard had excited
at the time they first met, and laughingly told her he could not believe
their unknown friend had ever been a wife. To satisfy this doubt, and to
gratify a wish they both had to renew their acquaintance with the
foreigner, they agreed to drive to the cottage the following morning,
accompanied by Mrs. Wilson and Jane, if she would go; but the next day was
the one appointed by Egerton for his arrival at L----, and Jane, under a
pretence of writing letters, declined the excursion. She had carefully
examined the papers since his departure; had seen his name included in the
arrivals at London; and at a later day, had read an account of the review
by the commander-in-chief of the regiment to which he belonged. He had
never written to any of her friends; but, judging from her own feelings,
she did not in the least doubt he would be as punctual as love could make
him. Mrs. Wilson listened to her niece's account of the unexpected
interview in the library with pleasure, and cheerfully promised to
accompany them in their morning's excursion, as she had both a wish to
alleviate sorrow, and a desire to better understand the character of this
accidental acquaintance of Emily's.

Mr. Benfield and the baronet had a long conversation in relation to
Denbigh's fortune the morning after their arrival; and the old man was
loud in his expression of dissatisfaction at the youngster's pride. As the
baronet, however, in the fulness of his affection and simplicity, betrayed
to his uncle his expectation of a union between Denbigh and his daughter,
Mr. Benfield became contented with this reward; one fit, he thought, for
any services. On the whole, "it was best, as he was to marry Emmy, he
should sell out of the army; and as there would be an election soon, he
would bring him into parliament--yes--- yes--it did a man so much good to
sit one term in the parliament of this realm--to study human nature. All
his own knowledge in that way was raised on the foundations laid in the
House." To this Sir Edward cordially assented, and the gentlemen
separated, happy in their arrangements to advance the welfare of two
beings they so sincerely loved.

Although the care and wisdom of Mrs. Wilson had prohibited the admission
of any romantic or enthusiastic expectations of happiness into the
day-dreams of her charge, yet the buoyancy of health, of hope, of youth,
of innocence, had elevated Emily to a height of enjoyment hitherto unknown
to her usually placid and disciplined pleasures. Denbigh certainly
mingled in most of her thoughts, both of the past and the future, and she
stood on the threshold of that fantastic edifice in which Jane ordinarily
resided. Emily was in the situation perhaps the most dangerous to a young
female Christian: her heart, her affections, were given to a man, to
appearance, every way worthy of possessing them, it is true but she had
admitted a rival in her love to her Maker; and to keep those feelings
distinct, to bend the passions in due submission to the more powerful
considerations of endless duty, of unbounded gratitude, is one of the most
trying struggles of Christian fortitude. We are much more apt to forget
our God in prosperity than adversity. The weakness of human nature drives
us to seek assistance in distress; but vanity and worldly-mindedness often
induce us to imagine we control the happiness we only enjoy.

Sir Edward and Lady Moseley could see nothing in the prospect of the
future but lives of peace and contentment for their children. Clara was
happily settled, and her sisters were on the eve of making connexions with
men of family, condition, and certain character. What more could be done
for them? They must, like other people, take their chances in the lottery
of life; they could only hope and pray for their prosperity, and this they
did with great sincerity. Not so Mrs. Wilson: she had guarded the
invaluable charge intrusted to her keeping with too much assiduity, too
keen an interest, too just a sense of the awful responsibility she had
undertaken, to desert her post at the moment watchfulness was most
required. By a temperate, but firm and well-chosen conversation she kept
alive the sense of her real condition in her niece, and labored hard to
prevent the blandishments of life from supplanting the lively hope of
enjoying another existence. She endeavored, by her pious example, her
prayers, and her Judicious allusions, to keep the passion of love in the
breast of Emily secondary to the more important object of her creation;
and, by the aid of a kind and Almighty Providence, her labors, though
arduous, were crowned with success.

As the family were seated round the table after dinner, on the day of
their walk to the library, John Moseley, awakening from a reverie,
exclaimed suddenly,

"Which do you think the handsomest, Emily, Grace Chatterton or Miss
Fitzgerald?"

Emily laughed, as she answered, "Grace, certainly; do you not think so,
brother?"

"Yes, on the whole; but don't you think Grace looks like her mother at
times?"

"Oh no, she is the image of Chatterton."

"She is very like yourself, Emmy dear," said Mr. Benfield, who was
listening to their conversation.

"Me, dear uncle; I have never heard it remarked before."

"Yes, yes, she is as much like you as she can stare. I never saw as great
a resemblance, excepting between you and Lady Juliana--Lady Juliana, Emmy,
was a beauty in her day; very like her uncle, old Admiral Griffin--you
can't remember the admiral--he lost an eye in a battle with the Dutch, and
part of his cheek in a frigate, when a young man fighting the Dons. Oh, he
was a pleasant old gentleman; many a guinea has he given me when I was a
boy at school."

"And he looked like Grace Chatterton, uncle, did he?" asked John,
innocently.

"No, sir, he did not; who said he looked like Grace Chatterton,
jackanapes?"

"Why, I thought you made it out, sir: but perhaps it was the description
that deceived me--his eye and cheek, uncle."

"Did Lord Gosford leave children, uncle?" inquired Emily, throwing a look
of reproach at John.

"No, Emmy dear; his only child, a son, died at school. I shall never
forget the grief of poor Lady Juliana. She postponed a visit to Bath three
weeks on account of it. A gentleman who was paying his addresses to her at
the time, offered then, and was refused--indeed, her self-denial raised
such an admiration of her in the men, that immediately after the death of
young Lord Dayton, no less than seven gentlemen offered, and were refused
in one week. I heard Lady Juliana say, that what between lawyers and
suitors, she had not a moment's peace."

"Lawyers?" cried Sir Edward: "what had she to do with lawyers?"

"Why, Sir Edward, six thousand a year fell to her by the death of her
nephew; and there were trustees and deeds to be made out--poor young
woman, she was so affected, Emmy, I don't think she went out for a
week--all the time at home reading papers, and attending to her important
concerns. Oh! she was a woman of taste; her mourning, and liveries, and
new carriage, were more admired than those of any one about the court.
Yes, yes, the title is extinct; I know of none of the name now. The Earl
did not survive his loss but six years, and the countess died
broken-hearted, about a twelvemonth before him."

"And Lady Juliana, uncle," inquired John, "what became of her, did she
marry?"

The old man helped himself to a glass of wine, and looked over his
shoulder to see if Peter was at hand. Peter, who had been originally
butler, and had made it a condition of his preferment, that whenever there
was company, he should be allowed to preside at the sideboard, was now at
his station. Mr. Benfield, seeing his old friend near him, ventured to
talk on a subject he seldom trusted himself with in company.

"Why, yes--yes--she _did_ marry, it's true, although she did tell me she
intended to die a maid; but--hem--I suppose--hem--it was compassion for
the old viscount, who often said he could not live without her; and then
it gave her the power of doing so much good, a jointure of five thousand a
year added to her own income: yet--hem--I do confess I did not think she
would have chosen such an old and infirm man--- but, Peter, give me a
glass of claret." Peter handed the claret, and the old man
proceeded:--"They say he was very cross to her, and that, no doubt, must
have made her unhappy, she was so very tender-hearted."

How much longer the old gentleman would have continued in this strain, it
is impossible to say; but he was interrupted by the opening of the parlor
door, and the sudden appearance on its threshold of Denbigh. Every
countenance glowed with pleasure at this unexpected return of their
favorite; and but for the prudent caution of Mrs. Wilson, in handing a
glass of water to her niece, the surprise might have proved too much for
her. The salutations of Denbigh were returned by the different members of
the family with a cordiality that must have told him how much he was
valued by all its branches; and after briefly informing them that his
review was over, and that he had thrown himself into a chaise and
travelled post until he had rejoined them, he took his seat by Mr.
Benfield, who received him with a marked preference, exceeding that which
he had shown to any man who had ever entered his doors, Lord Gosford
himself not excepted. Peter removed from his station behind his master's
chair to one where he could face the new comer; and after wiping his eyes
until they filled so rapidly with water, that at last he was noticed by
the delighted John to put on the identical goggles which his care had
provided for Denbigh in his illness. His laugh drew the attention of the
rest to the honest steward, and when Denbigh was told this was Mr.
Benfield's ambassador to the hall, he rose from his chair, and taking the
old man by the hand, kindly thanked him for his thoughtful consideration
for his weak eyes.

Peter took the offered hand in both his own, and after making one or two
unsuccessful efforts to speak, he uttered, "Thank you, thank you; may
Heaven bless you," and burst into tears. This stopped the laugh, and John
followed the steward from the room, while his master exclaimed, wiping his
eyes, "Kind and condescending; just such another as my old friend, the
Earl of Gosford."



Chapter XXIII.



At the appointed hour, the carriage of Mrs. Wilson was ready to convey
herself and niece to the cottage of Mrs. Fitzgerald. John was left behind,
under the pretence of keeping Denbigh company in his morning avocations,
but really because Mrs. Wilson doubted the propriety of his becoming a
visiting acquaintance at the house, tenanted as the cottage was
represented to be. John was too fond of his friend to make any serious
objections, and was satisfied for the present, by sending his compliments,
and requesting his sister to ask permission for him to call in one of his
morning excursions, in order to pay his personal respects.

They found the cottage a beautiful and genteel, though a very small and
retired dwelling, almost hid by the trees and shrubs which surrounded it,
and its mistress in its little veranda, expecting the arrival of Emily.
Mrs. Fitzgerald was a Spaniard, under twenty, of a melancholy, yet highly
interesting countenance; her manners were soft and retiring, but evidently
bore the impression of good company, if not of high life. She was
extremely pleased with this renewal of attention on the part of Emily, and
expressed her gratitude to both ladies for their kindness in seeking her
out in her solitude. She presented her more matronly companion to them, by
the name of Donna Lorenza; and as nothing but good feeling prevailed, and
useless ceremony was banished, the little party were soon on terms of
friendly intercourse. The young widow (for such her dress indicated her to
be), did the honors of her house with graceful ease, and conduct ed her
visiters into her little grounds, which; together the cottage, gave
evident proofs of the taste and elegance of its occupant. The
establishment she supported she represented as very small; two women and
an aged man servant, with occasionally a laborer for her garden and
shrubbery. They never visited; it was a resolution she had made on fixing
her residence here, but if Mrs. Wilson and Miss Moseley would forgive the
rudeness of not returning their call, nothing would give her more
satisfaction than a frequent renewal of their visits. Mrs. Wilson took so
deep an interest in the misfortunes of this young female, and was so much
pleased with the modest resignation of her manner, that it required little
persuasion on the part of the recluse to obtain a promise of soon
repeating her visit. Emily mentioned the request of John, and Mrs.
Fitzgerald received it with a mournful smile, as she replied that Mr.
Moseley had laid her under such an obligation in their first interview,
she could not deny herself the pleasure of again thanking him for it; but
she must be excused if she desired they would limit their attendants to
him, as there was but one gentleman in England whose visits she admitted,
and it was seldom indeed he called; he had seen her but once since she had
resided in Norfolk.

After giving a promise not to suffer any one else to accompany them, and
promising an early call again, our ladies returned to Benfield Lodge in
season to dress for dinner. On entering the drawing-room, they found the
elegant person of Colonel Egerton leaning on the back of Jane's chair. He
had arrived during their absence, and immediately sought the baronet's
family. His reception, if not as warm as that given to Denbigh, was
cordial from all but the master of the house; and even he was in such
spirits by the company around him, and the prospects of Emily's marriage
(which he considered as settled), that he forced himself to an appearance
of good will he did not feel. Colonel Egerton was either deceived by his
manner, or too much a man of the world to discover his suspicion, and
everything in consequence was very harmoniously, if not sincerely
conducted between them.

Lady Moseley was completely happy. If she had the least doubts before, as
to the intentions of Egerton, they were now removed. His journey to that
unfashionable watering-place, was owing to his passion; and however she
might at times have doubted as to Sir Edgar's heir, Denbigh she thought a
man of too little consequence in the world, to make it possible he would
neglect to profit by his situation in the family of Sir Edward Moseley.
She was satisfied with both connexions. Mr. Benfield had told her General
Sir Frederic Denbigh was nearly allied to the Duke of Derwent, and Denbigh
had said the general was his grandfather. Wealth, she knew Emily would
possess from both her uncle and aunt; and the services of the gentleman
had their due weight upon the feelings of the affectionate mother. The
greatest of her maternal anxieties was removed, and she looked forward to
the peaceful enjoyment of the remnant of her days in the bosom of her
descendants. John, the heir of a baronetcy, and 15,000 pounds a year,
might suit himself; and Grace Chatterton, she thought, would be likely to
prove the future Lady Moseley. Sir Edward, without entering so deeply into
anticipations of the future as his wife, experienced an equal degree of
contentment; and it would have been a difficult task to discover in the
island a roof, under which there resided at the moment more happy
countenances than at Benfield Lodge; for as its master had insisted on
Denbigh becoming an inmate, he was obliged to extend his hospitality in an
equal degree to Colonel Egerton: indeed, the subject had been fully
canvassed between him and Peter the morning of his arrival, and was near
being decided against his admission, when the steward, who had picked up
all the incidents of the arbor scene from the servants (and of course with
many exaggerations), mentioned to his master that the colonel was very
active, and that he even contrived to bring water to revive Miss Emmy, a
great distance, in the hat of Captain Jarvis, which was full of holes, Mr.
John having blown it off the head of the captain without hurting a hair,
in firing at a woodcock. This mollified the master a little, and he agreed
to suspend his decision for further observation. At dinner, the colonel
happening to admire the really handsome face of Lord Gosford, as
delineated by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which graced the dining-room of
Benfield Lodge, its master, in a moment of unusual kindness, gave the
invitation; it was politely accepted, and the colonel at once
domesticated.

The face of John Moseley alone, at times, exhibited evidences of care and
thought, and at such moments it might be a subject of doubt whether he
thought the most of Grace Chatterton or her mother: if the latter, the
former was sure to lose ground in his estimation; a serious misfortune to
John, not to be able to love Grace without alloy. His letters from her
brother mentioned his being still at Denbigh castle, in Westmoreland, the
seat of his friend the Duke of Derwent; and John thought one or two of his
encomiums on Lady Harriet Denbigh, the sister of his grace, augured that
the unkindness of Emily might in time be forgotten. The dowager and her
daughters were at the seat of a maiden aunt in Yorkshire, where as John
knew no male animal was allowed admittance, he was tolerably easy at the
disposition of things. Nothing but legacy-hunting he knew would induce the
dowager to submit to such a banishment from the other sex; but that was
so preferable to husband-hunting he was satisfied. "I wish," said John
mentally, as he finished the perusal of his letter, "mother Chatterton
would get married herself, and she might let Kate and Grace manage for
themselves. Kate would do very well, I dare say, and how would Grace make
out!" John sighed, and whistled for Dido and Rover.

In the manners of Colonel Egerton there was the same general disposition
to please, and the same unremitted attention to the wishes and amusements
of Jane. They had renewed their poetical investigations, and Jane eagerly
encouraged a taste which afforded her delicacy some little coloring for
the indulgence of an association different from the real truth, and which,
in her estimation, was necessary to her happiness. Mrs. Wilson thought the
distance between the two suitors for the favor of her nieces was, if
anything, increased by their short separation, and particularly noticed on
the part of the colonel an aversion to Denbigh that at times painfully
alarmed, by exciting apprehensions for the future happiness of the
precious treasure she had prepared herself to yield to his solicitations,
whenever properly proffered. In the intercourse between Emily and her
preserver, as there was nothing to condemn, so there was much to admire.
The attentions of Denbigh were pointed, although less exclusive than those
of the colonel; and the aunt was pleased to observe that if the manners of
Egerton had more of the gloss of life, those of Denbigh were certainly
distinguished by a more finished delicacy and propriety. The one appeared
the influence of custom and association, with a tincture of artifice; the
other, benevolence, with a just perception of what was due to others, and
with an air of sincerity, when speaking of sentiments and principles, that
was particularly pleasing to the watchful widow. At times, however, she
could not but observe an air of restraint, if not of awkwardness, about
him that was a little surprising. It was most observable in mixed society,
and once or twice her imagination pictured his sensations into something
like alarm. These unpleasant interruptions to her admiration were soon
forgotten in her just appreciation of the more solid parts of his
character, which appeared literally to be unexceptionable; and when
momentary uneasiness would steal over her, the remembrance of the opinion
of Dr. Ives, his behavior with Jarvis, his charity, and chiefly his
devotion to her niece, would not fail to drive the disagreeable thoughts
from her mind. Emily herself moved about, the image of joy and innocence.
If Denbigh were near her, she was happy; if absent, she suffered no
uneasiness. Her feelings were so ardent, and yet so pure, that jealousy
had no admission. Perhaps no circumstances existed to excite this usual
attendant of the passion; but as the heart of Emily was more enchained
than her imagination, her affections were not of the restless nature of
ordinary attachments, though more dangerous to her peace of mind in the
event of an unfortunate issue. With Denbigh she never walked or rode
alone. He had never made the request, and her delicacy would have shrunk
from such an open manifestation of her preference; but he read to her and
her aunt; he accompanied them in their little excursions; and once or
twice John noticed that she took the offered hand of Denbigh to assist her
over any little impediment in their course, instead of her usual
unobtrusive custom of taking his arm on such occasions. "Well, Miss
Emily," thought John, "you appear to have chosen another favorite," on her
doing this three times in succession in one of their walks. "How strange
it is women will quit their natural friends for a face they have hardly
seen." John forgot his own--"There is no danger, dear Grace," when his
sister was almost dead with apprehension. But John loved Emily too well
to witness her preference of another with satisfaction, even though
Denbigh was the favorite; a feeling which soon wore away, however, by dint
of custom and reflection. Mr. Benfield had taken it into his head that if
the wedding of Emily could be solemnized while the family was at the
lodge, it would render him the happiest of men; and how to compass this
object, was the occupation of a whole morning's contemplation. Happily for
Emily's blushes, the old gentleman harbored the most fastidious notions of
female delicacy, and never in conversation made the most distant allusion
to the expected connexion. He, therefore, in conformity with these
feelings, could do nothing openly; all must be the effect of management;
and as he thought Peter one of the best contrivers in the world, to his
ingenuity he determined to refer the arrangement.

The bell rang--"Send Johnson to me, David."

In a few minutes, the drab coat and blue yarn stockings entered his
dressing-room with the body of Mr. Peter Johnson snugly cased within them.

"Peter," commenced Mr. Benfield, pointing kindly to a chair, which the
steward respectfully declined, "I suppose you know that Mr. Denbigh, the
grandson of General Denbigh, who was in parliament with me, is about to
marry my little Emmy?"

Peter smiled, as he bowed an assent.

"Now, Peter, a wedding would, of all things, make me most happy; that is,
to have it here in the lodge. It would remind me so much of the marriage
of Lord Gosford, and the bridemaids. I wish your opinion how to bring it
about before they leave us. Sir Edward and Anne decline interfering, and
Mrs. Wilson I am afraid to speak to on the subject."

Peter was not a little alarmed by this sudden requisition on his
inventive faculties, especially as a lady was in the case; but, as he
prided himself on serving his master, and loved the hilarity of a wedding
in his heart, he cogitated for some time in silence, when, having thought
a preliminary question or two necessary, he broke it with saying--

"Everything, I suppose, master, is settled between the young people?"

"Everything, I take it, Peter."

"And Sir Edward and my lady?"

"Willing; perfectly willing."

"And Madam Wilson, sir?"

"Willing, Peter, willing."

"And Mr. John and Miss Jane?"

"All willing; the whole family is willing, to the best of my belief.'"

"There is the Rev. Mr. Ives and Mrs. Ives, master?"

"They wish it, I know. Don't you think they wish others as happy as
themselves, Peter?"

"No doubt they do, master. Well, then, as everybody is willing, and the
young people agreeable, the only thing to be done, sir, is."

"Is what, Peter?" exclaimed his impatient master observing him to
hesitate.

"Why, sir, to send for the priest, I take it."

"Pshaw! Peter Johnson, I know that myself," replied the dissatisfied old
man. "Cannot you help me to a better plan?"

"Why, master," said Peter, "I would have done as well for Miss Emmy and
your honor as I would have done for myself. Now, sir, when I courted Patty
Steele, your honor, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
sixty-five, I should have been married but for one difficulty, which your
honor says is removed in the case of Miss Emmy."

"What was that, Peter?" asked his master, in a tender tone.

"She wasn't willing, sir."

"Very well, poor Peter," replied Mr. Benfield, mildly "you may go." And
the steward, bowing low, withdrew.

The similarity of their fortunes in love was a strong link in the
sympathies which bound the master and man together and the former never
failed to be softened by an allusion to Patty. The want of tact in the
man, on the present occasion, after much reflection, was attributed by his
master to the fact that Peter had never sat in parliament.



Chapter XXIV.



Mrs. Wilson and Emily, in the fortnight they had been at Benfield Lodge,
paid frequent and long visits to the cottage: and each succeeding
interview left a more favorable impression of the character of its
mistress, and a greater certainty that she was unfortunate. The latter,
however, alluded very slightly to her situation or former life; she was a
Protestant, to the great surprise of Mrs. Wilson; and one that misery had
made nearly acquainted with the religion she professed. Their
conversations chiefly turned on the customs of her own, as contrasted with
those of her adopted country, or in a pleasant exchange of opinions, which
the ladies possessed in complete unison. One morning John had accompanied
them and been admitted; Mrs. Fitzgerald receiving him with the frankness
of an old acquaintance, though with the reserve of a Spanish lady. His
visits were permitted under the direction of his aunt, but no others of
the gentlemen were included amongst her guests. Mrs. Wilson had casually
mentioned, in the absence of her niece, the interposition of Denbigh
between her and death; and Mrs. Fitzgerald was so much pleased at the
noble conduct of the gentleman, as to express a desire to see him; but the
impressions of the moment appeared to have died away, a nothing more was
said by either lady on the subject, and it was apparently forgotten. Mrs.
Fitzgerald was found one morning, weeping over a letter she held in her
hand, and the Donna Lorenza was endeavoring to console her. The situation
of this latter lady was somewhat doubtful; she appeared neither wholly a
friend nor a menial. In the manners of the two there was a striking
difference; although the Donna was not vulgar, she was far from possessing
the polish of her more juvenile friend, and Mrs. Wilson considered her to
be in a station between that of a housekeeper and that of a companion.
After hoping that no unpleasant intelligence occasioned the distress they
witnessed, the ladies were delicately about to take their leave, when Mrs.
Fitzgerald entreated them to remain.

"Your kind attention to me, dear madam, and the goodness of Miss Moseley,
give you a claim to know more of the unfortunate being your sympathy has
so greatly assisted to attain her peace of mind. This letter is from the
gentleman of whom you have heard me speak, as once visiting me, and though
it has struck me with unusual force, it contains no more than I expected
to hear, perhaps no more than I deserve to hear."

"I hope your friend has not been unnecessarily harsh: severity is not the
best way, always, of effecting repentance, and I feel certain that you, my
young friend, can have been guilty of no offence that does not rather
require gentle than stern reproof," said Mrs. Wilson.

"I thank you, dear madam, for your indulgent opinion of me, but although I
have suffered much, I am willing to confess it is a merited punishment;
you are, however, mistaken as to the source of my present sorrow. Lord
Pendennyss is the cause of grief, I believe, to no one, much less to me."

"Lord Pendennyss!" exclaimed Emily, in surprise, unconsciously looking at
her aunt.

"Pendennyss!" reiterated Mrs. Wilson, with animation "and is he your
friend, too?"

"Yes, madam; to his lordship I owe
everything--honor--comfort--religion--and even life itself."

Mrs. Wilson's cheek glowed with an unusual color, at this discovery of
another act of benevolence and virtue, in a young nobleman whose character
she had so long admired, and whose person she had in vain wished to meet.

"You know the earl, then?" inquired Mrs. Fitzgerald.

"By reputation, only, my dear," said Mrs. Wilson; "but that is enough to
convince me a friend of his must be a worthy character, if anything were
wanting to make us your friends."

The conversation was continued for some time, and Mrs. Fitzgerald saying
she did not feel equal just then to the undertaking, but the next day, if
they would honor her with another call, she would make them acquainted
with the incidents of her life, and the reasons she had for speaking in
such terms of Lord Pendennyss. The promise to see her was cheerfully made
by Mrs. Wilson, and her confidence accepted; not from a desire to gratify
an idle curiosity, but a belief that it was necessary to probe a wound to
cure it; and a correct opinion, that she would be a better adviser for a
young and lovely woman, than even Pendennyss; for the Donna Lorenza she
could hardly consider in a capacity to offer advice, much less dictation.
They then took their leave, and Emily, during their ride, broke the
silence with exclaiming,--

"Wherever we hear of Lord Pendennyss, aunt, we hear of him favorably."

"A certain sign, my dear, he is deserving of it. There is hardly any man
who has not his enemies, and those are seldom just; but we have met with
none of the earl's yet."

"Fifty thousand a year will make many friends," observed Emily, shaking
her head.

"Doubtless, my love, or as many enemies; but honor, life, and religion, my
child, are debts not owing to money--in this country at least."

To this remark Emily assented; and after expressing her own admiration of
the character of the young nobleman, she dropped into a reverie. How many
of his virtues she identified with the person of Mr. Denbigh, it is not,
just now, our task to enumerate; but judges of human nature may easily
determine, and that too without having sat in the parliament of this
realm.

The morning this conversation occurred at the cottage, Mr. and Mrs.
Jarvis, with their daughters, made their unexpected appearance at L----.
The arrival of a post-chaise and four with a gig, was an event soon
circulated through the little village, and the names of its owners reached
the lodge just as Jane had allowed herself to be persuaded by the colonel
to take her first walk with him unaccompanied by a third person. Walking
is much more propitious to declarations than riding; and whether it was
premeditated on the part of the colonel or not, or whether he was afraid
that Mrs. Jarvis or some one else would interfere, he availed himself of
this opportunity, and had hardly got out of hearing of her brother and
Denbigh, before he made Jane an explicit offer of his hand. The surprise
was so great, that some time elapsed before the distressed girl could
reply. This she, however, at length did, but incoherently: she referred
him to her parents, as the arbiters of her fate, well knowing that her
wishes had long been those of her father and mother. With this the colonel
was obliged to be satisfied for the present. But their walk had not ended,
before he gradually drew from the confiding girl an acknowledgment that,
should her parents decline his offer, she would be very little less
miserable than himself; indeed, the most tenacious lover might have been
content with the proofs of regard that Jane, unused to control her
feelings, allowed herself to manifest on this occasion. Egerton was in
raptures; a life devoted to her would never half repay her condescension;
and as their confidence increased with their walk, Jane re-entered the
lodge with a degree of happiness in her heart she had never before
experienced. The much dreaded declaration--her own distressing
acknowledgements, were made, and nothing farther remained but to live and
be happy. She flew into the arms of her mother, and; hiding her blushes in
her bosom, acquainted her with the colonel's offer and her own wishes.
Lady Moseley, who was prepared for such a communication, and had rather
wondered at its tardiness, kissed her daughter affectionately, as she
promised to speak to her father, and to obtain his approbation.

"But," she added, with a degree of formality and caution which had better
preceded than have followed the courtship, "we must make the usual
inquiries, my child, into the fitness of Colonel Egerton as a husband for
our daughter. Once assured of that, you have nothing to fear."

The baronet was requested to grant an audience to Colonel Egerton, who now
appeared as determined to expedite things, as he had been dilatory before.
On meeting Sir Edward, he made known his pretensions and hopes. The
father, who had been previously notified by his wife of what was
forthcoming, gave a general answer, similar to the speech of the mother,
and the colonel bowed in acquiescence.

In the evening, the Jarvis family favored the inhabitants of the lodge
with a visit, and Mrs. Wilson was struck with the singularity of their
reception of the colonel. Miss Jarvis, especially, was rude to both him
and Jane, and it struck all who witnessed it as a burst of jealous feeling
for disappointed hopes; but to no one, excepting Mrs. Wilson, did it occur
that the conduct of the gentleman could be at all implicated in the
transaction. Mr. Benfield was happy to see under his roof again the best
of the trio of Jarvises he had known, and something like sociability
prevailed. There was to be a ball, Miss Jarvis remarked, at L----, the
following day, which would help to enliven the scene a little, especially
as there were a couple of frigates at anchor, a few miles off, and the
officers were expected to join the party. This intelligence had but little
effect on the ladies of the Moseley family; yet, as their uncle desired
that, out of respect to his neighbors, if invited, they would go, they
cheerfully assented. During the evening, Mrs. Wilson observed Egerton in
familiar conversation with Miss Jarvis; and as she had been notified of
his situation with respect to Jane, she determined to watch narrowly into
the causes of so singular a change of deportment in the young lady. Mrs.
Jarvis retained her respect for the colonel in full force; and called out
to him across the room, a few minutes before she departed--

"Well, colonel, I am happy to tell you I have heard very lately from your
uncle, Sir Edgar."

"Indeed, madam!" replied the colonel, starting. "He was well, I hope."

"Very well, the day before yesterday. His neighbor, old, Mr. Holt, is a
lodger in the same house with us at L----; and as I thought you would like
to hear, I made particular inquiries about the baronet." The word baronet
was pronounced with emphasis and a look of triumph, as if it would say,
you see _we_ have baronets as well as you. As no answer was made by
Egerton, excepting an acknowledging bow, the merchant and his family
departed.

"Well, John," cried Emily, with a smile, "we have heard more good to-day
of our trusty and well-beloved cousin, the Earl of Pendennyss."

"Indeed!" exclaimed her brother. "You must keep Emily for his lordship,
positively, aunt: she is almost as great an admirer of him as yourself."

"I apprehend it is necessary she should be quite as much so, to become
his wife," said Mrs. Wilson.

"Really," said Emily, more gravely, "if all one hears of him be true, or
even half, it would be no difficult task to admire him."

Denbigh was standing leaning on the back of a chair, in situation where he
could view the animated countenance of Emily as she spoke, and Mrs. Wilson
noticed an uneasiness and a changing of color in him that appeared
uncommon from so trifling a cause. Is it possible, she thought, Denbigh
can harbor so mean a passion as envy? He walked away, as if unwilling to
hear more, and appeared much engrossed with his own reflections for the
remainder of the evening. There were moments of doubting which crossed the
mind of Mrs. Wilson with a keenness of apprehension proportionate to her
deep interest in Emily, with respect to certain traits in the character of
Denbigh; and this, what she thought a display of unworthy feeling, was one
of them. In the course of the evening, the cards for the expected ball
arrived, and were accepted. As this new arrangement for the morrow
interfered with their intended visit to Mrs. Fitzgerald, a servant was
sent with a note of explanation in the morning and a request that on the
following day the promised communication might be made. To this
arrangement the recluse assented, and Emily prepared for the ball with a
melancholy recollection of the consequences which grew out of the last she
had attended--melancholy at the fate of Digby, and pleasure at the
principles manifested by Denbigh, on the occasion. The latter, however,
with a smile, excused himself from being of the party, telling Emily he
was so awkward that he feared some unpleasant consequences to himself or
his friends would arise from his inadvertencies, did he venture again with
her into such an assembly.

Emily sighed gently, as she entered the carriage of her aunt early in the
afternoon, leaving Denbigh in the door of the lodge, and Egerton absent on
the execution of some business; the former to amuse himself as he could
until the following morning, and the latter to join them in the dance in
the evening.

The arrangement included an excursion on the water, attended by the bands
from the frigates, a collation, and in the evening a ball. One of the
vessels was commanded by a Lord Henry Stapleton, a fine young man, who,
struck with the beauty and appearance of the sisters, sought an
introduction to the baronet's family, and engaged the hand of Emily for
the first dance. His frank and gentleman-like deportment was pleasing to
his new acquaintances; the more so, as it was peculiarly suited to their
situation at the moment. Mrs. Wilson was in unusual spirits, and
maintained an animated conversation with the young sailor, in the course
of which, he spoke of his cruising on the coast of Spain, and by accident
he mentioned his having carried out to that country, upon one occasion,
Lord Pendennyss. This was common ground between them, and Lord Henry was
as enthusiastic in his praises of the earl, as Mrs. Wilson's partiality
could desire. He also knew Colonel Egerton slightly, and expressed his
pleasure, in polite terms, when they met in the evening in the ball-room,
at being able to renew his acquaintance. The evening passed off as such
evenings generally do--in gaiety, listlessness, dancing, gaping, and
heartburnings, according to the dispositions and good or ill fortune of
the several individuals who compose the assembly. Mrs. Wilson, while her
nieces were dancing, moved her seat to be near a window, and found herself
in the vicinity of two elderly gentlemen, who were commenting on the
company. After making several common-place remarks, one of them inquired
of the other--"Who is that military gentleman amongst the naval beaux,
Holt?"

"That is the hopeful nephew of my friend and neighbor, Sir Edgar Egerton;
he is here dancing, and misspending his time and money, when I know Sir
Edgar gave him a thousand pounds six months ago, on express condition, he
should not leave the regiment or take a card in his hand for twelvemonth."

"He plays, then?"

"Sadly; he is, on the whole, a very bad young man."

As they changed their topic, Mrs. Wilson joined her sister, dreadfully
shocked at this intimation of the vices of a man so near an alliance with
her brother's child. She was thankful it was not too late to avert part of
the evil, and determined to acquaint Sir Edward, at once, with what she
had heard, in order that an investigation might establish the colonel's
innocence or guilt.



Chapter XXV.



They returned to the lodge at an early hour, and Mrs Wilson, after
meditating upon the course she ought to take, resolved to have a
conversation with her brother that evening after supper. Accordingly, as
they were among the last to retire, she mentioned her wish to detain him,
and when left by themselves, the baronet taking his seat by her on a sofa,
she commenced as follows, willing to avoid her unpleasant information
until the last moment.

"I wished to say something to you, brother, relating to my charge: you
have, no doubt, observed the attentions of Mr. Denbigh to Emily?"

"Certainly, sister, and with great pleasure; you must not suppose I wish
to interfere with the authority I have so freely relinquished to you,
Charlotte, when I inquire if Emily favors his views or not?"

"Neither Emily nor I, my dear brother, wish ever to question your right,
not only to inquire into, but to control the conduct of your child;--she
is yours, Edward, by a tie nothing can break, and we both love you too
much to wish it. There is nothing you may be more certain of, than that,
without the approbation of her parents, Emily would accept of no offer,
however splendid or agreeable to her own wishes."

"Nay, sister, I would not wish unduly to influence my child in an affair
of so much importance to herself; but my interest in Denbigh is little
short of that I feel for my daughter."

"I trust," continued Mrs. Wilson, "Emily is too deeply impressed with her
duty to forget the impressive mandate, 'to honor her father and mother:'
yes, Sir Edward, I am mistaken if she would not relinquish the dearest
object of her affections, at your request; and at the same time, I am
persuaded she would, under no circumstances, approach the altar with a man
she did not both love and esteem."

The baronet did not appear exactly to understand his sister's distinction,
as he observed, "I am not sure I rightly comprehend the difference you
make, Charlotte."

"Only, brother, that she would feel that a promise made at the altar to
love a man she felt averse to, or honor one she could not esteem, as a
breach of a duty, paramount to all earthly considerations," replied his
sister; "but to answer your question--Denbigh has never offered, and when
he does, I do not think he will be refused."

"Refused!" cried the baronet, "I sincerely hope not; I wish, with all my
heart, they were married already."

"Emily is very young," said Mrs. Wilson, "and need not hurry: I was in
hopes she would remain single a few years longer."

"Well," said the baronet, "you and Lady Moseley, sister, have different
notions on the subject of marrying the girls."

Mrs. Wilson replied, with a good-humored smile, "you have made Anne so
good a husband, Ned, that she forgets there are any bad ones in the world;
_my_ greatest anxiety is, that the husband of my niece may be a Christian;
indeed, I know not how I can reconcile it to my conscience, as a Christian
myself, to omit this important qualification,"

"I am sure, Charlotte, both Denbigh and Egerton appear to have a great
respect for religion; they are punctual at church, and very attentive to
the service:" Mrs, Wilson smiled as he proceeded, "but religion may come
after marriage, you know."

"Yes, brother, and I know it may not come at all; no really pious woman
can be happy, without her husband is in what she deems the road to future
happiness himself; and it is idle--it is worse--it is almost impious to
marry with a view to reform a husband: indeed, she greatly endangers her
own safety thereby; for few of us, I believe, but find the temptation to
err as much as we can contend with, without calling in the aid of example
against us, in an object we love; indeed it appears to me, the life of
such a woman must be a struggle between conflicting duties."

"Why," said the baronet, "if your plan were generally adopted, I am afraid
it would give a deadly blow to matrimony."

"I have nothing to do with generals, brother, I am acting for individual
happiness, and discharging individual duties: at the same time I cannot
agree with you in its effects on the community. I think no man who
dispassionately examines the subject, will be other than a Christian; and
rather than remain bachelors, they would take even that trouble; if the
strife in our sex were less for a husband, wives would increase in value."

"But how is it, Charlotte," said the baronet, pleasantly, "your sex do not
use your power and reform the age?"

"The work of reformation, Sir Edward," replied his sister, gravely, "is an
arduous one indeed, and I despair of seeing it general, in my day; but
much, very much, might be done towards it, if those who have the guidance
of youth would take that trouble with their pupils that good faith
requires of them, to discharge the minor duties of life."

"Women ought to marry," observed the baronet, musing.

"Marriage is certainly the natural and most desirable state for a woman,"
but how few are there who, having entered it, know how to discharge its
duties; more particularly those of a mother! On the subject of marrying
our daughters, for instance, instead of qualifying them to make a proper
choice, they are generally left to pick up such principles and opinions as
they may come at, as it were by chance. It is true, if the parent be a
Christian in name, certain of the externals of religion are observed; but
what are these, if not enforced by a consistent example in the
instructor?"

"Useful precepts are seldom lost, I believe, sister," said Sir Edward,
with confidence.

"Always useful, my dear brother; but young people are more observant than
we are apt to imagine, and are wonderfully ingenious in devising excuses
to themselves for their conduct. I have often heard it offered as an
apology, that father or mother knew it, or perhaps did it, and therefore
it could not be wrong: association is all-important to a child."

"I believe no family of consequence admits of improper associates within
my knowledge," said the baronet.

Mrs. Wilson smiled as she answered, "I am sure I hope not, Edward; but are
the qualifications we require in companions for our daughters, always such
as are most reconcileable with our good sense or our consciences; a single
communication with an objectionable character is a precedent, if known and
unobserved, which will be offered to excuse acquaintances with worse
persons: with the other sex, especially, their acquaintance should be very
guarded and select."

"You would make many old maids, sister."

"I doubt it greatly, brother; it would rather bring female society in
demand. I often regret that selfishness, cupidity, and the kind of strife
which prevails in our sex, on the road to matrimony, have brought celibacy
into disrepute. For my part, I never see an old maid, but I am willing to
think she is so from choice or principle, and although not in her proper
place, serviceable, by keeping alive feelings necessary to exist, that
marriages may not become curses instead of blessings."

"A kind of Eddystone, to prevent matrimonial shipwrecks," said the
brother, gayly.

"Their lot may be solitary, baronet, and in some measure cheerless, but
infinitely preferable to a marriage that may lead them astray from their
duties, or give birth to a family which are to be turned on the
world--without any religion but form--without any morals but truisms--or
without even a conscience which has not been seared by indulgence. I hope
that Anne, in the performance of her system, will have no cause to regret
its failure."

"Clara chose for herself, and has done well, Charlotte; and so, I doubt
not, will Jane and Emily: and I confess I think their mother is right."

"It is true," said Mrs. Wilson, "Clara has done well, though under
circumstances of but little risk; she might have jumped into your
fish-pond, and escaped with life, but the chances are she would drown: nor
do I dispute the right of the girls to choose for themselves; but I say
the rights extend to requiring us to qualify them to make their choice. I
am sorry, Edward, to be the instigator of doubts in your breast of the
worth of any one, especially as it may give you pain." Here Mrs. Wilson
took her brother affectionately by the hand, and communicated what she had
overheard that evening. Although the impressions of the baronet were not
as vivid, or as deep as those of his sister, his parental love was too
great not to make him extremely uneasy under the intelligence and after
thanking her for her attention to his children's welfare, he kissed her,
and withdrew. In passing to his own room, he met Egerton, that moment
returned from escorting Jarvis ladies to their lodgings; a task he had
undertaken at the request of Jane, as they were without any male
attendant. Sir Edward's heart was too full not to seek immediate relief,
and as he had strong hopes of the innocence of the colonel, though he
could give no reason for his expectation, he returned with him to the
parlor, and in a few words acquainted him with the slanders which had been
circulated at his expense; begging him by all means to disprove them as
soon as possible. The colonel was struck with the circumstance at first,
but assured Sir Edward, it was entirely untrue. He never played, as he
might have noticed, and that Mr. Holt was an ancient enemy of his. He
would in She morning take measures to convince Sir Edward, that he stood
higher in the estimation of his uncle, than Mr. Holt had thought proper to
state. Much relieved by this explanation, the baronet, forgetting that
this heavy charge removed, he only stood where he did before he took time
for his inquiries, assured him, that if he could convince him, or rather
his sister, he did not gamble, he would receive him as a son-in-law with
pleasure. The gentlemen shook hands and parted.

Denbigh had retired to his room early, telling Mr. Benfield he did not
feel well, and thus missed the party at supper; and by twelve, silence
prevailed in the house.

As usual after a previous day of pleasure, the party were late in
assembling on the following, yet Denbigh was the last who made his
appearance. Mrs. Wilson thought he threw a look round the room as he
entered, which prevented his making his salutations in his usual easy and
polished manner. In a few minutes, however, his awkwardness was removed,
and they took their seats at the table. At that moment the door of the
room was thrown hastily open, and Mr. Jarvis entered abruptly, and with a
look bordering on wildness in his eye--"Is she not here?" exclaimed the
merchant scanning the company closely.

"Who?" inquired all in a breath.

"Polly--my daughter--my child," said the merchant, endeavoring to control
his feelings; "did she not come here this morning with Colonel Egerton?"

He was answered in the negative, and he briefly explained the cause of his
anxiety. The colonel had called very early, and sent her maid up to his
daughter who rose immediately. They had quitted the house together,
leaving word the Miss Moseleys had sent for the young lady to breakfast,
for some particular reason. Such was the latitude allowed by his wife,
that nothing was suspected until one of the servants of the house said he
had seen Colonel Egerton and a lady drive out of the village that morning
in a post-chaise and four.

Then the old gentleman first took the alarm, and he proceeded instantly to
the lodge in quest of his daughter. Of the elopement there now remained no
doubt, and an examination into the state of the colonel's room, who, it
had been thought, was not yet risen, gave assurance of it. Here was at
once sad confirmation that the opinion of Mr. Holt was a just one.
Although every heart felt for Jane during this dreadful explanation, no
eye was turned on her excepting the stolen, and anxious glances of her
sister; but when all was confirmed, and nothing remained but to reflect or
act upon the circumstances, she naturally engrossed the whole attention of
her fond parents. Jane had listened in indignation to the commencement of
the narrative of Mr. Jarvis, and so firmly was Egerton enshrined in purity
within her imagination, that not until it was ascertained that both his
servant and clothes were missing, would she admit a thought injurious to
his truth. Then indeed the feelings of Mr. Jarvis, his plain statement
corroborated by this testimony, struck her at once as true; and as she
rose to leave the room, she fell senseless into the arms of Emily who
observing her movement and loss of color had flown to her assistance.
Denbigh had drawn the merchant out in vain efforts to appease him, and
happily no one witnessed this effect of Jane's passion but her nearest
relatives. She was immediately removed to her own room, and in a short
time was in bed with a burning fever. The bursts of her grief were
uncontrolled and violent. At times she reproached herself--her
friends--Egerton; in short, she was guilty of all the inconsistent
sensations that disappointed hopes, accompanied by the consciousness of
weakness on our part seldom fail to give rise to; the presence of her
friends was irksome to her, and it was only to the soft and insinuating
blandishments of Emily's love that she would at all yield. Perseverance
and affection at length prevailed, and as Emily took the opportunity of
some refreshments to infuse a strong soporific, Jane lost her
consciousness of misery in a temporary repose. In the mean time a more
searching inquiry had been able to trace out the manner and direction of
the journey of the fugitives.

It appeared the colonel left the lodge immediately after his conversation
with Sir Edward; he slept at a tavern, and caused his servant to remove
his baggage at daylight; here he had ordered a chaise and horses, and then
proceeded, as mentioned, to the lodgings of Mr. Jarvis. What arguments he
used with Miss Jarvis to urge her to so sudden a flight, remained a
secret; but from the remarks of Mrs. Jarvis and Miss Sarah, there was
reason to believe that he had induced them to think from the commencement,
that his intentions were single, and Mary Jarvis their object. How he
contrived to gloss over his attentions to Jane in such a manner as to
deceive those ladies, caused no little surprise; but it was obvious it had
been done, and the Moseleys were not without hopes his situation with
Jane would not make the noise in the world such occurrences seldom fail to
excite. In the afternoon a letter was handed to Mr. Jarvis, and by him
immediately communicated to the baronet and Denbigh, both of whom he
considered as among his best friends. It was from Egerton, and written in
a respectful manner: he apologized for his elopement, and excused it on
the ground of a wish to avoid the delay of a license or the publishing of
bans, as he was in hourly expectation of a summons to his regiment, and
contained many promises of making an attentive husband, and an
affectionate son. The fugitives were on the road to Scotland, whence they
intended immediately to return to London and to wait the commands of their
parents. The baronet in a voice trembling with emotion at the sufferings
of his own child, congratulated the merchant that things were no worse;
while Denbigh curled his lips as he read the epistle, and thought
settlements were a greater inconvenience than the bans--for it was a well
known fact, a maiden aunt had left the Jarvises twenty thousand pounds
between them.



Chapter XXVI.



Although the affections of Jane had sustained a blow, her pride had
received a greater, and no persuasions of her mother or sister could
induce her to leave her room. She talked little, but once or twice she
yielded to the affectionate attentions of Emily, and poured out her
sorrows into the bosom of her sister. At such moments she would declare
her intention of never appearing in the world again. One of these
paroxysms of sorrow was witnessed by her mother, and, for the first time,
self-reproach mingled in the grief of the matron. Had she trusted less to
appearances and to the opinions of indifferent and ill-judging
acquaintances, her daughter might have been apprized in season of the
character of the man who had stolen her affections. To a direct exhibition
of misery Lady Moseley was always sensible, and, for the moment, she
became alive to its causes and consequences; but a timely and judicious
safeguard against future moral evils was a forecast neither her inactivity
of mind nor abilities were equal to.

We shall leave Jane to brood over her lover's misconduct, while we regret
she is without the consolation alone able to bear her up against the
misfortunes of life, and return to the other personages of our history.

The visit to Mrs. Fitzgerald had been postponed in consequence of Jane's
indisposition; but a week after the colonel's departure, Mrs. Wilson
thought, as Jane had consented to leave her room, and Emily really began
to look pale from her confinement by the side of a sick bed, she would
redeem the pledge she had given the recluse on the following morning. They
found the ladies at the cottage happy to see them, and anxious to hear of
the health of Jane, of whose illness they had been informed by note. After
offering her guests some refreshments, Mrs. Fitzgerald, who appeared
laboring under a greater melancholy than usual, proceeded to make them
acquainted with the incidents of her life.

The daughter of an English merchant at Lisbon had fled from the house of
her father to the protection of an Irish officer in the service of his
Catholic Majesty: they were united, and the colonel immediately took his
bride to Madrid. The offspring of this union were a son and daughter. The
former, at an early age, had entered into the service of his king, and
had, as usual, been bred in the faith of his ancestors; but the Señora
McCarthy had been educated, and yet remained a Protestant, and, contrary
to her faith to her husband, secretly instructed her daughter in the same
belief. At the age of seventeen, a principal grandee of the court of
Charles sought the hand of the general's child. The Conde d'Alzada was a
match not to be refused, and they were united in the heartless and formal
manner in which marriages are too often entered into, in countries where
the customs of society prevent an intercourse between the sexes. The Conde
never possessed the affections of his wife. Of a stern and unyielding
disposition, his harshness repelled her love; and as she naturally turned
her eyes to the home of her childhood, she cherished all those peculiar
sentiments she had imbibed from her mother. Thus, although she appeared to
the world a Catholic, she lived in secret a Protestant. Her parents had
always used the English language in their family, and she spoke it as
fluently as the Spanish. To encourage her recollections of this strong
feature, which distinguished the house of her father from the others she
entered, she perused closely and constantly those books which the death of
her mother placed at her disposal. These were principally Protestant works
on religious subjects, and the countess became a strong sectarian, without
becoming a Christian. As she was compelled to use the same books in
teaching her only child, the Donna Julia, English, the consequences of the
original false step of her grandmother were perpetuated in the person of
this young lady. In learning English, she also learned to secede from the
faith of her father, and entailed upon herself a life of either
persecution or hypocrisy. The countess was guilty of the unpardonable
error of complaining to their child of the treatment she received from her
husband; and as these conversations were held in English, and were
consecrated by the tears of the mother, they made an indelible impression
on the youthful mind of Julia, who grew up with the conviction that next
to being a Catholic herself, the greatest evil of life was to be the wife
of one.

On her attaining her fifteenth year, she had the misfortune (if it could
be termed one) to lose her mother, and within the year her father
presented to her a nobleman of the vicinity as her future husband. How
long the religious faith of Julia would have endured, unsupported by
example in others, and assailed by the passions soliciting in behalf of a
young and handsome cavalier, it might be difficult to pronounce; but as
suitor was neither very young, and the reverse of very handsome, it is
certain the more he wooed, the more confirmed she became in her heresy,
until, in a moment of desperation, and as an only refuge against his
solicitations, she candidly avowed her creed. The anger of her father was
violent and lasting: she was doomed to a convent, as both a penance for
her sins and a means of reformation. Physical resistance was not in her
power, but mentally she determined never to yield. Her body was immured,
but her mind continued unshaken and rather more settled in her belief, by
the aid of those passions which had been excited by injudicious harshness.
For two years she continued in her novitiate, obstinately refusing to take
the vows of the order, and at the end of that period the situation of her
country had called her father and uncle to the field as defenders of the
rights of their lawful prince. Perhaps to this it was owing that harsher
measures were not adopted in her case.

The war now raged around them in its greatest horrors, until at length a
general battle was fought in the neighborhood, and the dormitories of the
peaceful nuns were crowded with wounded British officers. Amongst others
of his nation was a Major Fitzgerald, a young man of strikingly handsome
countenance and pleasant manners. Chance threw him under the more
immediate charge of Julia: his recovery was slow, and for a time doubtful,
and as much owing to good nursing as science. The major was grateful, and
Julia unhappy as she was beautiful. That love should be the offspring of
this association, will excite no surprise. A brigade of British encamping
in the vicinity of the convent, the young couple sought its protection
from Spanish vengeance and Romish cruelty. They were married by the
chaplain of the brigade, and for a month they were happy.

As Napoleon was daily expected in person at the seat of war, his generals
were alive to their own interests, if not to that of their master. The
body of troops in which Fitzgerald had sought a refuge, being an advanced
party of the main army, were surprised and defeated with loss. After doing
his duty as a soldier at his post, the major, in endeavoring to secure the
retreat of Julia, was intercepted, and they both fell into the hands of
the enemy. They were kindly treated, and allowed every indulgence their
situation admitted, until a small escort of prisoners was sent to the
frontiers; in this they were included, and had proceeded to the
neighborhood of the Pyrenees, when, in their turn, the French were
assailed suddenly, and entirely routed; and the captive Spaniards, of
which the party, with the exception of our young couple, consisted,
released. As the French guard made a resistance until overpowered by
numbers, an unfortunate ball struck Major Fitzgerald to the earth--he
survived but an hour, and died where he fell, on the open field. An
English officer, the last of his retiring countrymen, was attracted by the
sight of a woman weeping over the body of a fallen man, and approached
them. In a few words Fitzgerald explained his situation to this gentleman,
and exacted a pledge from him to guard his Julia, in safety, to his mother
in England.

The stranger promised everything the dying husband required, and by the
time death had closed the eyes of Fitzgerald, he had procured from some
peasants a rude conveyance, into which the body, with its almost equally
lifeless widow, were placed. The party which intercepted the convoy of
prisoners, had been out from the British camp on other duty, but its
commander hearing of the escort, had pushed rapidly into a country covered
by the enemy to effect their rescue; and his service done, he was
compelled to make a hasty retreat to ensure his own security. To this was
owing the indifference, which left the major to the care of the Spanish
peasantry who had gathered to the spot, and the retreating troops had got
several miles on their return, before the widow and her protector
commenced their journey. It was impossible to overtake them, and the
inhabitants acquainting the gentleman that a body of French dragoons were
already harassing their rear, he was compelled to seek another route to
the camp. This, with some trouble and no little danger, he at last
effected; and the day following the skirmish, Julia found herself lodged
in a retired Spanish dwelling, several miles within the advanced posts of
the British army. The body of her husband was respectfully interred, and
Julia was left to mourn her irretrievable loss, uninterrupted by anything
but by the hasty visits of the officer in whose care she had been
left--visits which he stole from his more important duties as a soldier.

A month glided by in this melancholy manner, leaving to Mrs. Fitzgerald
the only consolation she would receive--her incessant visits to the grave
of her husband. The calls of her protector, however, became more frequent;
and at length he announced his intended departure for Lisbon, on his way
to England. A small covered vehicle, drawn by one horse, was to convey
them to the city, at which place he promised to procure her a female
attendant, and necessaries for the voyage home. It was no time or place
for delicate punctilio; and Julia quietly, but with a heart nearly broken,
prepared to submit to the wishes of her late husband. After leaving the
dwelling, the manners of her guide sensibly altered; he became
complimentary and assiduous to please, but in a way rather to offend than
conciliate; until his attentions became so irksome, that Julia actually
meditated stopping at some of the villages through which they passed, and
abandoning the attempt of visiting England entirely. But the desire to
comply with Fitzgerald's wish, that she would console his mother for the
loss of an only child, and the dread of the anger of her relatives,
determined her to persevere until they reached Lisbon, where she was
resolved to separate for ever from the disagreeable and unknown guardian
into whose keeping she had been thrown by chance.

The last day of their weary ride, while passing a wood, the officer so far
forgot his own character and Julia's misfortunes, as to offer personal
indignities. Grown desperate from her situation, Mrs. Fitzgerald sprang
from the vehicle, and by her cries attracted the notice of an officer who
was riding express on the same road with themselves. He advanced to her
assistance at speed, but as he arrived near them, a pistol fired from the
carriage brought his horse down, and the treacherous friend was enabled to
escape undetected. Julia endeavored to explain her situation to her
rescuer; and by her distress and appearance, satisfied him at once of its
truth. Within a short time, a strong escort of light dragoons came up, and
the officer despatched some for a conveyance, and others in pursuit of
that disgrace to the army, the villanous guide: the former was soon
obtained, but no tidings could be had of the latter. The carriage was
found at a short distance, without the horse and with the baggage of
Julia, but with no vestige of its owner. She never knew his name, and
either accident or art had so completely enveloped him in mystery, that
all efforts to unfold it then were fruitless, and had continued so ever
since.

On their arrival in Lisbon, every attention was shown to the disconsolate
widow the most refined delicacy could, dictate, and every comfort and
respect were procured for her which the princely fortune, high rank, and
higher character of the Earl of Pendennyss, could, command. It was this
nobleman, who, on his way from head-quarters with despatches for England,
had been the means of preserving Julia from a fate worse than death. A
packet was in waiting for the earl, and they proceeded in her for home.
The Donna Lorenza was the widow of a subaltern Spanish officer, who had
fallen under the orders and near Pendennyss, and the interest he took in
her brave husband had induced him to offer her, in the destruction of her
little fortune by the enemy, his protection: for near two years he had
maintained her at Lisbon and now, judging her a proper person, had
persuaded her to accompany Mrs. Fitzgerald to England.

On the passage, which was very tedious, the earl became more intimately
acquainted with the history and character of his young friend, and by a
course of gentle yet powerful expedients had drawn her mind gradually from
its gloomy contemplation of futurity, to a juster sense of good and evil
The peculiarity of her religious persuasion afforded an introduction to
frequent discussions of the real opinions of that church, to which Julia
had hitherto belonged, although ignorant of all its essential and vital
truths. These conversations, which were renewed repeatedly in their
intercourse while under the protection of his sister in London, laid the
foundations of a faith which left her nothing to hope for but the happy
termination of her earthly probation.

The mother of Fitzgerald was dead, and as he had no near relative left,
Julia found herself alone in the world. Her husband had taken the
precaution to make a will in season it was properly authenticated, and his
widow, by the powerful assistance of Pendennyss, was put in quiet
possession of a little independency. It was while waiting the decision of
this affair that Mrs. Fitzgerald resided for a short time near Bath. As
soon as it was terminated, the earl and his sister had seen her settled in
her present abode, and once since had they visited her; but delicacy had
kept him away from the cottage, although his attempts to serve her had
been constant, though not always successful. He had, on his return to
Spain, seen her father, and interceded with him on her behalf, but in
vain. The anger of the Spaniard remained unappeased, and for a season he
did not renew his efforts; out having heard that her father was
indisposed, Julia had employed the earl once more to make her peace with
him, without prevailing. The letter the ladies had found her weeping over
was from Pendennyss, informing her of his want of success on that
occasion.

The substance of the foregoing narrative was related by Mrs. Fitzgerald to
Mrs. Wilson, who repeated it to Emily in their ride home. The compassion
of both ladies was strongly moved in behalf of the young widow; yet Mrs.
Wilson did not fail to point out to her niece the consequences of
deception, and chiefly the misery which had followed from an abandonment
of some of the primary duties of life--obedience and respect to her parent
Emily, though keenly alive to all the principles inculcated by her aunt,
found so much to be pitied in the fate of her friend, that her failings
lost their proper appearance in her eyes, and for a while she could think
of nothing but Julia and her misfortunes. Previously to their leaving the
cottage, Mrs. Fitzgerald, with glowing cheeks and some hesitation,
informed Mrs. Wilson she had yet another important communication to make,
but would postpone it until her next visit, which Mrs. Wilson promised
should be on the succeeding day.



Chapter XXVII.



Emily threw a look of pleasure on Denbigh, as he handed her from the
carriage, which would have said, if looks could talk, "In the principles
you have displayed on more than one occasion, I have a pledge of _your_
worth." As he led her into the house, he laughingly informed her that he
had that morning received a letter which would make his absence from L----
necessary for a short time, and that he must remonstrate against these
long and repeated visits to a cottage where all attendants of the male sex
were excluded, as they encroached greatly on his pleasures and
improvements, bowing, as he spoke, to Mrs. Wilson. To this Emily replied,
gaily, that possibly, if he conducted himself to their satisfaction; they
would intercede for _his_ admission. Expressing his pleasure at this
promise, as Mrs. Wilson thought rather awkwardly, Denbigh changed the
conversation. At dinner he repeated to the family what he had mentioned to
Emily of his departure, and also his expectation of meeting with Lord
Chatterton during his journey.

"Have you heard from Chatterton lately, John?" inquired Sir Edward
Moseley.

"Yes, sir, to-day: he had left Denbigh Castle a fortnight since, and
writes he is to meet his friend, the duke, at Bath."

"Are you connected with his grace, Mr. Denbigh?" asked Lady Moseley.

A smile of indefinite meaning played on the expressive face of Denbigh, as
he answered slightly--

"On the side of my father, madam."

"He has a sister," continued Lady Moseley, willing to know more of
Chatterton's friends and Denbigh's relatives.

"He has," was the brief reply.

"Her name is Harriet," observed Mrs. Wilson. Denbigh bowed his assent in
silence, and Emily timidly added--

"Lady Harriet Denbigh?"

"Lady Harriet Denbigh--will you do me the favor to take wine?"

The manner of the gentleman during this dialogue had not been in the least
unpleasant, but it was peculiar; it prohibited anything further on the
subject; and Emily was obliged to be content without knowing who Marian
was, or whether her name was to be found in the Denbigh family or not.
Emily was not in the least jealous, but she wished to know all to whom her
lover was dear.

"Do the Dowager and the young ladies accompany Chatterton?" asked Sir
Edward, as he turned to John, who was eating his fruit in silence.

"Yes, sir--I hope--that is, I believe she will," was the answer.

"She! Who is she, my son?"

"Grace Chatterton," said John, starting from his meditations. "Did you not
ask me about Grace, Sir Edward?"

"Not particularly, I believe," said the baronet, dryly.

Denbigh again smiled: it was a smile different from any Mrs. Wilson had
ever seen on his countenance, and gave an entirely novel expression to his
face; it was full of meaning it was knowing--spoke more of the man of the
world than anything she had before noticed in him, and left on her mind
one of those vague impressions she was often troubled with, that there was
something about Denbigh in character or condition, or both, that was
mysterious.

The spirit of Jane was too great to leave her a pining or pensive maiden;
yet her feelings had sustained a shock that time alone could cure. She
appeared again amongst her friends; but the consciousness of her
expectations with respect to the colonel being known to them, threw around
her a hauteur and distance very foreign to her natural manner. Emily
alone, whose every movement sprang from the spontaneous feelings of her
heart, and whose words and actions were influenced by the finest and most
affectionate delicacy, such as she was not conscious of possessing
herself, won upon the better feelings of her sister so far, as to restore
between them the usual exchange of kindness and sympathy. But Jane
admitted no confidence; she found nothing consoling, nothing solid, to
justify her attachment to Egerton; nothing indeed, excepting such external
advantages as she was now ashamed to admit had ever the power over her
they in reality had possessed. The marriage of the fugitives in Scotland
had been announced; and as the impression that Egerton was to be connected
with the Moseleys was destroyed of course, their every-day acquaintances,
feeling the restraints removed that such an opinion had once imposed, were
free in their comments on his character. Sir Edward and Lady Moseley were
astonished to find how many things to his disadvantage were generally
known; that he gambled--intrigued--and was in debt--were no secrets
apparently to anybody, but to those who were most interested in knowing
the truth; while Mrs. Wilson saw in these facts additional reasons for
examining and judging for ourselves; the world uniformly concealing from
the party and his friends their honest opinions of his character. Some of
these insinuations reached the ears of Jane: her aunt having rightly
judged, that the surest way to destroy Egerton's power over the
imagination of her niece was to strip him of his fictitious qualities,
suggested this expedient to Lady Moseley; and some of their visitors had
though as the colonel had certainly been attentive to Miss Moseley, it
would give her pleasure to know that her rival had not made the most
eligible match in the kingdom. The project of Mrs. Wilson succeeded in a
great measure; but although Egerton fell, Jane did not find she rose in
Her own estimation; and her friends wisely concluded that time was the
only remedy that could restore her former serenity.

In the morning, Mrs. Wilson, unwilling to have Emily present at a
conversation she intended to hold with Denbigh, with a view to satisfy her
annoying doubts as to some minor points in his character, after excusing
herself to her niece, invited that gentleman to a morning drive. He
accepted her invitation cheerfully; and Mrs. Wilson saw, it was only as
they drove from the door without Emily, that he betrayed the faintest
reluctance to the jaunt. When they had got a short distance from the lodge
she acquainted him with her intention of presenting him to Mrs.
Fitzgerald, whither she had ordered the coachman to proceed. Denbigh
started as she mentioned the name, and after a few moments' silence,
desired Mrs. Wilson to allow him to stop the carriage; he was not very
well--was sorry to be so rude--but with her permission, he would alight
and return to the house. As he requested in an earnest manner that she
would proceed without him, and by no means disappoint her friend, Mrs.
Wilson complied; yet, somewhat at a loss to account for his sudden
illness, she turned her head to see how the sick man fared, a short time
after he had left her, and was not a little surprised to see him talking
very composedly with John who had met him on his way to the fields with
his gun. Lovesick--thought Mrs. Wilson with a smile; and as she rode on
she came to the conclusion, that as Denbigh was to leave them soon, Emily
would have an important communication to make on her return.

"Well," thought Mrs. Wilson with a sigh, "if it is to happen, it may as
well be done at once."

Mrs. Fitzgerald was expecting her, and appeared rather pleased than
otherwise that she had come alone. After some introductory conversation,
the ladies withdrew by themselves, and Julia acquainted Mrs. Wilson with a
new source of uneasiness. The day the ladies had promised to visit her,
but had been prevented by the arrangements for the ball, the Donna Lorenza
had driven to the village to make some purchases, attended as usual by
their only man-servant, and Mrs. Fitzgerald was sitting in the little
parlor in momentary expectation of her friends by herself. The sound of
footsteps drew her to the door, which she opened for the admission of the
wretch whose treachery to her dying husband's requests had given her so
much uneasiness. Horror--fear--surprise--altogether, prevented her from,
making any alarm at the moment, and she sank into a chair. He stood
between her and the door, as he endeavored to draw her into a
conversation; he assured her she had nothing to fear; that he loved her,
and her alone; that he was about to be married to a daughter of Sir Edward
Moseley, but would give her up, fortune, everything, if she would consent
to become his wife--that the views of her protector, he doubted not, were
dishonorable--that he himself was willing to atone for his former excess
of passion, by a life devoted to her.

How much longer he would have gone on, and what further he would have
offered, is unknown; for Mrs. Fitzgerald, having recovered herself a
little, darted to the bell on the other side of the room; he tried to
prevent her ringing it, but was too late; a short struggle followed, when
the sound of the footsteps of the maid compelled him to retreat
precipitately. Mrs. Fitzgerald added, that his assertion concerning Miss
Moseley had given her incredible uneasiness, and prevented her making the
communication yesterday; but she understood this morning through her maid,
that a Colonel Egerton, who had been supposed to be engaged to one of Sir
Edward's daughters, had eloped with another lady. That Egerton was her
persecutor, she did not now entertain a doubt; but that it was in the
power of Mrs. Wilson probably to make the discovery, as in the struggle
between them for the bell, a pocket-book had fallen from the breast-pocket
of his coat, and his retreat was too sudden to recover it.

As she put the book into the hands of Mrs. Wilson, she desired she would
take means to return it to its owner; its contents might be of value,
though she had not thought it correct to examine it. Mrs. Wilson took the
book, and as she dropped it into her work-bag, smiled at the Spanish
punctilio of her friend in not looking into her prize under the peculiar
circumstances.

A few questions as to the place and year of his first attempts, soon
convinced her it was Egerton whose unlicensed passions had given so much
trouble to Mrs. Fitzgerald. He had served but one campaign in Spain, and
in that year, and that division of the army; and surely _his principles_
were no restraint upon his conduct. Mrs. Fitzgerald begged the advice of
her more experienced friend as to the steps she ought to take; to which
the former asked if she had made Lord Pendennyss acquainted with the
occurrence. The young widow's cheek glowed as she answered, that, at the
same time she felt assured the base insinuation of Egerton was unfounded,
it had created a repugnance in her to troubling the earl any more than was
necessary in her affairs; and as she kissed the hand of Mrs. Wilson she
added--"besides, your goodness, my dear madam, renders any other adviser
unnecessary now." Mrs. Wilson pressed her hand affectionately, and assured
her of her good wishes and unaltered esteem. She commended her delicacy,
and plainly told the young widow, that how ever unexceptionable the
character of Pendennyss might be, a female friend was the only one a woman
in her situation could repose confidence in, without justly incurring the
sarcasms of the world.

As Egerton was now married, and would not probably offer, for the present
at least, any further molestation to Mrs. Fitzgerald, it was concluded to
be unnecessary to take any immediate measures of precaution; and Mrs.
Wilson thought the purse of Mr. Jarvis might be made the means of keeping
him within proper bounds in future. The merchant was prompt, and not
easily intimidated; and the slightest intimation of the truth would, she
knew, be sufficient to engage him on their side, heart and hand.

The ladies parted, with a promise of meeting soon again, and an additional
interest in each other by the communications of that and the preceding
day.

Mrs. Wilson had ridden half the distance between the cottage and the
lodge, before it occurred to her they had not absolutely ascertained, by
the best means in their possession, the identity of Colonel Egerton with
Julia's persecutor. She accordingly took the pocket-book from her bag, and
opened it for examination: a couple of letters fell from it into her lap,
and conceiving their direction would establish all she wished to know, as
they had been read, she turned to the superscription of one of them, and
saw--"George Denbigh, Esq." in the well known hand-writing of Dr.
Ives.--Mrs. Wilson felt herself overcome to a degree that compelled her
to lower a glass of the carriage for air. She sat gazing on the letters
until the characters swam before her eyes in undistinguished confusion;
and with difficulty she rallied her thoughts to the point necessary for
investigation. As soon as she found herself equal to the task, she
examined the letters with the closest scrutiny, and opened them both to be
sure there was no mistake. She saw the dates, the "dear George" at the
commencements, and the doctor's name subscribed, before she would believe
they were real; it was then the truth appeared to break upon her in a
flood of light. The aversion of Denbigh to speak of Spain, or of his
services in that country--his avoiding Sir Herbert Nicholson, and that
gentleman's observations respecting him--Colonel Egerton's and his own
manners--his absence from the ball, and startling looks on the following
morning, and at different times before and since--his displeasure at the
name of Pendennyss on various occasions--and his cheerful acceptance of
her invitation to ride until he knew her destination, and singular manner
of leaving her--were all accounted for by this dreadful discovery, and
Mrs. Wilson found the solution of her doubts rushing on her mind with a
force and rapidity that sickened her.

The misfortunes of Mrs. Fitzgerald, the unfortunate issue to the passion
of Jane, were trifles in the estimation of Mrs. Wilson, compared to the
discovery of Denbigh's unworthiness. She revolved in her mind his conduct
on various occasions, and wondered how one who could behave so well in
common, could thus yield to temptation on a particular occasion. His
recent attempts, his hypocrisy, however, proved that his villany was
systematic, and she was not weak enough to hide from herself the evidence
of his guilt, or of its enormity. His interposition between Emily and
death, she attributed now to natural courage, and perhaps in some measure
to chance; but his profound and unvarying reverence for holy things, his
consistent charity, his refusing to fight, to what were they owing? And
Mrs. Wilson mourned the weakness of human nature, while she acknowledged
to her self, there might be men, qualified by nature, and even disposed by
reason and grace, to prove ornaments to religion and the world, who fell
beneath the maddening influence of their besetting sins. The superficial
and interested vices of Egerton vanished before these awful and deeply
seated offences of Denbigh, and the correct widow saw at a glance, that he
was the last man to be intrusted with the happiness of her niece; but how
to break this heartrending discovery to Emily was a new source of
uneasiness to her, and the carriage stopped at the door of the lodge, ere
she had determined on the first step required of her by duty.

Her brother handed her out, and, filled with the dread that Denbigh had
availed himself of the opportunity of her absence to press his suit with
Emily, she eagerly inquired after him. She was rejoiced to hear he had
returned with John for a fowling-piece, and together they had gone in
pursuit of game, although she saw in it a convincing proof that a desire
to avoid Mrs. Fitzgerald, and not indisposition, had induced him to leave
her.--As a last alternative, she resolved to have the pocket-book returned
to him in her presence, in order to see if he acknowledged it to be his
property; and, accordingly, she instructed her own man to hand it to him
while at dinner, simply saying he had lost it.

The open and unsuspecting air with which her niece met Denbigh on his
return gave Mrs. Wilson an additional shock, and she could hardly command
herself sufficiently to extend the common courtesies of good breeding to
Mr. Benfield's guest.

While sitting at the dessert, her servant handed the pocket book, as
directed by his mistress, to its owner, saying, "Your pocket-book, I
believe, Mr. Denbigh." Denbigh took the book, and held it in his hand for
a moment in surprise, and then fixed his eye keenly on the man, as he
inquired where he found it, and how he knew it was his. These were
interrogatories Francis was not prepared to answer, and in his confusion
he naturally turned his eyes on his mistress. Denbigh followed their
direction with his own, and in encountering the looks of the lady, he
asked in a stammering manner, and with a face of scarlet,

"Am I indebted to you, madam, for my property?"

"No, sir; it was given me by one who found it, to restore to you," said
Mrs. Wilson, gravely, and the subject was dropped, both appearing willing
to say no more. Yet Denbigh was abstracted and absent during the remainder
of the repast, and Emily spoke to him once or twice without obtaining an
answer. Mrs. Wilson caught his eye several times fixed on her with an
inquiring and doubtful expression, that convinced her he was alarmed. If
any confirmation of his guilt had been wanting, the consciousness he
betrayed during this scene afforded it; and she set seriously about
considering the shortest and best method of interrupting his intercourse
with Emily, before he had drawn from her an acknowledgment of her love.



Chapter XXVIII.



On withdrawing to her dressing-room after dinner, Mrs. Wilson commenced
the disagreeable duty of removing the veil from the eyes of her niece, by
recounting to her the substance of Mrs. Fitzgerald's last communication.
To the innocence of Emily such persecution could excite no other
sensations than surprise and horror; and as her aunt omitted the part
concerning the daughter of Sir Edward Moseley, she naturally expressed her
wonder as to who the wretch could be.

"Possibly, aunt," she said with an involuntary shudder, "some of the many
gentlemen we have lately seen, and one who has had art enough to conceal
his real character from the world."

"Concealment, my love," replied Mrs. Wilson, "would be hardly necessary.
Such is the fashionable laxity of morals, that I doubt not many of his
associates would laugh at his misconduct, and that he would still continue
to pass with the world as an honorable man."

"And ready," cried her niece, "to sacrifice human life, in the defence of
any ridiculous punctilio."

"Or," added Mrs. Wilson, striving to draw nearer to her subject, "with a
closer veil of hypocrisy, wear even an affectation of principle and moral
feeling that would seem to forbid such a departure from duty in favor of
custom."

"Oh! no, dear aunt," exclaimed Emily, with glowing cheeks and eyes dancing
with pleasure, "he would hardly dare to be so very base. It would be
profanity."

Mrs. Wilson sighed heavily as she witnessed that confiding esteem which
would not permit her niece even to suspect that an act which in Denbigh
had been so warmly applauded, could, even in another, proceed from
unworthy motives; and she found it would be necessary to speak in the
plainest terms, to awaken her suspicions. Willing, however, to come
gradually to the distressing truth, she replied--

"And yet, my dear, men who pride themselves greatly on their morals, nay,
even some who wear the mask of religion, and perhaps deceive themselves,
admit and practise this very appeal to arms. Such inconsistencies are by
no means uncommon. And why, then, might there not, with equal probability,
be others who would revolt at murder, and yet not hesitate being guilty of
lesser enormities? This is, in some measure, the case of every man; and it
is only to consider killing in unlawful encounters as murder, to make it
one in point."

"Hypocrisy is so mean a vice, I should not think a brave man could stoop
to it," said Emily, "and Julia admits he was brave."

"And would not a brave man revolt at the cowardice of insulting an
unprotected woman? And your hero did that too," replied Mrs. Wilson,
bitterly, losing her self-command in indignation.

"Oh! do not call him my hero, I beg of you, dear aunt," said Emily,
starting, excited by so extraordinary an allusion, but instantly losing
the unpleasant sensation in the delightful consciousness of the
superiority of the man on whom she had bestowed her own admiration.

"In fact, my child," continued her aunt, "our natures are guilty of the
grossest inconsistencies. The vilest wretch has generally some property or
which he values himself, and the most perfect are too often frail on some
tender point. Long and tried friendships are those only which can be
trusted, and these oftentimes fail."

Emily looked at her aunt in surprise at hearing her utter such unusual
sentiments; for Mrs. Wilson, at the same time she had, by divine
assistance, deeply impressed her niece with the frailty of her nature, had
withheld the disgusting representation of human vices from her view, as
unnecessary to her situation and dangerous to her humility.

After a short pause, Mrs. Wilson continued, "Marriage is a fearful step in
a woman, and one she is compelled, in some measure, to adventure her
happiness on, without fitting opportunities of judging of the merit of the
man she confides in. Jane is an instance in point, but I devoutly hope you
are not to be another."

While speaking, Mrs. Wilson had taken the hand of Emily, and by her looks
and solemn manner she had succeeded in alarming her niece, although
Denbigh was yet furthest from the thoughts of Emily. The aunt reached her
a glass of water, and willing to get rid of the hateful subject she
continued, hurriedly, "Did you not notice the pocket-book Francis gave to
Mr. Denbigh?" Emily fixed her inquiring eyes on her aunt, as the other
added, "It was the one Mrs. Fitzgerald gave me to-day." Something like an
indefinite glimpse of the facts crossed the mind of Emily; and as it most
obviously involved a separation from Denbigh, she sank lifeless into the
extended arms of her aunt. This had been anticipated by Mrs. Wilson, and a
timely application of restoratives soon brought her back to a
consciousness of misery. Mrs. Wilson, unwilling any one but herself should
witness this first burst of grief, succeeded in getting her niece to her
own room and in bed. Emily made no lamentations--shed no tears--asked no
questions--her eye was fixed, and every faculty appeared oppressed with
the load on her heart. Mrs. Wilson knew her situation too well to intrude
with unseasonable consolation or useless reflections, but sat patiently by
her side, waiting anxiously for the moment she could be of service. At
length the uplifted eyes and clasped hands of Emily assured her she had
not forgotten herself or her duty, and she was rewarded for her labor and
forbearance by a flood of tears. Emily was now able to listen to a more
full statement of the reasons her aunt had for believing in the guilt of
Denbigh, and she felt as if her heart was frozen up for ever, as the
proofs followed each other until they amounted to demonstration. As there
was some indication of fever from her agitated state of mind, her aunt
required she should remain in her room until morning; and Emily, feeling
every way unequal to a meeting with Denbigh, gladly assented After ringing
for her maid to sit in the adjoining room, Mrs. Wilson went below, and
announced to the family the indisposition of her charge, and her desire to
obtain a little sleep. Denbigh looked anxious to inquire after the health
of Emily, but there was a restraint on all his actions, since the return
of his book, that persuaded Mrs. Wilson he apprehended that a detection of
his conduct had taken place. He did venture to ask when they were to have
the pleasure of seeing Miss Moseley again, hoping it would be that
evening, as he had fixed the morning for his departure; and when he learnt
that Emily had retired for the night, his anxiety was sensibly increased,
and he instantly withdrew. Mrs. Wilson was alone in the drawing-room, and
about to join her niece, as, Denbigh entered it with a letter in his hand:
he approached her with a diffident and constrained manner, and commenced
the following dialogue:

"My anxiety and situation will plead my apology for troubling Miss Moseley
at this time--may I ask you, madam, to deliver this letter--I hardly dare
ask you for your good offices."

Mrs. Wilson took the letter, and coldly replied,

"Certainly, sir; and I sincerely wish I could be of any real service to
you."

"I perceive, madam," said Denbigh, like one that was choking, "I have
forfeited your good opinion--that pocket book--"

"Has made a dreadful discovery," said Mrs. Wilson, shuddering.

"Will not one offence be pardoned, dear madam?" cried Denbigh, with
warmth; "if you knew my circumstances--the cruel reasons--why--why did I
neglect the paternal advice of Doctor Ives?"

"It is not yet too late, sir," said Mrs. Wilson, more mildly, "for your
own good; as for us, your deception--"

"Is unpardonable--I see it--I feel it," cried he, in the accent of
despair; "yet Emily--Emily may relent--you will at least give her my
letter--anything is better than this suspense."

"You shall have an answer from Emily this evening, and one entirely
unbiassed by me," said Mrs. Wilson. As she closed the door, she observed
Denbigh gazing on her retiring figure with a countenance of despair, that
caused a feeling of pity to mingle with her detestation of his vices.

On opening the door of Emily's room, Mrs. Wilson found her niece in tears,
and her anxiety for her health was alleviated. She knew or hoped, that if
she could once call in the assistance of her judgment and piety to lessen
her sorrows, Emily, however she might mourn, would become resigned to her
situation; and the first step to attain this was the exercise of those
faculties which had been, as it were, momentarily annihilated. Mrs. Wilson
kissed her niece with tenderness, as she placed the letter in her hand,
and told her she would call for her answer within an hour. Employment, and
the necessity of acting, would, she thought, be the surest means of
reviving her energies; nor was she disappointed. When the aunt returned
for the expected answer, she was informed by the maid in the ante-chamber,
that Miss Moseley was up, and had been writing. On entering, Mrs. Wilson
stood a moment in admiration of the picture before her. Emily was on her
knees, and by her side, on the carpet, lay the letter and its answer: her
face was hid by her hair, and her hands were closed in the fervent grasp
of petition. In a minute she rose, and approaching her aunt with an air of
profound resignation, but great steadiness, she handed her the letters,
her own unsealed:

"Read them, madam, and if you approve of mine, I will thank you to deliver
it."

Her aunt folded her in her arms, until Emily, finding herself yielding
under the effects of sympathy, begged to be left alone. On withdrawing to
her own room, Mrs. Wilson read the contents of the two letters.

"I rely greatly on the goodness of Miss Moseley to pardon the liberty I am
taking, at a moment she is so unfit for such a subject; but my
departure--my feelings--- must plead my apology. From the moment of my
first acquaintance with you, I have been a cheerful subject to your
loveliness and innocence. I feel--I know--I am not deserving of such a
blessing; but since knowing you, as I do, it is impossible not to strive
to win you. You have often thanked me as the preserver of your life, but
you little knew the deep interest I had in its safety. Without it my own
would be valueless. By accepting my offered hand, you will place me
amongst the happiest, or by rejecting it, the most wretched of men."

To this note, which was unsigned, and evidently written under great
agitation of mind, Emily had-penned the following reply:

"Sir--It is with much regret that I find myself reduced to the possibility
of giving uneasiness to one to whom I am under such heavy obligations. It
will never be in my power to accept the honor you have offered me; and I
beg you to receive my thanks for the compliment conveyed in your request,
as well as my good wishes for your happiness in future, and fervent
prayers that you may be ever found worthy of it--Your humble servant,

"EMILY MOSELEY."

Perfectly satisfied with this answer, Mrs. Wilson went below in order to
deliver it at once. She thought it probable, as Denbigh had already sent
his baggage to a tavern, preparatory to his intended journey, they would
not meet again; and as she felt a strong wish, both on account of Doctor
Ives, and out of respect to the services of the young man himself, to
conceal his conduct from the world entirely, she was in hopes that his
absence might make any disclosure unnecessary. He took the letter from her
with a trembling hand, and casting one of his very expressive looks at
her, as if to read her thoughts, he withdrew.

Emily had fallen asleep free from fever, and Mrs. Wilson had descended to
the supper-room, when Mr. Benfield was first struck with the absence of
his favorite. An inquiry after Denbigh was instituted, and while they were
waiting his appearance, a servant handed the old man a note.

"From whom?" cried Mr. Benfield, in surprise.

"Mr. Denbigh, sir," said the servant.

"Mr. Denbigh?" exclaimed Mr. Benfield: "no accident, I hope--I remember
when Lord Gosford--here, Peter, your eyes are young; read it for me, read
it aloud."

As all but Mrs. Wilson were anxiously waiting to know the meaning of this
message, and Peter had many preparations to go through before his youthful
eyes could make out the contents, John hastily caught the letter out of
his hand, saying he would save him the trouble, and, in obedience to his
uncle's wishes, he read aloud:

"Mr. Denbigh, being under the necessity of leaving L---- immediately, and
unable to endure the pain of taking leave, avails himself of this means of
tendering his warmest thanks to Mr. Benfield, for his hospitality, and to
his amiable guests for their many kindnesses. As he contemplates leaving
England, he desires to wish them all a long and an affectionate farewell."

"Farewell!" cried Mr. Benfield; "farewell--does he say farewell, John?
Here, Peter, run--no, you are too old--John, run--bring my hat; I'll go
myself to the village--some love-quarrel--Emmy sick--and Denbigh going
away--yes--yes, I did so myself--Lady Juliana, poor dear soul, she was a
long time before she could forget it--but Peter"--Peter had disappeared
the instant the letter was finished, and he was quickly followed by John.
Sir Edward and Lady Moseley were lost in amazement at this sudden and
unexpected movement of Denbigh, and the breast of each of the affectionate
parents was filled with a vague apprehension that the peace of mind of
another child was at stake. Jane felt a renewal of her woes, in the
anticipation of something similar for her sister--for the fancy of Jane
was yet active, and she did not cease to consider the defection of Egerton
a kind of unmerited misfortune and fatality, instead of a probable
consequence of want of principle. Like Mr. Benfield, she was in danger of
raising an ideal idol, and of spending the remainder of her days in
devotion to qualities, rarely if ever found identified with a person that
never had existed. The old gentleman was entirely engrossed by a different
object; and having in his own opinion decided there must have been one of
those misunderstandings which sometimes had occurred to himself and Lady
Juliana, he quietly composed himself to eat his salad at the supper table:
on turning his head, however, in quest of his first glass of wine, he
observed Peter standing quietly by the sideboard with the favorite goggles
over his eyes. Now Peter was troubled with two kinds of debility about his
organs of vision; one was age and natural weakness, while the other
proceeded more directly from the heart. His master knew of these facts,
and he took the alarm. Again the wine-glass dropped from his nerveless
hand, as he said in a trembling tone,

"Peter, I thought you went"--

"Yes, master," said Peter, laconically.

"You saw him, Peter--will he return?"

Peter was busily occupied at his glasses, although no one was dry.

"Peter," repeated Mr. Benfield, rising from his seat; "is he coming in
time for supper?"

Peter was obliged to reply, and deliberately uncasing his eyes and blowing
his nose, he was on the point of opening his mouth, as John came into the
room, and threw himself into a chair with an air of great vexation. Peter
pointed to the young gentleman in silence, and retired.

"John," cried Sir Edward, "where is Denbigh?"

"Gone, sir."

"Gone!"

"Yes, my dear father," said John, "gone without saying good-bye to one of
us--without telling us whither, or when to return. It was cruel in him---
unkind--I'll never forgive him"--and John, whose feelings were strong,
and unusually excited, hid his face between his hands on the table.--As he
raised his head to reply to a question of Mr. Benfield--of "how he knew he
had gone, for the coach did not go until daylight?" Mrs. Wilson saw
evident marks of tears. Such proofs of emotion in one like John Moseley
gave her the satisfaction of knowing that if she had been deceived, it was
by a concurrence of circumstances and a depth of hypocrisy almost
exceeding belief: self-reproach added less than common, therefore, to the
uneasiness of the moment.

"I saw the innkeeper, uncle," said John, "who told me that Denbigh left
there at eight o'clock in a post-chaise and four; but I will go to London
in the morning myself." This was no sooner said than it was corroborated
by acts, for the young man immediately commenced his preparations for the
journey. The family separated that evening with melancholy hearts; and the
host and his privy counsellor were closeted for half an hour ere they
retired to their night's repose. John took his leave of them, and left the
lodge for the inn, with his man, in order to be ready for the mail. Mrs,
Wilson looked in upon Emily before she withdrew herself, and found her
awake, but perfectly calm and composed: she said but little, appearing
desirous of avoiding all allusions to Denbigh; and after her aunt had
simply acquainted her with his departure, and her resolution to conceal
the cause, the subject was dropped. Mrs. Wilson, on entering her own room,
thought deeply on the discoveries of the day: they had interfered with her
favorite system of morals, baffled her ablest calculations upon causes and
effects, but in no degree had impaired her faith or reliance on
Providence. She knew one exception did not destroy a rule: she was certain
without principles there was no security for good conduct, and the case
of Denbigh proved it. To discover these principles, might be difficult;
but was a task imperiously required at her hands, as she believed, ere she
yielded the present and future happiness of her pupil to the power of any
man.



Chapter XXIX.


The day had not yet dawned, when John Moseley was summoned to take his
seat in the mail for London. Three of the places were already occupied,
and John was compelled to get a seat for his man on the outside. An
intercourse with strangers is particularly irksome to an Englishman, and
none appeared disposed, for a long time, to break the silence. The coach
had left the little village of L---- far behind it, before any of the
rational beings it contained thought it prudent or becoming to bend in the
least to the charities of our nature, in a communication with a fellow
creature of whose name or condition he happened to be ignorant. This
reserve is unquestionably characteristic of the nation; to what is it
owing!--modesty? Did not national and deep personal vanity appear at once
to refute the assertion, we might enter into an investigation of it. The
good opinion of himself in an Englishman is more deeply seated, though
less buoyant, than that of his neighbors; in them it is more of manner, in
us more of feeling; and the wound inflicted on the self-love of the two is
very different. The Frenchman wonders at its rudeness, but soon forgets
the charge; while an Englishmam broods over it in silence and
mortification. It is said this distinction in character is owing to the
different estimation of principles and morals in the two nations. The
solidity and purity of our ethics and religious creeds may have given a
superior tone to our moral feeling; but has that man a tenable ground to
value himself on either, whose respect to sacred things grows out of a
respect to himself: on the other hand, is not humility the very
foundation of the real Christian? For our part, we should be glad to see
this national reserve lessened, if not done entirely away; we believe it
is founded in pride and uncharitableness, and could wish to see men thrown
accidentally together on the roads of the country, mindful that they are
also travelling in company the highway of life, and that the goal of their
destination is equally attainable by all.

John Moseley was occupied with thoughts very different from those of any
of his fellow-travellers, as they proceeded rapidly on their route; and it
was only when roused from his meditations by accidentally coming in
contact with the hilt of a sword, that he looked up, and in the
glimmerings of the morning's light, recognised the person of Lord Henry
Stapleton: their eyes met, and--"My lord,"--"Mr. Moseley,"--were repeated
in mutual surprise. John was eminently a social being, and he was happy to
find recourse against his gloomy thoughts in the conversation of the
dashing young sailor. The frigate of the other had entered the bay the
night before, and he was going to town to the wedding of his sister; the
coach of his brother the marquis was to meet him about twenty miles from
town, and the ship was ordered round to Yarmouth, where he was to rejoin
her.

"But how are your lovely sisters, Moseley?" cried the young sailor in a
frank and careless manner. "I should have been half in love with one of
them if I had time--and money; both are necessary to marriage nowadays,
you know."

"As to time," said John with a laugh, "I believe that may be dispensed
with, though money is certainly a different thing."

"Oh, time too," replied his lordship. "I have never time enough to do
anything as it ought to be done--always hurried--I wish you could
recommend to me a lady who would take the trouble off my hands."

"It might be done," said John with a smile, and the image of Kate
Chatterton crossed his brain, but it was soon succeeded by that of her
more lovely sister. "But how do you manage on board your ship--hurried
there too?"

"Oh! never there," replied the captain gravely; "that's duty you know, and
everything must be regular of course on shore it is a different
thing--there I am only a passenger. L---- has a charming society, Mr.
Moseley--a week or ten days ago I was shooting, and came to a beautiful
cottage about five miles from the village, that was the abode of a much
more beautiful woman, a Spaniard, a Mrs. Fitzgerald--I am positively in
love with her: so soft, so polished, so modest----"

"How came you acquainted with her?" inquired Moseley, interrupting him in
a little surprise.

"Chance, my dear fellow, chance. I was thirsty, and approached for a drink
of water; she was sitting in the veranda, and being hurried for time, you
know, it saved the trouble of introduction. I fancy she is troubled with
the same complaint; for she managed to get rid of me in no time, and with
a great deal of politeness. I found out her name, however, at the next
house."

During this rattling talk, John had fixed his eyes on the face of one of
the passengers who sat opposite to him. The stranger appeared to be about
fifty years of age, strongly pock-marked, with a stiff military air, and
had the dress and exterior of a gentlemen. His face was much sun-burnt,
though naturally very fair; and his dark keen eye was intently fixed on
the sailor as he continued his remarks.

"Do you know such a lady, Moseley?"

"Yes," said John, "though very slightly; she is visited one of my
sisters, and--"

"Yourself," cried Lord Henry, with a laugh.

"Myself, once or twice, my lord, certainly," answered John, gravely; "but
a lady visited by Emily Moseley and Mrs. Wilson is a proper companion for
any one. Mrs. Fitzgerald is very retired in her manner of living, and
chance made us acquainted; but not being, like your lordship, in want of
time, we have endeavored to cultivate her society, as we have found it
very agreeable."

The countenance of the stranger underwent several changes during this
speech of John's, and at its close his eyes rested on him with a softer
expression than generally marked its rigid and compressed muscles. Willing
to change a discourse that was growing too particular for a mail-coach,
John addressed himself to the opposite passengers, while his eye yet dwelt
on the face of the military stranger.

"We are likely to have a fine day, gentlemen." The soldier bowed stiffly,
as he smiled his assent, and the other passenger humbly answered, "Very,
Mr. John," in the well known tones of honest Peter Johnson. Moseley
started, as he turned his face for the first time on the lank figure which
was modestly compressed into the smallest possible compass in the corner
of the coach, in a way not to come in contact with any of its neighbors.

"Johnson," exclaimed John, in astonishment, "you here! Where are you
going--to London?"

"To London, Mr. John," replied Peter, with a look of much importance; and
then, by way of silencing further interrogatories, he added, "On my
master's business, sir."

Both Moseley and Lord Henry examined him closely; the former wondering
what could take the steward, at the age of seventy, for the first time in
his life, into the vortex of the capital; and the latter in admiration at
this figure and equipments of the old man. Peter was in full costume, with
the exception of the goggles, and was in reality a subject to be gazed at;
but nothing relaxed the muscles or attracted the particular notice of the
soldier, who, having regained his set form of countenance, appeared drawn
up in himself, waiting patiently for the moment he was expected to act.
Nor did he utter more than as many words in the course of the first fifty
miles of their journey. His dialect was singular, and such as put his
hearers at a loss to determine his country. Lord Henry stared at him every
time he spoke, as if to say, what countryman are you? until at length he
suggested to John he was some officer whom the downfall of Bonaparte had
driven into retirement.

"Indeed, Moseley," he added, as they were about to resume their carriage
after a change of horses, "we must draw him out, and see what he thinks of
his master now--delicately, you know." The soldier was, however,
impervious to his lordship's attacks, until the project was finally
abandoned in despair. As Peter was much too modest to talk in the presence
of Mr. John Moseley and a lord, the young men had most of the discourse to
themselves. At a village fifteen miles from London, a fashionable carriage
and four, with the coronet of a marquis was in waiting for Lord Henry.
John refused his invitation to take a seat with him to town; for he had
traced Denbigh from stage to stage, and was fearful of losing sight of
him, unless he persevered in the manner he had commenced. Peter and he
accordingly were put down safely at an inn in the Strand, and Moseley
hastened to make his inquiries after the object of his pursuit. Such a
chaise had arrived an hour before, and the gentleman had ordered his trunk
to a neighboring hotel. After obtaining the address, and ordering a
hackney coach, he hastened to the house; but on inquiring for Mr.
Denbigh, to his great mortification was told they knew of no such
gentleman. John turned away from the person he was speaking to in visible
disappointment, when a servant respectfully inquired if the gentleman had
not come from L----, in Norfolk, that day. "He had," was the reply. "Then
follow me, sir, if you please." They knocked at a door of one of the
parlors, and the servant entered: he returned, and John was shown into a
room, where Denbigh was sitting with his head resting on his hand, and
apparently musing. On seeing who required admittance, he sprang from his
seat and exclaimed--

"Mr. Moseley! Do I see aright?"

"Denbigh," cried John, stretching out his hand to him, "was this kind--was
it like yourself--to leave us so unexpectedly, and for so long a time,
too, as your note mentioned?"

Denbigh waved his hand to the servant to retire, and handed a chair to his
friend.

"Mr. Moseley," said he, struggling with his feelings, "you appear ignorant
of my proposals to your sister."

"Perfectly," answered the amazed John.

"And her rejection of them."

"Is it possible!" cried the brother, pacing up and down the room. "I
acknowledge I did expect you to offer, but not to be refused."

Denbigh placed in the other hand the letter of Emily, which, having read,
John returned, with a sigh. "This, then, is the reason you left us," he
continued. "Emily is not capricious--it cannot be a sudden pique--she
means as she says."

"Yes, Mr. Moseley," said Denbigh, mournfully; "your sister is
faultless--but I am not worthy of her--my deception"--here the door again
opened to the admission of Peter Johnson. Both the gentlemen rose at this
sudden interruption, and the steward advancing to the table, once more
produced the formidable pocket-book, the spectacles, and a letter. He ran
over its direction--"For George Denbigh, Esquire, London, by the hands of
Peter Johnson, with care and speed." After the observance of these
preliminaries, he delivered the missive to its lawful owner, who opened
it, and rapidly perused its contents. Denbigh was much affected with
whatever the latter might be, and kindly took the steward by the hand, as
he thanked him for this renewed instance of the interest he took in him.
If he would tell him where a letter would find him in the morning, he
would send a reply to the one he had received. Peter gave his address, but
appeared unwilling to go, until assured again and again that the answer
would be infallibly sent. Taking a small account-book out of his pocket,
and referring to its contents, the steward said, "Master has with Coutts &
Co. £7,000; in the bank, £5,000. It can be easily done, sir, and never
felt by us." Denbigh smiled in reply, as he assured the steward he would
take proper notice of his master's offers in his own answer. The door
again opened, and the military stranger was admitted to their presence. He
bowed, appeared not a little surprised to find two of his mail-coach
companions there, and handed Denbigh a letter, in quite as formal,
although in a more silent manner than the steward. The soldier was invited
to be seated, and the letter was perused with an evident curiosity on the
part of Denbigh. As soon as the latter ended it, he addressed the stranger
in a language which John rightly judged to be Spanish, and Peter took to
be Greek. For a few minutes the conversation was maintained between them
with great earnestness, his fellow travellers marvelling much at the
garrulity of the soldier however, the stranger soon rose to retire, when
the door thrown open for the fourth time, and a voice cried out,

"Here I am, George, safe and sound--ready to kiss the bridesmaids, if
they will let me--and I can find time--- bless me, Moseley!--old
marling-spike!--general!--whew, where is the coachman and guard?"--it was
Lord Henry Stapleton. The Spaniard bowed again in silence and withdrew,
while Denbigh threw open the door of an adjoining room and excused
himself, as he desired Lord Henry to walk in there for a few minutes.

"Upon my word," cried the heedless sailor, as he complied, "we might as
well have stuck together, Moseley; we were bound to one port, it seems."

"You know Lord Henry?" said John, as he withdrew.

"Yes," said Denbigh, and he again required his address of Peter, which
having been given, the steward departed. The conversation between the two
friends did not return to the course it was taking when they were
interrupted, as Moseley felt a delicacy in making any allusion to the
probable cause of his sister's refusal. He had, however, begun to hope it
was not irremovable, and with the determination of renewing his visit in
the morning, he took his leave, to allow Denbigh to attend to his other
guest, Lord Henry Stapleton.

About twelve on the following morning, John and the steward met at the
door of the hotel where Denbigh lodged, in quest of the same person. The
latter held in his hand the answer to his master's letter, but wished
particularly to see its writer. On inquiring, to their mutual surprise
they were told, that the gentleman had left there early in the morning,
having discharged his lodgings, and that they were unable to say whither
he had gone. To hunt for a man without a clew, in the city of London, is
usually time misspent Of this Moseley was perfectly sensible, and
disregarding a proposition of Peter's, he returned to his own lodgings.
The proposal of the steward, if it did not do much credit to his
sagacity, was much in favor of his perseverance and enterprise. It was no
other than that John should take one side of the street, and he the other,
in order to inquire at every house in the place, until the fugitive was
discovered. "Sir," said Peter, with great simplicity, "when our neighbor
White lost his little girl, this was the way we found her, although we
went nearly through L---- before we succeeded, Mr. John." Peter was
obliged to abandon this expedient for want of an associate, and as no
message was left at the lodgings of Moseley, he started with a heavy heart
on his return to Benfield Lodge. But Moseley's zeal was too warm in the
cause of his friend, notwithstanding his unmerited desertion, to
discontinue the search for him. He sought out the town residence of the
Marquess of Eltringham, the brother of Lord Henry, and was told that both
the Marquess and his brother had left town early that morning for his seat
in Devonshire, to attend the wedding of their sister.

"Did they go alone?" asked John musing.

"There were two chaises, the Marquess's and his Grace's"

"Who was his Grace?" inquired John.

"Why the Duke of Derwent, to be sure."

"And the Duke?--was he alone?"

"There was a gentleman with his Grace, but they did not know his name."

As nothing further could be learnt, John withdrew. A good deal of
irritation mixed with the vexation of Moseley at his disappointment; for
Denbigh, he thought, too evidently wished to avoid him. That he was the
companion of his kinsman, the Duke of Derwent, he had now no doubt, and he
entirely relinquished all expectations of finding him in London or its
environs. While retracing his steps in no enviable state of mind to his
lodgings, with a resolution of returning immediately to L----, his arm was
suddenly taken by his friend Chatterton. If any man could have consoled
John at that moment, it was the Baron. Questions and answers were rapidly
exchanged between them; and with increased satisfaction, John learnt that
in the next square, he could have the pleasure of paying his respects to
his kinswoman, the Dowager Lady Chatterton, and her two daughters.
Chatterton inquired warmly after Emily, and in a particularly kind manner
concerning Mr. Denbigh, hearing with undisguised astonishment the absence
of the latter from the Moseley family.

Lady Chatterton had disciplined her feelings upon the subject of Grace and
John into such a state of subordination, that the fastidious jealousy of
the young man now found no ground of alarm in anything she said or did. It
cannot be denied the Dowager was delighted to see him again; and if it
were fair to draw any conclusions from coloring, palpitations, and other
such little accompaniments of female feeling, Grace was not excessively
sorry. It is true, it was the best possible opportunity to ascertain all
about her friend Emily and the rest of the family; and Grace was extremely
happy to have intelligence of their general welfare so direct as was
afforded by this visit of Mr. Moseley. Grace looked all she expressed, and
possibly a little more; and John thought he looked very beautiful.

There was present an elderly gentleman, of apparently indifferent health,
although his manners were extremely lively, and his dress particularly
studied. A few minutes observation convinced Moseley this gentleman was a
candidate for the favor of Kate; and a game of chess being soon
introduced, he also saw he was one thought worthy of peculiar care and
attention. He had been introduced to him as Lord Herriefield, and soon
discovered by his conversation that he was a peer who promised little
towards rendering the house of incurables more convalescent than it was
before his admission. Chatterton mentioned him as a distant connexion of
his mother; a gentleman who had lately returned from filling an official
situation in the East Indies, to take his seat among the lords by the
death of his brother. He was a bachelor, and reputed rich, much of his
wealth being personal property, acquired by himself abroad. The dutiful
son might have added, if respect and feeling had not kept him silent, that
his offers of settling a large jointure upon his elder sister had been
accepted, and that the following week was to make her the bride of the
emaciated debauchee who now sat by her side. He might also have said, that
when the proposition was made to himself and Grace, both had shrunk from
the alliance with disgust: and that both had united in humble though vain
remonstrances to their mother, against the sacrifice, and in petitions to
their sister, that she would not be accessary to her own misery. There was
no pecuniary sacrifice they would not make to her, to avert such a
connexion; but all was fruitless--Kate was resolved to be a viscountess,
and her mother was equally determined that she should be rich.



Chapter XXX.



A day elapsed between the departure of Denbigh and the reappearance of
Emily amongst her friends. An indifferent observer would have thought her
much graver and less animated than usual. A loss of the rich color which
ordinarily glowed on her healthful cheek might be noticed; but the placid
sweetness and graceful composure which regulated her former conduct
pervaded all she did or uttered. Not so with Jane: her pride had suffered
more than her feelings--her imagination had been more deceived than her
judgment--and although too well bred and soft by nature to become rude or
captious, she was changed from a communicative, to a reserved; from a
confiding, to a suspicious companion. Her parents noticed this alteration
with an uneasiness that was somewhat embittered by the consciousness of a
neglect of some of those duties that experience now seemed to indicate,
could never be forgotten with impunity.

Francis and Clara had arrived from their northern tour, so happy in each
other, and so contented with their lot, that it required some little
exercise of fortitude in both Lady Moseley and her daughters, to expel
unpleasant recollections while they contemplated it. Their relation of the
little incidents of their tour had, however, an effect to withdraw the
attention of their friends in some degree from late occurrences; and a
melancholy and sympathizing kind of association had taken place of the
unbounded confidence and gaiety; which so lately prevailed at Benfield
Lodge. Mr. Benfield mingled with his solemnity an air of mystery; and he
was frequently noticed by his relatives looking over old papers, and was
apparently employed in preparations that indicated movements of more than
usual importance.

The family were collected in one of the parlors on an extremely unpleasant
day, the fourth after the departure of John, when the thin person of
Johnson stalked in amongst them. All eyes were fixed on him in expectation
of what he had to communicate, and all apparently dreading to break the
silence, from an apprehension that his communication would be unpleasant.
In the meantime Peter, who had respectfully left his hat at the door,
proceeded to uncase his body from the multiplied defences he had taken
against the inclemency of the weather. His master stood erect, with an
outstretched hand, ready to receive the reply to his epistle; and Johnson
having liberated his body from thraldom, produced the black leathern
pocket-book, and from its contents a letter, when he read aloud--Roderic
Benfield, Esq., Benfield Lodge, Norfolk; favored by Mr.--here Peter's
modesty got the better of his method; he had never been called Mr. Johnson
by anybody, old or young; all knew him in that neighborhood as Peter
Johnson--and he had very nearly been guilty of the temerity of arrogating
to himself another title in the presence of those he most respected: a
degree of self-elevation from which he escaped with the loss of a small
piece of his tongue. Mr. Benfield took the letter with an eagerness that
plainly indicated the deep interest he took in its contents, while Emily,
with a tremulous voice and flushed cheek, approached the steward with a
glass of wine.

"Peter," she said, "take this; it will do you good."

"Thank you, Miss Emma," said Peter, casting his eyes from her to his
master, as the latter, having finished his letter, exclaimed, with a
strange mixture of consideration and disappointment--

"Johnson, you must change your clothes immediately, or you will take
cold: you look now like old Moses, the Jew beggar."

Peter sighed heavily at this comparison, and saw in it a confirmation of
his fears; for he well knew, that to his being the bearer of unpleasant
tidings was he indebted for a resemblance to anything unpleasant to his
master, and Moses was the old gentleman's aversion.

The baronet now followed his uncle from the room to his library, entering
it at the same moment with the steward, who had been summoned by his
master to an audience.

Pointing to a chair for his nephew, Mr. Benfield commenced the discourse
with saying,

"Peter, you saw Mr. Denbigh; how did he look?"

"As usual, master," said Peter, laconically, still piqued at being likened
to old Moses.

"And what did he say to the offer? did he not make any comments on it? He
was not offended at it, I hope," demanded Mr. Benfield.

"He said nothing but what he has written to your honor," replied the
steward, losing a little of his constrained manner in real good feeling to
his master.

"May I ask what the offer was?" inquired Sir Edward.

Mr. Benfield regarding him a moment in silence, said, "Certainly, you are
nearly concerned in his welfare; your daughter"--the old man stopped,
turned to his letter-book, and handed the baronet a copy of the epistle he
had sent to Denbigh. It read as follows:

DEAR FRIEND MR. DENBIGH,

"I have thought a great deal on the reason of your sudden departure from a
house I had begun to hope you thought your own; and by calling to mind my
own feelings when Lady Juliana became the heiress to her nephew's estate,
take it for granted you have been governed by the same sentiments; which I
know both by my own experience and that of the bearer, Peter Johnson, is a
never-failing accompaniment of pure affection. Yes, my dear Denbigh, I
honor your delicacy in not wishing to become indebted to a stranger, as it
were, for the money on which you subsist, and that stranger your wife--who
ought in reason to look up to you, instead of your looking up to her;
which was the true cause Lord Gosford would not marry the countess--on
account of her great wealth, as he assured me himself; notwithstanding,
envious people said it was because her ladyship loved Mr Chaworth better:
so in order to remove these impediments of delicacy, I have to make three
propositions, namely, that I bring you into parliament the next election
for my own borough--that you take possession of the lodge the day you
marry Emmy, while I will live, for the little time I have to stay here, in
the large cottage built by my uncle--and that I give you your legacy of
ten thousand pounds down, to prevent trouble hereafter.

"As I know nothing but delicacy has driven you away from us, I make no
doubt you will now find all objections removed, and that Peter will bring
back the joyful intelligence of your return to us, as soon as the business
you left us on, is completed.

"Your uncle, that is to be,

"RODERIC BENFIELD."

"N.B. As Johnson is a stranger to the ways of the town, I wish you to
advise his inexperience, particularly against the arts of designing women,
Peter being a man of considerable estate, and great modesty."


"There, nephew," cried Mr. Benfield, as the baronet finished reading the
letter aloud, "is it not unreasonable to refuse my offers? Now read his
answer."

"Words are wanting to express the sensations which have been excited by
Mr. Benfield's letter; but it would be impossible for any man to be so
base as to avail himself of such liberality: the recollection of it,
together with that of his many virtues, will long continue deeply
impressed on the heart of him, whom Mr. Benfield would, if within the
power of man, render the happiest amongst human beings."

The steward listened eagerly to this answer, but after it was done he was
as much at a loss to know its contents as before its perusal. He knew it
was unfavorable to their wishes, but could not comprehend its meaning or
expressions, and immediately attributed their ambiguity to the strange
conference he had witnessed between Denbigh and the military stranger.

"Master," exclaimed Peter, with something of the elation of a discoverer,
"I know the cause, it shows itself in the letter: there was a man talking
Greek to him while he was reading your letter."

"Greek!" exclaimed Sir Edward in astonishment.

"Greek!" said the uncle. "Lord Gosford read Greek; but I believe never
conversed in that language."

"Yes, Sir Edward--yes, your honor--pure wild Greek; it must have been
something of that kind," added Peter, with positiveness, "that would make
a man refuse such offers--Miss Emmy--the lodge--£10,000!"--and the steward
shook his head with much satisfaction at having discovered the cause.

Sir Edward smiled at the simplicity of Johnson, but disliking the idea
attached to the refusal of his daughter, said, "Perhaps, after all,
uncle, there has been some misunderstanding between Emily and Denbigh,
which may have driven him from us so suddenly."

Mr. Benfield and his steward exchanged looks, and a new idea broke upon
them at the instant. They had both suffered in that way; and after all it
might prove that Emily was the one whose taste or feelings had subverted
their schemes. The impression, once made, soon became strong, and the
party separated; the master thinking alternately on Lady Juliana and his
niece, while the man, after heaving one heavy sigh to the memory of Patty
Steele, proceeded to the usual occupations of his office.

Mrs. Wilson thinking a ride would be of service to Emily, and having the
fullest confidence in her self-command and resignation, availed herself of
a fine day to pay a visit to their friend in the cottage. Mrs. Fitzgerald
received them in her usual manner, but a single glance of her eye sufficed
to show the aunt that she noticed the altered appearance of Emily and her
manners, although without knowing its true reason, which she did not deem
it prudent to explain. Julia handed her friend a note which she said she
had received the day before, and desired their counsel how to proceed in
the present emergency. As Emily was to be made acquainted with its
contents, her aunt read it aloud as follows:

"MY DEAR NIECE,

"Your father and myself had been induced to think you were leading a
disgraceful life, with the officer your husband had consigned you to the
care of; for hearing of your captivity, I had arrived with a band of
Guerillas, on the spot where you were rescued, early the next morning, and
there learnt of the peasants your misfortunes and retreat. The enemy
pressed us too much to allow us to deviate from our route at the time;
but natural affection and the wishes of your father have led me to make a
journey to England, in order to satisfy our doubts as regards your
conduct. I have seen you, heard your character in the neighborhood, and
after much and long search have found out the officer, and am satisfied,
that so far as concerns your deportment, you are an injured woman. I have
therefore to propose to you, on my own behalf, and that of the Conde, that
you adopt the faith, of your country, and return with me to the arms of
your parent, whose heiress you will be, and whose life you may be the
means of prolonging. Direct your answer to me, to the care of our
ambassador; and as you decide, I am your mother's brother, LOUIS M'CARTHY
Y HARRISON."

"On what point do you wish my advice?" said Mrs. Wilson, kindly, after she
had finished reading the letter, "and when do you expect to see your
uncle?"

"Would you have me accept the offer of my father, dear madam, or am I to
remain separated from him for the short residue of his life?"

Mrs. Fitzgerald was affected to tears, as she asked this question, and
waited her answer, in silent dread of its nature.

"Is the condition of a change of religion, an immovable one?" inquired
Mrs. Wilson, in a thoughtful manner.

"Oh! doubtless," replied Julia, shuddering; "but I am deservedly punished
for my early disobedience, and bow in submission to the will of
Providence. I feel now all that horror of a change of my religion, I once
only affected; I must live and die a Protestant, madam."

"Certainly, I hope so, my dear," said Mrs. Wilson; "I am not a bigot, and
think it unfortunate you were not, in your circumstances, bred a pious
Catholic. It would have saved you much misery, and might have rendered
the close of your father's life more happy; but as your present creed
embraces doctrines too much at variance with the Romish church to renounce
the one or to adopt the other, with your views, it will be impossible to
change your church without committing a heavy offence against the opinions
and practices of every denomination of Christians. I should hope a proper
representation of this to your uncle would have its weight, or they might
be satisfied with your being a Christian, without becoming a Catholic."

"Ah! my dear madam," answered Mrs. Fitzgerald, despairingly, "you little
know the opinions of my countrymen on this subject."

"Surely, surely," cried Mrs. Wilson, "parental affection is a stronger
feeling than bigotry."

Mrs. Fitzgerald shook her head in a manner which bespoke both her
apprehensions and her filial regard.

"Julia ought not, must not, desert her father, dear aunt," said Emily, her
face glowing with the ardency of her feelings.

"And ought she to desert her heavenly Father, my child?" asked the aunt,
mildly.

"Are the duties conflicting, dearest aunt?"

"The Conde makes them so. Julia is, I trust, in sincerity a Christian, and
with what face can she offer up her daily petitions to her Creator, while
she wears a mask to her earthly father; or how can she profess to honor
doctrines that she herself believes to be false, or practise customs she
thinks improper?"

"Never, never," exclaimed Julia, with fervor; "the struggle is dreadful,
but I submit to the greater duty."

"And you decide rightly, my friend," said Mrs. Wilson, soothingly; "but
you need relax no efforts to convince the Conde of your wishes: truth and
nature will finally conquer."

"Ah!" cried Mrs. Fitzgerald, "the sad consequences of one false step in
early life!"

"Rather," added Mrs, Wilson, "the sad consequences of one false step in
generations gone by. Had your grandmother listened to the voice of
prudence and duty, she never would have deserted her parents for a
comparative stranger, and entailed upon her descendants a train of evils
which yet exist in your person."

"It will be a sad blow to my poor uncle too," said Mrs. Fitzgerald, "he
who once loved me so much."

"When do you expect to see him?" inquired Emily.

Julia informed them she expected him hourly; as, fearful a written
statement of her views would drive him from the country without paying her
a visit before he departed, she had earnestly entreated him to see her
without delay.

On taking their leave, the ladies promised to obey her summons whenever
called to meet the general, as Mrs. Wilson thought she might be better
able to give advice to a friend, by knowing more of the character of her
relatives, than she could do with her present information,

One day intervened, and it was spent in the united society of Lady Moseley
and her daughters, while Sir Edward and Francis rode to a neighboring town
on business; and on the succeeding, Mrs. Fitzgerald apprised them of the
arrival of General M'Carthy. Immediately after breakfast, Mrs. Wilson and
Emily drove to the cottage, the aunt both wishing the latter as a
companion in her ride, and believing the excitement would have a tendency
to prevent her niece from indulging in reflections, alike dangerous to her
peace of mind and at variance with her duties.

Our readers have probably anticipated, that the stage companion of John
Moseley was the Spanish general, who had just been making those inquiries
into the manner of his niece's living which terminated so happily in her
acquittal. With that part of her history which relates to the injurious
attempts on her before she arrived at Lisbon, he appears to have been
ignorant, or his interview with Denbigh might have terminated very
differently from the manner already related.

A description of the appearance of the gentleman presented to Mrs. Wilson
is unnecessary, as it has been given already; and the discerning matron
thought she read through the rigid and set features of the soldier, a
shade of kinder feelings, which might be wrought into an advantageous
intercession on behalf of Julia. The General was evidently endeavoring to
keep his feelings within due bounds, before the decision of his niece
might render it proper for him to indulge in that affection for her, which
his eye plainly showed existed under the cover of his assumed manner.

It was an effort of great fortitude on the part of Julia to acquaint her
uncle with her resolution; but as it must be done, she seized a moment
after Mrs. Wilson had at some length defended her adhering to her present
faith, until religiously impressed with its errors, to inform him such was
her unalterable resolution. He heard her patiently, and without anger, but
in visible surprise. He had construed her summons to her house into a
measure preparatory to accepting his conditions; yet he betrayed no
emotion, after the first expression of his wonder: he told her distinctly,
a renunciation of her heresy was the only condition on which her father
would own her either as his heiress or his child. Julia deeply regretted
the decision, but was firm; and her friends left her to enjoy
uninterruptedly for one day, the society of so near a relative. During
this day every doubt as to the propriety of her conduct, if any yet
remained, was removed by a relation of her little story to her uncle; and
after it was completed, he expressed great uneasiness to get to London
again, in order to meet a gentleman he had seen there, under a different
impression as to his merits, than what now appeared to be just. Who the
gentleman was, or what these impressions were, Julia was left to
conjecture, taciturnity being a favorite property in the general.



Chapter XXXI.



The sun had just risen on one of the loveliest vales of Caernarvonshire,
as a travelling chaise and six swept up to the door of a princely mansion,
so situated as to command a prospect of the fertile and extensive domains,
the rental of which filled the coffers of its rich owner, having a
beautiful view of the Irish channel in the distance.

Everything around this stately edifice bespoke the magnificence of its
ancient possessors and the taste of its present master. It was irregular,
but built of the best materials, and in the tastes of the different ages
in which its various parts had been erected; and now in the nineteenth
century it preserved the baronial grandeur of the thirteenth, mingled with
the comforts of this later period.

The lofty turrets of its towers were tipt with the golden light of the
sun, and the neighboring peasantry had commenced their daily labors, as
the different attendants of the equipage we have mentioned collected
around it at the great entrance to the building. The beautiful black
horses, with coats as shining as the polished leather with which they were
caparisoned, the elegant and fashionable finish of the vehicle, with its
numerous grooms, postillions, and footmen, all wearing the livery of one
master, gave evidence of wealth and rank.

In attendance there were four outriders, walking leisurely about, awaiting
the appearance of those for whose comforts and pleasures they were kept to
contribute; while a fifth, who, like the others, was equipped with a
horse, appeared to bear a doubtful station. The form of the latter was
athletic, and apparently drilled into a severer submission than could be
seen in the movements of the liveried attendants: his dress was peculiar,
being neither quite menial nor quite military, but partaking of both
characters. His horse was heavier and better managed than those of the
others, and by its side was a charger, that was prepared for the use of no
common equestrian. Both were coal-black, as were all the others of the
cavalcade; but the pistols of the two latter, and housings of their
saddles, bore the aspect of use and elegance united.

The postillions were mounted, listlessly waiting the pleasure of their
superiors; when the laughs and jokes of the menials were instantly
succeeded by a respectful and profound silence, as a gentleman and lady
appeared on the portico of the building. The former was a young man of
commanding stature and genteel appearance; and his air, although that of
one used to command, was softened by a character of benevolence and
gentleness, that might be rightly supposed to give birth to the willing
alacrity with which all his requests or orders were attended to.

The lady was also young, and resembled her companion both in features and
expression, for both were noble, both were handsome. The former was
attired for the road; the latter had thrown a shawl around her elegant
form, and by her morning dress showed that a separation of the two was
about to happen. Taking the hand of the gentleman with both her own, as
she pressed it with fingers interlocked, the lady said, in a voice of
music, and with great affection,

"Then, my dear brother, I shall certainly hear from you within the week,
and see you next?"

"Certainly," replied the gentleman, as he tenderly paid his adieus; then
throwing himself into the chaise, it dashed from the door, like the
passage of a meteor. The horsemen followed; the unridden charger, obedient
to the orders of his keeper, wheeled gracefully into his station; and in
an instant they were all lost amidst the wood, through which the road to
the park gates conducted.

After lingering without until the last of her brother's followers had
receded from her sight, the lady retired through ranks of liveried footmen
and maids, whom curiosity or respect had collected.

The young traveller wore a gloom on his expressive features, amidst the
pageantry that surrounded him, which showed the insufficiency of wealth
and honors to fill the sum of human happiness. As his carriage rolled
proudly up an eminence ere he had reached the confines of his extensive
park, his eye rested, for a moment, on a scene in which meadows, forests,
fields waving with golden corn, comfortable farm-houses surrounded with
innumerable cottages, were seen, in almost endless variety. All these
owned him for their lord, and one quiet smile of satisfaction beamed on
his face as he gazed on the unlimited view. Could the heart of that youth
have been read, it would at that moment have told a story very different
from the feelings such a scene is apt to excite; it would have spoken the
consciousness of well applied wealth, the gratification of contemplating
meritorious deeds, and a heartfelt gratitude to the Being which had
enabled him to become the dispenser of happiness to so many of his
fellow-creatures.

"Which way, my lord, so early?" cried a gentleman in a phaeton, as he drew
up, on his way to a watering place, to pay his own parting compliments.

"To Eltringham, Sir Owen, to attend the marriage of my kinsman, Mr.
Denbigh, to one of the sisters of the marquess."

A few more questions and answers, and the gentlemen, exchanging friendly
adieus, pursued each his own course; Sir Owen Ap Rice pushing forward for
Cheltenham, and the Earl of Pendennyss proceeding to act as groomsman to
his cousin.

The gates of Eltringham were open to the admission of many an equipage on
the following day, and the heart of the Lady Laura beat quick, as the
sound of wheels, at different times, reached her ears. At last an unusual
movement in the house drew her to a window of her dressing-room, and the
blood rushed to her heart as she beheld the equipages which were rapidly
approaching, and through the mist which stole over her eyes she saw alight
from the first, the Duke of Derwent and the bridegroom. The next contained
Lord Pendennyss, and the last the Bishop of----. Lady Laura waited to see
no more, but with a heart filled with terror, hope, joy, and uneasiness,
she threw herself into the arms of one of her sisters.

"Ah!" exclaimed Lord Henry Stapleton, about a week after the wedding of
his sister, seizing John suddenly by the arm, while the latter was taking
his morning walk to the residence of the dowager Lady Chatterton,
"Moseley, you dissipated youth, in town yet: you told me you should stay
but a day, and here I find you at the end of a fortnight."

John blushed a little at the consciousness of his reason for sending a
written, instead of carrying a verbal report, of the result of his
journey, but replied,

"Yes, my friend Chatterton unexpectedly arrived, and so--and so--"

"And so you did not go, I presume you mean," cried Lord Henry, with a
laugh.

"Yes," said John, "and so I stayed--but where is Denbigh?"

"Where?--why with his wife, where every well-behaved man should be,
especially for the first month," rejoined the sailor, gaily.

"Wife!" echoed John, as soon as he felt able to give utterance to his
words--"wife! is he married?"

"Married," cried Lord Henry, imitating his manner, "are you yet to learn
that? why did you ask for him?"

"Ask for him!" said Moseley, yet lost in astonishment; "but
when--how--where did he marry--my lord?"

Lord Henry looked at him for a moment with a surprise little short of his
own, as he answered more gravely:

"When?--last Tuesday; how? by special license, and the Bishop of----;
where?--at Eltringham:--yes, my dear fellow," continued he, with his
former gaiety, "George is my brother now--and a fine fellow he is."

"I really wish your lordship much joy," said John, struggling to command
his feelings.

"Thank you--thank you," replied the sailor; "a jolly time we had of it,
Moseley. I wish, with all my heart, you had been there; no bolting or
running away as soon as spliced, but a regularly constructed,
old-fashioned wedding; all my doings. I wrote Laura that time was scarce,
and I had none to throw away on fooleries; so dear, good soul, she
consented to let me have everything my own way. We had Derwent and
Pendennyss, the marquess, Lord William, and myself, for groomsmen, and my
three sisters--ah, that was bad, but there was no helping it--Lady Harriet
Denbigh, and an old maid, a cousin of ours, for bridesmaids; could not
help the old maid either, upon my honor, or be quite certain I would."

How much of what he said Moseley heard, we cannot say; for had he talked
an hour longer he would have been uninterrupted. Lord Henry was too much
engaged with his description to notice his companion's taciturnity or
surprise, and after walking a square or two together they parted; the
sailor being on the wing for his frigate at Yarmouth.

John continued his course, musing on the intelligence he had just heard.
That Denbigh could forget Emily so soon, he would not believe, and he
greatly feared he had been driven into a step, from despair, that he might
hereafter repent of. The avoiding of himself was now fully explained; but
would Lady Laura Stapleton accept a man for a husband at so short a
notice? and for the first time a suspicion that something in the character
of Denbigh was wrong, mingled in his reflections on his sister's refusal
of his offers.

Lord and Lady Herriefield were on the eve of their departure for the
continent (for Catherine had been led to the altar the preceding week), a
southern climate having been prescribed as necessary to the bridegroom's
constitution; and the dowager and Grace were about to proceed to a seat of
the baron's within a couple of miles of Bath. Chatterton himself had his
own engagements, but he promised to be there in company with his friend
Derwent within a fortnight; the former visit having been postponed by the
marriages in their respective families.

John had been assiduous in his attentions during the season of forced
gaiety which followed the nuptials of Kate; and as the dowager's time was
monopolized with the ceremonials of that event, Grace had risen greatly in
his estimation. If Grace Chatterton was not more miserable than usual, at
what she thought was the destruction of her sister's happiness, it was
owing to the presence and unconcealed affection of John Moseley.

The carriage of Lord Herriefield was in waiting when John rang for
admittance. On opening the door and entering the drawing-room, he saw the
bride and bridegroom, with their mother and sister, accoutred for an
excursion amongst the shops of Bond street: for Kate was dying to find a
vent for some of her surplus pin-money--her husband to show his handsome
wife in the face of the world--the mother to display the triumph of her
matrimonial schemes. And Grace was forced to obey her mother's commands,
in accompanying her sister as an attendant, not to be dispensed with at
all in her circumstances.

The entrance of John at that instant, though nothing more than what
occurred every day at that hour, deranged the whole plan: the dowager, for
a moment, forgot her resolution, and forgot the necessity of Grace's
appearance, exclaiming with evident satisfaction,

"Here is Mr. Moseley come to keep you company, Grace; so, after all, you
must consult your headache and stay at home. Indeed, my love, I never can
consent you should go out. I not only wish, but insist you remain within
this morning."

Lord Herriefield looked at his mother-in-law in some surprise, and threw a
suspicious glance on his own rib at the moment, which spoke as plainly as
looks can speak,

"Is it possible I have been taken in after all!"

Grace was unused to resist her mother's commands, and throwing off her hat
and shawl, reseated herself with more composure than she would probably
have done, had not the attentions of Moseley been more delicate and
pointed of late than formerly.

As they passed the porter, Lady Chatterton observed to him
significantly--"Nobody at home, Willis."--"Yes, my lady," was the laconic
reply, and Lord Herriefield, as he took his seat by the side of his wife
in the carriage, thought she was not as handsome as usual.

Lady Chatterton that morning unguardedly laid the foundation of years of
misery for her eldest daughter; or rather the foundations were already
laid in the ill-assorted, and heartless, unprincipled union she had
labored with success to effect. But she, had that morning stripped the
mask from her own character prematurely, and excited suspicions in the
breast of her son-in-law, which time only served to confirm, and memory to
brood over.

Lord Herriefield had been too long in the world not to understand all the
ordinary arts of match-makers and match-hunters. Like most of his own sex
who have associated freely with the worst part of the other, his opinions
of female excellences were by no means extravagant or romantic. Kate had
pleased his eye; she was of a noble family; young, and at that moment
interestingly quiet, having nothing particularly in view. She had a taste
of her own, and Lord Herriefield was by no means in conformity with it;
consequently, she expended none of those pretty little arts upon him which
she occasionally practised, and which his experience would immediately
have detected. Her disgust he had attributed to disinterestedness; and as
Kate had fixed her eye on a young officer lately returned from France, and
her mother on a Duke who was mourning the death of a third wife, devising
means to console him with a fourth--the Viscount had got a good deal
enamored with the lady, before either she or her mother took any
particular notice that there was such a being in existence. His title was
not the most elevated, but it was ancient. His paternal acres were not
numerous, but his East-India shares were. He was not very young, but he
was not very old; and as the Duke died of a fit of the gout in his
stomach, and the officer ran away with a girl in her teens from a
boarding-school, the dowager and her daughter, after thoroughly scanning
the fashionable world, determined, for want of a better, that _he_ would
do.

It is not to be supposed that the mother and child held any open
communications with each other to this effect. The delicacy and pride of
both would have been greatly injured by such a suspicion; yet they arrived
simultaneously at the same conclusion, as well as at another of equal
importance to the completion of their schemes on the Viscount. It was
simply to adhere to the same conduct which had made him a captive, as most
likely to insure the victory.

There was such a general understanding between the two it can excite no
surprise that they co-operated harmoniously as it were by signal.

For two people, correctly impressed with their duties and
responsibilities, to arrive at the same conclusion in the government of
their conduct, would be merely a matter of course; and so with those who
are more or less under the dominion of the world. They will pursue their
plans with a degree of concurrence amounting nearly to sympathy; and thus
had Kate and her mother, until this morning, kept up the masquerade so
well that the Viscount was as confiding as a country Corydon. When he
first witnessed the dowager's management with Grace and John, however, and
his wife's careless disregard of a thing which appeared too much a matter
of course to be quite agreeable, his newly awakened distrust approached
conviction.

Grace Chatterton both sang and played exquisitely; it was, however, seldom
she could sufficiently overcome her desire, when John was an auditor, to
appear to advantage.

As the party went down stairs, and Moseley had gone with them part of the
way, she threw herself unconsciously in a seat, and began a beautiful
song, that was fashionable at the time. Her feelings were in consonance
with the words, and Grace was very happy both in execution and voice.

John had reached the back of her seat before she was at all sensible of
his return, and Grace lost her self-command immediately. She rose and took
a seat on a sofa, and the young man was immediately at her side.

"Ah, Grace," said John, the lady's heart beating high you certainly do
sing as you do everything, admirably."

"I am happy you think so, Mr. Moseley," returned Grace looking everywhere
but in his face.

John's eyes ran over her beauties, as with palpitating bosom and varying
color she sat confused at the unusual warmth of his language and manner.

Fortunately a remarkably striking likeness of the Dowager hung directly
over their heads, and John taking her unresisting hand, continued,

"Dear Grace, you resemble your brother very much in features, and what is
better still, in character."

"I could wish," said Grace, venturing to look up, "to resemble your sister
Emily in the latter."

"And why not to be her sister, dear Grace?" said he with ardor. "You are
worthy to become her sister. Tell me, Grace, dear Miss Chatterton--can
you--will you make me the happiest of men? may I present another
inestimable daughter to my parents?"

As John paused for an answer, Grace looked up, and he waited her reply in
evident anxiety; but she continued silent, now pale as death, and now of
the color of the rose, and he added:

"I hope I have not offended you, dearest Grace; you are all that is
desirable to me; my hopes, my happiness, are centred in you. Unless you
consent to become my wife, I must be very wretched."

Grace burst into a flood of tears, as her lover, interested deeply in
their cause, gently drew her towards him. Her head sank on his shoulder,
as she faintly whispered something that was inaudible, but which he did
not fail to interpret into everything he most wished to hear. John was in
ecstasies. Every unpleasant feeling of suspicion had left him. Of Grace's
innocence of manoeuvring he never doubted, but John did not relish the
idea of being entrapped into anything, even a step which he desired. An
uninterrupted communication followed; it was as confiding as their
affections: and the return of the dowager and her children first recalled
them to the recollection of other people.

One glance of the eye was enough for Lady Chatterton. She saw the traces
of tears on the cheeks and in the eyes of Grace, and the dowager was
satisfied; she knew his friends would not object; and as Grace attended
her to her dressing-room, she cried on entering it, "Well, child, when is
the wedding to be? You will wear me out with so much gaiety."

Grace was shocked, but did not as formerly weep over her mother's
interference in agony and dread. John had opened his whole soul to her,
observing the greatest delicacy towards her mother, and she now felt her
happiness placed in the keeping of a man whose honor she believed much
exceeded that of any other human being.



Chapter XXXII.



The seniors of the party at Benfield Lodge were all assembled one morning
in a parlor, when its master and the baronet were occupied in the perusal
of the London papers. Clara had persuaded her sisters to accompany her and
Francis in an excursion as far as the village.

Jane yet continued reserved and distant to most of her friends; while
Emily's conduct would have escaped unnoticed, did not her blanched cheek
and wandering looks at times speak a language not to be misunderstood.
With all her relatives she maintained the affectionate intercourse she had
always supported; though not even to her aunt did the name of Denbigh pass
her lips. But in her most private and humble petitions to God, she never
forgot to mingle with her requests for spiritual blessings on herself,
fervent prayers for the conversion of the preserver of her life.

Mrs. Wilson, as she sat by the side of her sister at their needles, first
discovered an unusual uneasiness in their venerable host, while he turned
his paper over and over, as if unwilling or unable to comprehend some part
of its contents, until he rang the bell violently, and bid the servant to
send Johnson to him without a moment's delay.

"Peter," said Mr. Benfield doubtingly, "read that--your eyes are young,
Peter; read that."

Peter took the paper, and after having adjusted his spectacles to his
satisfaction, he proceeded to obey his master's injunctions; but the same
defect of vision as suddenly seized the steward as it had affected his
master. He turned the paper sideways, and appeared to be spelling the
matter of the paragraph to himself. Peter would have given his three
hundred a year to have had the impatient John Moseley a hand, to relieve
him from his task; but the anxiety of Mr. Benfield overcoming his fear of
the worst, he inquired in tremulous tone--

"Peter? hem! Peter, what do you think?"

"Why, your honor," replied the steward, stealing a look at his master, "it
does seem so indeed."

"I remember," said the master, "when Lord Gosford saw the marriage of the
countess announced he--"

Here the old gentleman was obliged to stop, and rising with dignity, and
leaning on the arm of his faithful servant, he left the room.

Mrs. Wilson immediately took up the paper, and her eye catching the
paragraph at a glance, she read aloud as follows to her expecting friends:

"Married by special license, at the seat of the Most Noble the Marquess of
Eltringham, in Devonshire, by the Right Rev. Lord Bishop of ----, George
Denbigh Esq., Lieutenant Colonel of his Majesty's ---- regiment of
dragoons, to the Right Honorable Lady Laura Stapleton, eldest sister of
the Marquess. Eltringham was honored on the present happy occasion with
the presence of his grace of Derwent, and the gallant Lord Pendennyss,
kinsmen of the bridegroom, and Captain Lord Henry Stapleton of the Royal
Navy. We understand that the happy couple proceed to Denbigh Castle
immediately after the honey-moon."

Although Mrs. Wilson had given up the expectation of ever seeing her niece
the wife of Denbigh, she felt an indescribable shock as she read this
paragraph. The strongest feeling was horror at the danger Emily had been
in of contracting an alliance with such a man. His avoiding the ball, at
which he knew Lord Henry was expected, was explained to her by this
marriage; for with John, she could not believe a woman like Lady Laura
Stapleton was to be won in the short space of one fortnight, or indeed
less. There was too evidently a mystery yet to be developed, and she felt
certain one that would not elevate his character in her opinion.

Neither Sir Edward nor Lady Moseley had given up the expectation of seeing
Denbigh again, as a suitor for Emily's hand, and to both of them this
certainty of his loss was a heavy blow. The baronet took up the paper, and
after perusing the article, he muttered in a low tone, as he wiped the
tears from his eyes, "Heaven bless him: I sincerely hope she is worthy of
him." Worthy of him, thought Mrs. Wilson, with a feeling of indignation,
as, taking up the paper, she retired to her own room, whither Emily, at
that moment returned from her walk, had proceeded. As her niece must hear
this news, she thought the sooner the better. The exercise, and the
unreserved conversation of Francis and Clara, had restored in some degree
the bloom to the cheek of Emily; and Mrs. Wilson felt it necessary to
struggle with herself, before she could summon sufficient resolution to
invade the returning peace of her charge. However, having already decided
on her course, she proceeded to the discharge of what she thought to be a
duty.

"Emily, my child," she whispered, pressing her affectionately to her
bosom, "you have been all I could wish, and more than I expected, under
your arduous struggles. But one more pang, and I trust your recollections
on this painful subject will be done away."

Emily looked at her aunt in anxious expectation of what was coming, and
quietly taking the paper, followed the direction of Mrs. Wilson's finger
to the article on the marriage of Denbigh.

There was a momentary struggle in Emily for self-command. She was obliged
to find support in a chair. The returning richness of color, excited by
her walk, vanished; but recovering herself, she pressed the hand of her
anxious guardian, and, gently waving her back, proceeded to her own room.

On her return to the company, the same control of her feelings which had
distinguished her conduct of late, was again visible; and, although her
aunt most narrowly watched her movements, looks, and speeches, she could
discern no visible alteration by this confirmation of misconduct. The
truth was, that in Emily Moseley the obligations of duty were so
imperative, her sense of her dependence on Providence so humbling and yet
so confiding, that, as soon as she was taught to believe her lover
unworthy of her esteem, that moment an insuperable barrier separated them.
His marriage could add nothing to the distance between them. It was
impossible they could be united; and although a secret lingering of the
affections over his fallen character might and did exist, it existed
without any romantic expectations of miracles in his favor, or vain wishes
of reformation, in which self was the prominent feeling. She might be said
to be keenly alive to all that concerned his welfare or movements, if she
did not harbor the passion of love; but it showed itself in prayers for
his amendment of life, and the most ardent petitions for his future and
eternal happiness. She had set about, seriously and with much energy, the
task of erasing from her heart sentiments which, however delightful she
had found it to entertain in times past, were now in direct variance with
her duty. She knew that a weak indulgence of such passions would tend to
draw her mind from, and disqualify her to discharge, those various calls
on her time and her exertions, which could alone enable her to assist
others, or effect in her own person the great purposes of her creation. It
was never lost sight of by Emily Moseley, that her existence here was
preparatory to an immensely more important state hereafter. She was
consequently in charity with all mankind; and if grown a little more
distrustful of the intentions of her fellow-creatures, it was a mistrust
bottomed in a clear view of the frailties of our nature; and
self-examination was amongst the not unfrequent speculations she made on
this hasty marriage of her former lover.

Mrs. Wilson saw all this, and was soon made acquainted by her niece in
terms, with her views of her own condition; and although she had to, and
did, deeply regret, that all her caution had not been able to guard
against deception, where it was most important for her to guide aright,
yet she was cheered with the reflection that her previous care, with the
blessings of Providence, had admirably fitted her charge to combat and
overcome the consequences of their mistaken confidence.

The gloom which this little paragraph excited, extended to every
individual in the family; for all had placed Denbigh by the side of John,
in their affections, ever since his weighty services to Emily.

A letter from John announcing his intention of meeting them at Bath, as
well as his new relation with Grace, relieved in some measure this general
depression of spirit. Mr. Benfield alone found no consolation in the
approaching nuptials. John he regarded as his nephew, and Grace he thought
a very good sort of young woman; but neither of them were beings of the
same genus with Emily and Denbigh.

"Peter," said he one day, after they had both been expending their
ingenuity in vain efforts to discover the cause of this so-much-desired
marriage's being so unexpectedly frustrated, "have I not often told you,
that fate governed these things, in order that men might be humble in this
life? Now, Peter, had the Lady Juliana wedded with a mind congenial to her
own, she might have been mistress of Benfield Lodge to this very hour."

"Yes, your honor--but there's Miss Emmy's legacy."

And Peter withdrew, thinking what would have been the consequences had
Patty Steele been more willing, when he wished to make her Mrs. Peter
Johnson--an association by no means uncommon in the mind of the steward;
for if Patty had ever a rival in his affections, it was in the person of
Emily Moseley, though, indeed, with very different degrees and coloring of
esteem.

The excursions to the cottage had been continued by Mrs. Wilson and Emily,
and as no gentleman was now in the family to interfere with their
communications, a general visit to the young widow had been made by the
Moseleys, including Sir Edward and Mr. Ives.

The Jarvises had gone to London to receive their children, now penitent in
more senses than one; and Sir Edward learnt with pleasure that Egerton and
his wife had been admitted into the family of the merchant.

Sir Edgar had died suddenly, and the entailed estates had fallen to his
successor the colonel, now Sir Harry; but the bulk of his wealth, being in
convertible property, he had given by will to his other nephew, a young
clergyman, and a son of a younger brother. Mary, as well as her mother,
were greatly disappointed, by this deprivation, of what they considered
their lawful splendor; but they found great consolation in the new dignity
of Lady Egerton, whose greatest wish now was to meet the Moseleys, in
order that she might precede them in or out of some place where such
ceremonials are observed. The sound of "Lady Egerton's carriage stops the
way," was delightful, and it never failed to be used on all occasions,
although her ladyship was mistress of only a hired vehicle.

A slight insight into the situation of things amongst them may be found in
the following narrative of their views, as revealed in a discussion which
took place about a fortnight after the reunion of the family under one
roof.

Mrs. Jarvis was mistress of a very handsome coach, the gift of her husband
for her own private use. After having satisfied herself the baronet (a
dignity he had enjoyed just twenty-four hours) did not possess the ability
to furnish his lady, as she termed her daughter, with such a luxury, she
magnanimously determined to relinquish her own, in support of the
new-found elevation of her daughter. Accordingly, a consultation on the
alterations which were necessary took place between the ladies--"The arms
must be altered, of course," Lady Egerton observed, "and Sir Harry's, with
the bloody hand and six quarterings, put in their place; then the
liveries, they must be changed."

"Oh, mercy! my lady, if the arms are altered, Mr. Jarvis will be sure to
notice it, and he would never forgive me; and perhaps--"

"Perhaps what?" exclaimed the new-made lady, with a disdainful toss of her
head.

"Why," replied the mother, warmly, "not give me the hundred pounds he
promised, to have it new-lined and painted."

"Fiddlesticks with the painting, Mrs, Jarvis," cried the _lady_ with
dignity: "no carriage shall be called mine that does not bear my arms and
the bloody hand."

"Why, your ladyship is unreasonable, indeed you are," said Mrs. Jarvis,
coaxingly; and then after a moment's thought she continued, "is it the
arms or the baronetcy you want, my dear?"

"Oh, I care nothing for the arms, but I am determined, now I am a
baronet's lady, Mrs. Jarvis, to have the proper emblem of my rank."

"Certainly, my lady, that's true dignity: well, then, we will put the
bloody hand on your father's arms, and he will never notice it, for he
never sees such things."

The arrangement was happily completed, and for a few days the coach of Mr.
Jarvis bore about the titled dame, until one unlucky day the merchant, who
still went on 'change when any great bargain in the stocks was to be made,
arrived at his own door suddenly, to procure a calculation he had made on
the leaf of his prayer-book the last Sunday during sermon. This he
obtained after some search. In his haste he drove to his broker's in the
carriage of his wife, to save time, it happening to be in waiting at the
moment, and the distance not great. Mr. Jarvis forgot to order the man to
return, and for an hour the vehicle stood in one of the most public places
in the city. The consequence was, that when Mr. Jarvis undertook to
examine into his gains, with the account rendered of the transaction by
his broker, he was astonished to read, "Sir Timothy Jarvis, Bart., in
account with John Smith, Dr." Sir Timothy examined the account in as many
different ways as Mr. Benfield had examined the marriage of Denbigh,
before he would believe his eyes; and when assured of the fact, he
immediately caught up his hat, and went to find the man who had dared to
insult him, as it were, in defiance of the formality of business. He had
not proceeded one square in the city before he met a friend, who spoke to
him by the title; an explanation of the mistake followed, and the quasi
baronet proceeded to his stables. Here by actual examination he detected
the fraud. An explanation with his consort followed; and the painter's
brush soon effaced the emblem of dignity from the panels of the coach. All
this was easy but with his waggish companions on 'Change and in the city
(where, notwithstanding his wife's fashionable propensities, he loved to
resort) he was Sir Timothy still.

Mr. Jarvis, though a man of much modesty, was one of great decision, and
he determined to have the laugh on his side. A newly purchased borough of
his sent up an address flaming with patriotism, and it was presented by
his own hands. The merchant seldom kneeled to his Creator, but on this
occasion he humbled himself dutifully before his prince, and left the
presence with a legal right to the appellation which his old companions
had affixed to him sarcastically.

The rapture of Lady Jarvis may be more easily imagined than faithfully
described, the Christian name of her husband alone throwing any alloy into
the enjoyment of her elevation: but by a license of speech she ordered,
and addressed in her own practice, the softer and more familiar
appellation of Sir Timo. Two servants were discharged the first week,
because, unused to titles, they had addressed her as mistress; and her
son, the captain, then at a watering-place, was made acquainted by express
with the joyful intelligence.

All this time Sir Henry Egerton was but little seen amongst his new
relatives. He had his own engagements and haunts, and spent most of his
time at a fashionable gaming house in the West End. As, however, the town
was deserted, Lady Jarvis and her daughters, having condescended to pay a
round of city visits, to show off her airs and dignity to her old friends,
persuaded Sir Timo that the hour for their visit to Bath had arrived, and
they were soon comfortably settled in that city.

Lady Chatterton and her youngest daughter had arrived at the seat of her
son, and John Moseley, as happy as the certainty of love returned and the
approbation of his friends could make him, was in lodgings in the town.
Sir Edward notified his son of his approaching visit to Bath, and John
took proper accommodations for the family, which he occupied for a few
days by himself as _locum tenens_.

Lord and Lady Herriefield had departed for the south of France; and Kate,
removed from the scenes of her earliest enjoyments and the bosom of her
own family, and under the protection of a man she neither loved nor
respected, began to feel the insufficiency of a name or of a fortune to
constitute felicity. Lord Herriefield was of a suspicious and harsh
temper, the first propensity being greatly increased by his former
associations, and the latter not being removed by the humility of his
eastern dependants. But the situation of her child gave no uneasiness to
the managing mother, who thought her in the high-road to happiness, and
was gratified at the result of her labors. Once or twice, indeed, her
habits had overcome her caution so much as to endeavor to promote, a day
or two sooner than had been arranged, the wedding of Grace; but her
imprudence was checked instantly by the recoiling of Moseley from her
insinuations in disgust; and the absence of the young man for twenty-four
hours gave her timely warning of the danger of such an interference with
one of such fastidious feelings. John punished himself as much as the
dowager on these occasions; but the smiling face of Grace, with her hand
frankly placed in his own at his return, never failed to do away the
unpleasant sensations created by her mother's care.

The Chatterton and Jarvis families met in the rooms, soon after the
arrival of the latter, when the lady of the knight, followed by both her
daughters, approached the dowager with a most friendly salute of
recognition. Lady Chatterton, really forgetful of the persons of her B----
acquaintance, and disliking the vulgarity of her air, drew up into an
appearance of great dignity, as she hoped the lady was well. The
merchant's wife felt the consciousness of rank too much to be repulsed in
this manner, and believing that the dowager had merely forgotten her face,
she added, with a simpering smile, in imitation of what she had seen
better bred people practise with success--

"Lady Jarvis--my lady--your ladyship don't remember me--Lady Jarvis of the
Deanery, B----, Northamptonshire, and my daughters, Lady Egerton and Miss
Jarvis." Lady Egerton bowed stiffly to the recognising smile the dowager
now condescended to bestow; but Sarah, remembering a certain handsome lord
in the family, was more urbane, determining at the moment to make the
promotion of her mother and sister stepping-stones to greater elevation
for herself.

"I hope my lord is well," continued the city lady. "I regret that Sir
Timo, and Sir Harry, and Captain Jarvis, are not here this morning to pay
their respects to your ladyship; but as we shall see naturally a good deal
of each other, it must be deferred to a more fitting opportunity."

"Certainly, madam," replied the dowager, as, passing her compliments with
those of Grace, she drew back from so open a conversation with creatures
of such doubtful standing in the fashionable world.



Chapter XXXIII.



On taking leave of Mrs. Fitzgerald, Emily and her aunt settled a plan of
correspondence; the deserted situation of this young woman having created
great interest in the breasts of her new friends. General M'Carthy had
returned to Spain without receding from his original proposal, and his
niece was left to mourn her early departure from one of the most solemn
duties of life.

Mr. Benfield, thwarted in one of his most favorite schemes of happiness
for the residue of his life, obstinately refused to make one of the party
at Bath; and Ives and Clara having returned to Bolton, the remainder of
the Moseleys arrived at the lodgings of John a very few days after the
interview of the preceding chapter, with hearts ill qualified to enter
into the gaieties of the place, though, in obedience to the wishes of Lady
Moseley, to see and to be seen once more on that great theatre of
fashionable amusement.

The friends of the family who had known them in times past were numerous,
and were glad to renew their acquaintance with those they had always
esteemed; so that they found themselves immediately surrounded by a circle
of smiling faces and dashing equipages.

Sir William Harris, the proprietor of the deanery, and a former neighbor,
with his showy daughter, were amongst the first to visit them. Sir William
was a man of handsome estate and unexceptionable character, but entirely
governed by the whims and desires of his only child. Caroline Harris
wanted neither sense nor beauty, but expecting a fortune, she had placed
her views too high. She at first aimed at the peerage; and while she felt
herself entitled to suit her taste as well as her ambition, had failed of
her object by ill-concealed efforts to attain it. She had justly acquired
the reputation of the reverse of a coquette or yet of a prude; still she
had never received an offer, and at the age of twenty-six, had now begun
to lower her thoughts to the commonalty. Her fortune would have easily
obtained her husband here, but she was determined to pick amongst the
lower supporters of the aristocracy of the nation. With the Moseleys she
had been early acquainted, though some years their senior; a circumstance,
however, to which she took care never to allude unnecessarily.

The meeting between Grace and the Moseleys was tender and sincere. John's
countenance glowed with delight, as he saw his future wife folded
successively in the arms of those he loved, and Grace's tears and blushes
added twofold charms to her native beauty. Jane relaxed from her reserve
to receive her future sister, and determined with herself to appear in the
world, in order to show Sir Henry Egerton that she did not feel the blow
he had inflicted as severely as the truth might have proved.

The Dowager found some little occupation, for a few days, in settling with
Lady Moseley the preliminaries of the wedding; but the latter had suffered
too much through her youngest daughters, to enter into these formalities
with her ancient spirit. All things were, however, happily settled; and
Ives making a journey for the express purpose, John and Grace were united
privately at the altar of one of the principal churches in Bath.
Chatterton had been summoned on the occasion; and the same paper which
announced the nuptials, contained, amongst the fashionable arrivals, the
names of the Duke of Derwent and his sister, the Marquess of Eltringham
and sisters, amongst whom was to be found Lady Laura Denbigh. Lady
Chatterton carelessly remarked, in presence of her friends, the husband of
the latter was summoned to the death-bed of a relative, from whom he had
great expectations. Emily's color did certainly change as she listened to
this news, but not allowing her thoughts to dwell on the subject, she was
soon enabled to recall her serenity of appearance.

But Jane and Emily were delicately placed. The lover of the former, and
the wives of the lovers of both, were in the way of daily, if not hourly
rencounters; and it required all the energies of the young women to appear
with composure before them. The elder was supported by pride, the younger
by principle. The first was restless, haughty, distant, and repulsive. The
last mild, humble, reserved, but eminently attractive. The one was
suspected by all around her; the other was unnoticed by any, but by her
nearest and dearest friends.

The first rencounter with these dreaded guests occurred at the rooms one
evening, where the elder ladies had insisted on the bride's making her
appearance. The Jarvises were there before them, and at their entrance
caught the eyes of the group. Lady Jarvis approached immediately, filled
with exultation--her husband with respect. The latter was received with
cordiality--the former politely, but with distance. The young ladies and
Sir Henry bowed distantly, and the gentleman soon drew off into another
part of the room: his absence alone kept Jane from fainting. The handsome
figure of Egerton standing by the side of Mary Jarvis, as her acknowledged
husband, was near proving too much for her pride, notwithstanding all her
efforts; and he looked so like the imaginary being she had set up as the
object of her worship, that her heart was also in danger of rebelling.

"Positively, Sir Edward and my lady, both Sir Timo and myself, and, I
dare say, Sir Harry and Lady Egerton too, are delighted to see you
comfortably at Bath among us. Mrs. Moseley, I wish you much happiness;
Lady Chatterton too. I suppose your ladyship recollects me now; I am Lady
Jarvis. Mr. Moseley, I regret, for your sake, that my son Captain Jarvis
is not here; you were so fond of each other, and both so loved your guns."

"Positively, my Lady Jarvis," said Moseley, drily, "my feelings on the
occasion are as strong as your own; but I presume the captain is much top
good a shot for me by this time."

"Why, yes; he improves greatly in most things he undertakes," rejoined the
smiling dame, "and I hope he will soon learn, like you, to shoot with the
_h_arrows of Cupid. I hope the Honorable Mrs. Moseley is well."

Grace bowed mildly, as she answered to the interrogatory, and smiled at
the thought of Jarvis put in competition with her husband in this species
of archery, when a voice immediately behind where they sat caught the ears
of the whole party; all it said was--

"Harriet, you forgot to show me Marian's letter."

"Yes, but I will to-morrow," was the reply.

It was the tone of Denbigh. Emily almost fell from her seat as it first
reached her, and the eyes of all but herself were immediately turned in
quest of the speaker. He had approached within a very few feet of them,
supporting a lady on each arm. A second look convinced the Moseleys that
they were mistaken. It was not Denbigh, but a young man whose figure,
face, and air resembled him strongly, and whose voice possessed the same
soft melodious tones which had distinguished that of Denbigh. This party
seated themselves within a very short distance of the Moseleys, and they
continued their conversation.

"You heard from the Colonel to-day, too, I believe," continued the
gentleman, turning to the lady who sat next to Emily.

"Yes, he is a very punctual correspondent; I hear every other day."

"How is his uncle, Laura?" inquired her female companion.

"Rather better; but I will thank your grace to find the Marquess and Miss
Howard."

"Bring them to us," rejoined the other.

"Yes," said the former lady, with a laugh, "and Eltringham will thank you
too, I dare say."

In an instant the duke returned, accompanied by a gentleman of thirty and
an elderly lady, who might have been safely taken for fifty without
offence to anybody but herself.

During these speeches their auditors had listened with almost breathless
interest. Emily had stolen a glance which satisfied her it was not Denbigh
himself and it greatly relieved her; but was startled at discovering that
she was actually seated by the side of his young and lovely wife. When an
opportunity offered, she dwelt on the amiable, frank countenance of her
rival with melancholy satisfaction: at least, she thought, he may yet be
happy, and I hope penitent.

It was a mixture of love and gratitude which prompted this wish, both
sentiments not easily got rid of when once ingrafted in our better
feelings. John eyed the strangers with a displeasure for which he could
not account at once, and saw, in the ancient lady, the bridesmaid Lord
Henry had so unwillingly admitted to that distinction.

Lady Jarvis was astounded with her vicinity to so much nobility, and she
drew back to her family to study its movements to advantage; while Lady
Chatterton sighed heavily, as she contemplated the fine figures of an
unmarried Duke and Marquess, and she without a single child to dispose of.
The remainder of the party continued to view them with curiosity, and
listened with interest to what they said.

Two or three young ladies had now joined the strangers, attended by a
couple of gentlemen, and the conversation became general. The ladies
declined dancing entirely, but appeared willing to throw away an hour in
comments on their neighbors.

"William," said one of the young ladies, "there is your old messmate, Col.
Egerton."

"Yes, I observe him," replied her brother, "I see him;" but, smiling
significantly, he continued, "we are messmates no longer."

"He is a sad character," said the Marquess, with a shrug. "William, I
would advise you to be cautious of his acquaintance."

"I thank you," replied Lord William, "but I believe I understand him
thoroughly."

Jane manifested strong emotion during these remarks, while Sir Edward and
his wife averted their faces from a simultaneous feeling of self-reproach.
Their eyes met, and mutual concessions were contained in the glance; yet
their feelings were unnoticed by their companions, for over the fulfilment
of her often repeated forewarnings of neglect and duty to our children,
Mrs. Wilson had mourned in sincerity, but she had forgotten to triumph.

"When are we to see Pendennyss?" inquired the Marquess; "I hope he will be
here with George--I have a mind to beat up his quarters in Wales this
season--what say you, Derwent?"

"I intend it, if I can persuade Lady Harriet to quit the gaieties of Bath
so soon--what say _you_, sister--will you be in readiness to attend me so
early?"

This question was asked in an arch tone, and drew the eyes of her friends
on the person to whom it was addressed.

"I am ready now, Frederick, if you wish it," answered the sister hastily,
and coloring excessively as she spoke.

"But where is Chatterton? I thought he was here--he had a sister married
here last week," inquired Lord William Stapleton, addressing no one in
particular.

A slight movement in their neighbors attracted the attention of the party.

"What a lovely young woman," whispered the duke to Lady Laura, "your
neighbor is!"

The lady smiled her assent, and as Emily overheard it, she rose with
glowing cheeks, and proposed a walk round the room.

Chatterton soon after entered. The young peer had acknowledged to Emily
that, deprived of hope as he had been by her firm refusal of his hand, his
efforts had been directed to the suppression of a passion which could
never be successful; but his esteem, his respect, remained in full force.
He did not touch at all on the subject of Denbigh, and she supposed that
he thought his marriage was a step that required justification.

The Moseleys had commenced their promenade round the room as Chatterton
came in. He paid his compliments to them as soon as he entered, and walked
with their party. The noble visitors followed their example, and the two
parties met. Chatterton was delighted to see them, the Duke was
particularly fond of him; and, had one been present of sufficient
observation, the agitation of his sister, the Lady Harriet Denbigh, would
have accounted for the doubts of her brother as respects her willingness
to leave Bath.

A few words of explanation passed; the duke and his friends appeared to
urge something on Chatterton, who acted as their ambassador, and the
consequence was, an introduction of the two parties to each other. This
was conducted with the ease of the present fashion--it was general, and
occurred, as it were incidentally, in the course of the evening.

Both Lady Harriet and Lady Laura Denbigh were particularly attentive to
Emily. They took their seats by her, and manifested a preference for her
conversation that struck Mrs. Wilson as remarkable. Could it be that the
really attractive manners and beauty of her niece had caught the fancy of
these ladies, or was there a deeper seated cause for the desire to draw
Emily out, that both of them evinced? Mrs. Wilson had heard a rumor that
Chatterton was thought attentive to Lady Harriet, and the other was the
wife of Denbigh; was it possible the quondam suitors of her niece had
related to their present favorites the situation they had stood in as
regarded Emily? It was odd, to say no more; and the widow dwelt on the
innocent countenance of the bride with pity and admiration. Emily herself
was not a little abashed at the notice of her new acquaintances,
especially Lady Laura's; but as their admiration appeared sincere, as well
as their desire to be on terms of intimacy with the Moseleys, they parted,
on the whole, mutually pleased.

The conversation several times was embarrassing to the baronet's family,
and at moments distressingly so to their daughters.

At the close of the evening they all formed one group at a little distance
from the rest of the company, and in a situation to command a view of it.

"Who is that vulgar-looking woman," said Lady Sarah Stapleton, "seated
next to Sir Henry Egerton, brother?"

"No less a personage than my Lady Jarvis," replied the marquess, gravely,
"and the mother-in-law of Sir Harry, and the wife to Sir Timo--;" this was
said, with a look of drollery that showed the marquess was a bit of a
quiz.

"Married!" cried Lord William, "mercy on the woman who is Egerton's wife.
He is the greatest latitudinarian amongst the ladies, of any man in
England--nothing--no, nothing would tempt me to let such a man marry a
sister of mine!"

Ah, thought Mrs. Wilson, how we may be deceived in character, with the
best intentions, after all! In what are the open vices of Egerton worse
than the more hidden ones of Denbigh?

These freely expressed opinions on the character of Sir Henry were
excessively awkward to some of the listeners, to whom they were connected
with unpleasant recollections of duties neglected, and affections thrown
away.

Sir Edward Moseley was not disposed to judge his fellow-creatures harshly;
and it was as much owing to his philanthropy as to his indolence, that he
had been so remiss in his attention to the associates of his daughters.
But the veil once removed, and the consequences brought home to him
through his child, no man was more alive to the necessity of caution on
this important particular; and Sir Edward formed many salutary resolutions
for the government of his future conduct in relation to those whom an
experience nearly fatal in its results had now greatly qualified to take
care of themselves But to resume our narrative--Lady Laura had maintained
with Emily a conversation, which was enlivened by occasional remarks from
the rest of the party, in the course of which the nerves as well as the
principles of Emily were put to a severe trial.

"My brother Henry," said Lady Laura, "who is a captain in the navy, once
had the pleasure of seeing you, Miss Moseley, and in some measure made me
acquainted with you before we met."

"I dined with Lord Henry at L----, and was much indebted to his polite
attentions in an excursion on the water," replied Emily, simply.

"Oh, I am sure his attentions were exclusive," cried the sister; "indeed,
he told us that nothing but want of time prevented his being deeply in
love--he had even the audacity to tell Denbigh it was fortunate for me he
had never seen you, or I should have been left to lead apes."

"And I suppose you believe him now," cried Lord William, laughing, as he
bowed to Emily.

His sister laughed in her turn, but shook her head, in the confidence of
conjugal affection.

"It is all conjecture, for the Colonel said he had never enjoyed the
pleasure of meeting Miss Moseley, so I will not boast of what my powers
might have done; Miss Moseley," continued Lady Laura, blushing slightly at
her inclination to talk of an absent husband, so lately her lover, "I hope
to have the pleasure of presenting Colonel Denbigh to you soon."

"I think," said Emily, with a strong horror of deception, and a mighty
struggle to suppress her feelings, "Colonel Denbigh was mistaken in saying
that we had never met; he was of material service to me once, and I owe
him a debt of gratitude that I only wish I could properly repay."

Lady Laura listened in surprise; but as Emily paused, she could not
delicately, as his wife, remind her further of the obligation, by asking
what the service was, and hesitating a moment, continued--

"Henry quite made you the subject of conversation amongst us; Lord
Chatterton too, who visited us for a day, was equally warm in his
eulogiums. I really thought they created a curiosity in the Duke and
Pendennyss to behold their idol."

"A curiosity that would be ill rewarded in its indulgence," said Emily,
abashed by the personality of the discourse.

"So says the modesty of Miss Moseley," said the Duke of Derwent, in the
peculiar tone which distinguished the softer keys of Denbigh's voice.
Emily's heart beat quick as she heard them, and she was afterwards vexed
to remember with how much pleasure she had listened to this opinion of the
duke. Was it the sentiment, or was it the voice? She, however, gathered
strength to answer, with a dignity that repressed further praises:--

"Your grace is willing to divest me of what little I possess."

"Pendennyss is a man of a thousand," continued Lady Laura, with the
privilege of a married woman. "I do wish he would join us at Bath--is
there no hope, duke?"

"I am afraid not," replied his grace: "he keeps himself immured in Wales
with his sister, who is as much of a hermit as he is himself."

"There was a story of an inamorata in private somewhere," cried the
marquess; "why at one time it was even said he was privately married to
her."

"Scandal, my lord," said the duke, gravely: "Pendennyss is of
unexceptionable morals, and the lady you mean is the widow of Major
Fitzgerald, whom you knew. Pendennyss never sees her, though by accident
he was once of very great service to her."

Mrs. Wilson breathed freely again, as she heard this explanation, and
thought if the Marquess knew all, how differently would he judge
Pendennyss, as well as others.

"Oh! I have the highest opinion of Lord Pendennyss," cried the Marquess.

The Moseleys were not sorry that the usual hour of retiring put an end to
the conversation and their embarrassment.



Chapter XXXIV.



During the succeeding fortnight, the intercourse between the Moseleys and
their new acquaintances increased daily. It was rather awkward at first on
the part of Emily; and her beating pulse and changing color too often
showed the alarm of feelings not yet overcome, when any allusions were
made to the absent husband of one of the ladies. Still, as her parents
encouraged the acquaintance, and her aunt thought the best way to get rid
of the remaining weakness with respect to Denbigh was not to shrink from
even an interview with the gentleman himself, Emily succeeded in
conquering her reluctance; and as the high opinion entertained by Lady
Laura of her husband was expressed in a thousand artless ways, an interest
was created in her that promised in time to weaken if not destroy the
impression that had been made by Denbigh himself.

On the other hand, Egerton carefully avoided all collision with the
Moseleys. Once, indeed, he endeavored to renew his acquaintance with John,
but a haughty repulse almost produced a quarrel.

What representations Egerton had thought proper to make to his wife, we
are unable to say; but she appeared to resent something, as she never
approached the dwelling or persons of her quondam associates, although in
her heart she was dying to be on terms of intimacy with their titled
friends. Her incorrigible mother was restrained by no such or any other
consideration, and contrived to fasten on the Dowager and Lady Harriet a
kind of bowing acquaintance, which she made great use of at the rooms.

The Duke sought out the society of Emily wherever he could obtain it; and
Mrs. Wilson thought her niece admitted his approaches with less reluctance
than that of any other of the gentlemen around her. At first she was
surprised, but a closer observation betrayed to her the latent cause.

Derwent resembled Denbigh greatly in person and voice, although there were
distinctions easily to be made on an acquaintance. The Duke had an air of
command and hauteur that was never to be seen in his cousin. But his
admiration of Emily he did not attempt to conceal; and, as he ever
addressed her in the respectful language and identical voice of Denbigh,
the observant widow easily perceived, that it was the remains of her
attachment to the one that induced her niece to listen, with such evident
pleasure, to the conversation of the other.

The Duke of Derwent wanted many of the indispensable requisites of a
husband, in the eyes of Mrs. Wilson; yet, as she thought Emily out of all
danger at the present of any new attachment, she admitted the association,
under no other restraint than the uniform propriety of all that Emily said
or did.

"Your niece will one day be a Duchess, Mrs. Wilson," whispered Lady Laura,
as Derwent and Emily were running over a new poem one morning, in the
lodgings of Sir Edward; the former reading a fine extract aloud so
strikingly in the air and voice of Denbigh, as to call all the animation
of the unconscious Emily into her expressive face.

Mrs. Wilson sighed, as she reflected on the strength of those feelings
which even principles and testimony had not been able wholly to subdue, as
she answered--

"Not of Derwent, I believe. But how wonderfully the Duke resembles your
husband at times," she added, entirely thrown off her guard.

Lady Laura was evidently surprised.

"Yes, at times he does; they are brothers' children, you know: the voice
in all that connexion is remarkable. Pendennyss, though a degree further
off in blood, possesses it; and Lady Harriet, you perceive, has the same
characteristic; there has been some syren in the family, in days past."

Sir Edward and Lady Moseley saw the attention of the Duke with the
greatest pleasure. Though not slaves to the ambition of wealth and rank,
they were certainly no objections in their eyes; and a proper suitor Lady
Moseley thought the most probable means of driving the recollection of
Denbigh from the mind of her daughter. The latter consideration had great
weight in inducing her to cultivate an acquaintance so embarrassing on
many accounts.

The Colonel, however, wrote to his wife the impossibility of his quitting
his uncle while he continued so unwell, and it was settled that the bride
should join him, under the escort of Lord William.

The same tenderness distinguished Denbigh on this occasion that had
appeared so lovely when exercised to his dying father. Yet, thought Mrs.
Wilson, how insufficient are good feelings to effect what can only be the
result of good principles.

Caroline Harris was frequently of the parties of pleasure, walks, rides,
and dinners, which the Moseleys were compelled to join in; and as the
Marquess of Eltringham had given her one day some little encouragement,
she determined to make an expiring effort at the peerage, before she
condescended to enter into an examination of the qualities of Capt.
Jarvis, who, his mother had persuaded her, was an Apollo, that had great
hopes of being one day a Lord, as both the Captain and herself had
commenced laying up a certain sum quarterly for the purpose of buying a
title hereafter--an ingenious expedient of Jarvis's to get into his hands
a portion of the allowance of his mother.

Eltringham was strongly addicted to the ridiculous; and without committing
himself in the least, drew the lady out on divers occasions, for the
amusement of himself and the Duke--who enjoyed, without practising, that
species of joke.

The collisions between ill-concealed art and as ill-concealed irony had
been practised with impunity by the Marquess for a fortnight, and the
lady's imagination began to revel in the delights of a triumph, when a
really respectable offer was made to Miss Harris by a neighbor of her
father's in the country--one she would rejoice to have received a few days
before, but which, in consequence of hopes created by the following
occurrence, she haughtily rejected.

It was at the lodgings of the Baronet that Lady Laura exclaimed one day,--

"Marriage is a lottery, certainly, and neither Sir Henry nor Lady Egerton
appears to have drawn a prize."

Here Jane stole from the room.

"Never, sister," cried the Marquess. "I will deny that. Any man can select
a prize from your sex, if he only knows his own taste."

"Taste is a poor criterion, I am afraid," said Mrs. Wilson, gravely, "on
which to found matrimonial felicity."

"To what would you refer the decision, my dear madam?" inquired the Lady
Laura.

"Judgment."

Lady Laura shook her hear doubtingly.

"You remind me so much of Lord Pendennyss! Everything he wishes to bring
under the subjection of judgment and principles."

"And is he wrong, Lady Laura?" asked Mrs. Wilson, pleased to find such
correct views existed in one of whom she thought so highly.

"Not wrong, my dear madam, only impracticable. What do you think,
Marquess, of choosing a wife in conformity to your principles, and without
consulting your tastes?"

Mrs. Wilson shook her head with a laugh, and disclaimed any such statement
of the case; but the Marquess, who disliked one of John's didactic
conversations very much, gaily interrupted her by saying--

"Oh! taste is everything with me. The woman of my heart against the world,
if she suits my fancy, and satisfies my judgment."

"And what may this fancy of your Lordship be?" said Mrs. Wilson, willing
to gratify the trifling. "What kind of a woman do you mean to choose? How
tall for instance?"

"Why, madam," cried the Marquess, rather unprepared for such a catechism,
and looking around him until the outstretched neck and the eager attention
of Caroline Harris caught his eye, when he added with an air of great
simplicity--"about the height of Miss Harris."

"How old?" asked Mrs. Wilson with a smile.

"Not too young, ma'am, certainly. I am thirty-two--my wife must be five or
six and twenty. Am I old enough, do you think, Derwent?" he added in a
whisper to the Duke.

"Within ten years," was the reply.

Mrs. Wilson continued--

"She must read and write, I suppose?"

"Why, faith," said the Marquess, "I am not fond of a bookish sort of a
woman, and least of all a scholar."

"You had better take Miss Howard," whispered his brother. "She is old
enough--never reads--and is just the height."

"No, no, Will," rejoined the brother. "Rather too old that. Now, I admire
a woman who has confidence in herself. One that understands the
proprieties of life, and has, if possible, been at the head of an
establishment before she is to take charge of mine."

The delighted Caroline wriggled about in her chair, and, unable to contain
herself longer, inquired:--

"Noble blood of course, you would require, my Lord?"

"Why no! I rather think the best wives are to be found in a medium. I
would wish to elevate my wife myself. A Baronet's daughter for instance."

Here Lady Jarvis, who had entered during the dialogue, and caught a clue
to the topic they were engaged in, drew near, and ventured to ask if he
thought a simple knight too low. The Marquess, who did not expect such an
attack, was a little at a loss for an answer; but recovering himself
answered gravely, under the apprehension of another design on his person,
that "he did think that would be forgetting his duty to his descendants."

Lady Jarvis sighed, and fell back in disappointment; while Miss Harris,
turning to the nobleman, in a soft voice, desired him to ring for her
carriage. As he handed her down, she ventured to inquire if his lordship
had ever met with such a woman as he described.

"Oh, Miss Harris," he whispered, as he handed her into the coach, "how can
you ask me such a question? You are very cruel. Drive on, coachman."

"How, cruel, my Lord?" said Miss Harris eagerly. "Stop, John. How, cruel,
my Lord?" and she stretched her neck out of the window as the Marquess,
kissing his hand to her, ordered the man to proceed.

"Don't you hear your lady, sir?"

Lady Jarvis had followed them down, also with a view to catch anything
which might be said, having apologized for her hasty visit; and as the
Marquess handed her politely into her carriage, she also begged "he would
favor Sir Timo and Sir Henry with a call;" which being promised,
Eltringham returned to the room.

"When am I to salute a Marchioness of Eltringham?" cried Lady Laura to her
brother, "one on the new standard set up by your Lordship."

"Whenever Miss Harris can make up her mind to the sacrifice," replied the
brother very gravely. "Ah me! how very considerate some of your sex are,
for the modesty of ours."

"I wish you joy with all my heart, my Lord Marquess," exclaimed John
Moseley. "I was once favored with the notice of that same lady for a week
or two, but a viscount saved me from capture."

"I really think, Moseley," said the Duke innocently, but speaking with
animation, "an intriguing daughter worse than a managing mother."

John's gravity for a moment vanished, as he replied in a lowered key,

"Oh, much worse."

Grace's heart was in her throat, until, by stealing a glance at her
husband, she saw the cloud passing over his fine brow; and happening to
catch her affectionate smile; his face was at once lighted into a look of
pleasantry.

"I would advise caution, my Lord. Caroline Harris has the advantage of
experience in her trade, and was expert from the first."

"John--John," said Sir Edward with warmth, "Sir William is my friend, and
his daughter must be respected."

"Then, baronet," cried the Marquess, "she has one recommendation I was
ignorant of, and as such I am silent: but ought not Sir William to teach
his daughter to respect herself? I view these husband-hunting ladies as
pirates on the ocean of love, and lawful objects for any roving cruiser
like myself to fire at. At one time I was simple enough to retire as they
advanced, but you know, madam," turning to Mrs. Wilson with a droll look,
"flight only encourages pursuit, so I now give battle in self-defence."

"And I hope successfully, my Lord," observed the Lady. "Miss Harris,
brother, does appear to have grown desperate in her attacks, which were
formerly much more masked than at present. I believe it is generally the
case, when a young worman throws aside the delicacy and feelings which
ought to be the characteristics of her sex, and which teach her studiously
to conceal her admiration, that she either becomes in time cynical and
disagreeable to all around her from disappointment, or persevering in her
efforts, as it were, runs a muck for a husband. Now in justice to the
gentlemen, I must say, baronet, there are strong symptoms of the Malay
about Caroline Harris."

"A muck, a muck," cried the marquess, as, in obedience to the signal of
his sister, he rose to withdraw.

Jane had retired to her own room in a mortification of spirit she could
ill conceal during this conversation, and she felt a degree of humiliation
which almost drove her to the desperate resolution of hiding herself for
ever from the world. The man she had so fondly enshrined in her heart
proving to be so notoriously unworthy as to be the subject of unreserved
censure in general company, was a reproach to her delicacy, her
observation, her judgment, that was the more severe, from being true; and
she wept in bitterness over her fallen happiness.

Emily had noticed the movement of Jane, and waited anxiously for the
departure of the visitors to hasten to her room. She knocked two or three
times before her sister replied to her request for admittance.

"Jane, my dear Jane," said Emily, soothingly, "will you not admit me?"

Jane could not resist any longer the affection of her sister, and the door
was opened; but as Emily endeavored to take her hand, she drew back
coldly, and cried--

"I wonder you, who are so happy, will leave the gay scene below for the
society of an humbled wretch like me;" and overcome with the violence of
her emotion, she burst into tears.

"Happy!" repeated Emily, in a tone of anguish, "happy, did you say, Jane?
Oh, little do you know my sufferings, or you would never speak so
cruelly!"

Jane, in her turn, surprised at the strength of Emily's language,
considered her weeping sister with commiseration; and then her thoughts
recurring to her own case, she continued with energy--

"Yes, Emily, happy; for whatever may have been the reason of Denbigh's
conduct, he is respected; and if you do or did love him, he was worthy of
it. But I," said Jane, wildly, "threw away my affections on a wretch--_a
mere impostor_--and I am miserable for ever."

"No, dear Jane," rejoined Emily, having recovered her self-possession,
"not miserable--nor for ever. You have many, very many sources of
happiness yet within your reach, even in this world. I--I do think, even
our strongest attachments may be overcome by energy and a sense of duty.
And oh! how I wish I could see you make the effort."

For a moment the voice of the youthful moralist had failed her; but
anxiety in behalf of her sister overcame her feelings, and she ended the
sentence with earnestness.

"Emily," said Jane, with obstinacy, and yet in tears, "you don't know
what blighted affections are. To endure the scorn of the world, and see
the man you once thought near being your husband married to another, who
is showing herself in triumph before you, wherever you go!"

"Hear me, Jane, before you reproach me further, and then judge between
us." Emily paused a moment to acquire nerve to proceed, and then related
to her astonished sister the little history of her own disappointments.
She did not affect to conceal her attachment for Denbigh. With glowing
cheeks she acknowledged, that she found a necessity for all her efforts to
keep her rebellious feelings yet in subjection; and as she recounted
generally his conduct to Mrs. Fitzgerald, she concluded by saying, "But,
Jane, I can see enough to call forth my gratitude; and although, with
yourself, I feel at this moment as if my affections were sealed for ever,
I wish to make no hasty resolutions, nor act in any manner as if I were
unworthy of the lot Providence has assigned me."

"Unworthy? no!--you have no reasons for self-reproach. If Mr. Denbigh has
had the art to conceal his crimes from you, he did it to the rest of the
world also, and has married a woman of rank and character. But how
differently are we situated! Emily--I--I have no such consolation."

"You have the consolation, my sister, of knowing there is an interest made
for you where we all require it most, and it is there I endeavor to seek
my support," said Emily, in a low and humble tone. "A review of our own
errors takes away the keenness of our perception of the wrongs done us,
and by placing us in charity with the rest of the world, disposes us to
enjoy calmly the blessings within our reach. Besides, Jane, we have
parents whose happiness is locked up in that of their children, and we
should--we must overcome the feelings which disqualify us for our common
duties, on their account."

"Ah!" cried Jane, "how can I move about in the world, while I know the
eyes of all are on me, in curiosity to discover how I bear my
disappointments. But you, Emily, are unsuspected. It is easy for you to
affect a gaiety you do not feel."

"I neither affect nor feel any gaiety," said her sister, mildly. "But are
there not the eyes of One on us, of infinitely more power to punish or
reward than what may be found in the opinions of the world? Have we no
duties? For what is our wealth, our knowledge, our time given us, but to
improve for our own and for the eternal welfare of those around us? Come
then, my sister, we have both been deceived--let us endeavor not to be
culpable."

"I wish, from my soul, we could leave Bath," cried Jane. "The place, the
people are hateful to me!"

"Jane," said Emily, "rather say you hate their vices, and wish for their
amendment: but do not indiscriminately condemn a whole community for the
wrongs you have sustained from one of its members."

Jane allowed herself to be consoled, though by no means convinced, by this
effort of her sister; and they both found a relief by thus unburdening
their hearts to each other, that in future brought them more nearly
together, and was of mutual assistance in supporting them in the
promiscuous circles in which they were obliged to mix.

With all her fortitude and principle, one of the last things Emily would
have desired was an interview with Denbigh, and she was happily relieved
from the present danger of it by the departure of Lady Laura and her
brother, to go to the residence of the Colonel's sick uncle.

Both Mrs. Wilson and Emily suspected that a dread of meeting them had
detained him from his intended journey to Bath; and neither was sorry to
perceive, what they considered as latent signs of grace--a grace of which
Egerton appeared entirely to be without.

"He may yet see his errors, and make a kind and affectionate husband,"
thought Emily; and then, as the image of Denbigh rose in her imagination,
surrounded with the domestic virtues, she roused herself from the
dangerous reflection to the exercise of the duties in which she found a
refuge from unpardonable wishes.



Chapter XXXV.



Nothing material occurred for a fortnight after the departure of Lady
Laura, the Moseleys entering soberly into the amusements of the place, and
Derwent and Chatterton becoming more pointed every day in their
attentions--the one to Emily, and the other to Lady Harriet; when the
dowager received a pressing entreaty from Catherine to hasten to her at
Lisbon, where her husband had taken up his abode for a time, after much
doubt and indecision as to his place of residence. Lady Herriefield stated
generally in her letter, that she was miserable, and that without the
support of her mother she could not exist under the present grievances;
but what was the cause of those grievances, or what grounds she had for
her misery, she left unexplained.

Lady Chatterton was not wanting in maternal regard, and she promptly
determined to proceed to Portugal in the next packet. John felt inclined
for a little excursion with his bride; and out of compassion to the baron,
who was in a dilemma between his duty and his love (for Lady Harriet about
that time was particularly attractive), he offered his services.

Chatterton allowed himself to be persuaded by the good-natured John, that
his mother could safely cross the ocean under the protection of the
latter. Accordingly, at the end of the before mentioned fortnight, the
dowager, John, Grace, and Jane, commenced their journey to Falmouth.

Jane had offered to accompany Grace, as a companion in her return (it
being expected Lady Chatterton would remain in the country with her
daughter); and her parents appreciating her motives, permitted the
excursion, with a hope it would draw her thoughts from past events.

Although Grace shed a few tears at parting with Emily and her friends, it
was impossible for Mrs. Moseley to be long unhappy, with the face of John
smiling by her side; and they pursued their route uninterruptedly. In due
season they reached the port of embarkation.

The following morning the packet got under weigh, and a favorable breeze
soon wafted them out of sight of their native shores. The ladies were too
much indisposed the first day to appear on the deck; but the weather
becoming calm and the sea smooth, Grace and Jane ventured out of the
confinement of their state-rooms, to respire the fresh air above.

There were but few passengers, and those chiefly ladies--the wives of
officers on foreign stations, on their way to join their husbands. As
these had been accustomed to moving in the world, their disposition to
accommodate soon removed the awkwardness of a first meeting, and our
travellers began to be at home in their novel situation.

While Grace stood leaning on the arm of her husband, and clinging to his
support, both from affection and a dread of the motion of the vessel, Jane
ventured with one of the ladies to attempt a walk round the deck of the
ship. Unaccustomed to such an uncertain foothold, the walkers were
prevented falling by the kind interposition of a gentleman, who for the
first time had shown himself among them at that moment. The accident, and
their situation, led to a conversation which was renewed at different
times during their passage, and in some measure created an intimacy
between our party and the stranger. He was addressed by the commander of
the vessel as Mr. Harland; and Lady Chatterton exercised her ingenuity in
the investigation of his history, by which she made the following
discovery:

The Rev. and Hon. Mr. Harland was the younger son of an Irish earl, who
had early embraced his sacred profession in that church, in which he held
a valuable living in the gift of his father's family. His father was yet
alive, and then at Lisbon with his mother and sister, in attendance on his
elder brother, who had been sent there in a deep decline a couple of
months before. It had been the wish of his parents to have taken all their
children with them; but a sense of duty had kept the young clergyman in
the exercise of his holy office, until a request of his dying brother, and
the directions of his father, caused him to hasten abroad to witness the
decease of the one, and to afford all the solace within his power to the
others.

It may be easily imagined that the discovery of the rank of their
accidental acquaintance, with the almost certainty that existed of his
being the heir of his father's honors, in no degree impaired his
consequence in the eyes of the dowager; and it is certain, his visible
anxiety and depressed spirits, his unaffected piety, and disinterested
hopes for his brother's recovery, no less elevated him in the opinions of
her companions.

There was, at the moment, a kind of sympathy between Harland and Jane,
notwithstanding the melancholy which gave rise to it proceeding from such
very different causes and as the lady, although with diminished bloom,
retained all her personal charms, rather heightened than otherwise by the
softness of low spirits, the young clergyman sometimes relieved his
apprehensions of his brother's death by admitting the image of Jane among
his more melancholy reflections.

The voyage was tedious, and some time before it was ended the dowager had
given Grace an intimation of the probability there was of Jane's
becoming, at some future day, a countess. Grace sincerely hoped that
whatever she became she would be as happy as she thought all allied to
John deserved to be.

They entered the bay of Lisbon early in the morning; and as the ship had
been expected for some days, a boat came alongside with a note for Mr.
Harland, before they had anchored. It apprised him of the death of his
brother. The young man threw himself precipitately into it, and was soon
employed in one of the loveliest offices of his vocation, that of healing
the wounds of the afflicted.

Lady Herriefield received her mother in a sort of sullen satisfaction, and
her companions with an awkwardness she could ill conceal. It required no
great observation in the travellers to discover, that their arrival was
entirely unexpected by the viscount, if it were not equally disagreeable;
indeed, one day's residence under his roof assured them all that no great
degree of domestic felicity was an inmate of the dwelling.

From the moment Lord Herriefield became suspicious that he had been the
dupe of the management of Kate and her mother, he viewed every act of his
wife with a prejudiced eye. It was easy, with his knowledge of human
nature, to detect her selfishness and worldly-mindedness; for as these
were faults she was unconscious of possessing, so she was unguarded in her
exposure of them. But her designs, in a matrimonial point of view, having
ended with her marriage, had the viscount treated her with any of the
courtesies due her sex and station, she might, with her disposition, have
been contented in the enjoyment of rank and in the possession of wealth;
but their more private hours were invariably rendered unpleasant, by the
overflowings of her husband's resentment at having been deceived in his
judgment of the female sex.

There is no point upon which men are more tender than their privilege of
suiting themselves in a partner for life, although many of both sexes are
influenced in this important selection more by the wishes and whims of
others than is usually suspected; yet, as all imagine what is the result
of contrivance and management is the election of free will and taste, so
long as they are ignorant, they are contented. Lord Herriefield wanted
this bliss of ignorance; and, with contempt for his wife, was mingled
anger at his own want of foresight.

Very few people can tamely submit to self-reproach; and as the cause of
this irritated state of mind was both not only constantly present, but
completely within his power, the viscount seemed determined to give her as
little reason to exult in the success of her plans as possible. Jealous he
was, from temperament, from bad associations, and a want of confidence in
the principles of his wife, the freedom of foreign manners having an
additional tendency to excite this baneful passion to an unusual degree.
Abridged in her pleasures, reproached with motives she was incapable of
harboring, and disappointed in all those enjoyments her mother had ever
led her to believe the invariable accompaniments of married life, where
proper attention had been paid to the necessary qualifications of riches
and rank, Kate had written to the dowager with the hope her presence might
restrain, or her advice teach her, successfully to oppose the unfeeling
conduct of the viscount.

Lady Chatterton never having implanted any of her favorite systems in her
daughter, so much by precept as by the force of example in her own person,
as well as by indirect eulogiums on certain people who were endowed with
those qualities and blessings she most admired, on the present occasion
Catherine did not unburden herself in terms to her mother; but by a
regular gradation of complaints, aimed more at the world than at her
husband, she soon let the knowing dowager see their application, and in
the end completely removed the veil from her domestic grievances.

The example of John and Grace for a short time awed the peer into
dissembling his disgust for his spouse; but the ice once broken, their
presence soon ceased to affect either the frequency or the severity of his
remarks, when under its influence.

From such exhibitions of matrimonial discord, Grace shrank timidly into
the retirement of her room, and Jane, with dignity, would follow her
example; while John at times became a listener, with a spirit barely
curbed within the bounds of prudence, and at others, he sought in the
company of his wife and sister, relief from the violence of his feelings.

John never admired nor respected Catherine, for she wanted those very
qualities he chiefly loved in her sister; yet, as she was a woman, and one
nearly connected with him, he found it impossible to remain a quiet
spectator of the unmanly treatment she often received from her husband; he
therefore made preparations for his return to England by the first packet,
abridging his intended residence in Lisbon more than a month.

Lady Chatterton endeavored all within her power to heal the breach between
Kate and her husband, but it greatly exceeded her abilities. It was too
late to implant such principles in her daughter, as by a long course of
self-denial and submission might have won the love of the viscount, had
the mother been acquainted with them herself; so that having induced her
child to marry with a view to obtaining precedence and a jointure, she
once more set to work to undo part of her former labors, by bringing about
a decent separation between the husband and wife, in such a manner as to
secure to her child the possession of her wealth, and the esteem of the
world. The latter, though certainly a somewhat difficult undertaking, was
greatly lessened by the assistance of the former.

John and his wife determined to seize the opportunity to examine the
environs of the city. In one of these daily rides, they met their fellow
traveller, Mr. now Lord Harland. He was rejoiced to see them again, and
hearing of their intended departure, informed them of his being about to
return to England in the same vessel--his parents and sister contemplating
ending the winter in Portugal.

The intercourse between the two families was kept up with a show of
civilities between the noblemen, and much real good-will on the part of
the juniors of the circle, until the day arrived for the sailing of the
packet.

Lady Chatterton was left behind with Catherine, as yet unable to
circumvent her schemes with prudence; it being deemed by the world a worse
offence to separate, than to join together one's children in the bands of
wedlock.

The confinement of a vessel is very propitious to those intimacies which
lead to attachments. The necessity of being agreeable is a check upon the
captious, and the desire to lessen the dulness of the scene a stimulus to
the lively; and though the noble divine and Jane could not possibly be
ranked in either class, the effect was the same. The noble man was much
enamored, and Jane unconsciously gratified. It is true, love had never
entered her thoughts in its direct and unequivocal form; but admiration is
so consoling to those laboring under self-condemnation, and flattery of a
certain kind so very soothing to all, it is not to be wondered that she
listened with increasing pleasure to the interesting conversation of
Harland on all occasions, and more particularly, as often happened, when
exclusively addressed to herself.

Grace had of late reflected more seriously on the subject of her eternal
welfare than she had been accustomed to do in the house of her mother; and
the example of Emily, with the precepts of Mrs. Wilson, had not been
thrown away upon her. It is a singular fact, that more women feel a
disposition to religion soon after marriage than at any other period of
life; and whether it is, that having attained the most important station
this life affords the sex, they are more willing to turn their thoughts to
a provision for the next, or whether it be owing to any other cause, Mrs.
Moseley was included in the number. She became sensibly touched with her
situation, and as Harland was both devout and able as well as anxious to
instruct, one of the party, at least, had cause to rejoice in the journey
for the remainder of her days. But precisely as Grace increased in her own
faith, so did her anxiety after the welfare of her husband receive new
excitement; and John, for the first time, became the cause of sorrow to
his affectionate companion.

The deep interest Harland took in the opening conviction of Mrs. Moseley,
did not so entirely engross his thoughts as to prevent the too frequent
contemplation of the charms of her friend for his own peace of mind; and
by the time the vessel reached Falmouth, he had determined to make a
tender of his hand and title to the acceptance of Miss Moseley. Jane did
not love Egerton; on the contrary, she despised him; but the time had
been, when all her romantic feelings, every thought of her brilliant
imagination, had been filled with his image, and Jane felt it a species of
indelicacy to admit the impression of another so soon, or even at all.
These objections would, in time, have been overcome, as her affections
became more and more enlisted on behalf of Harland, had she admitted his
addresses; but there was an impediment that Jane considered insurmountable
to a union with any man.

She had once communicated her passion to its object. There had been the
confidence of approved love; and she had now no heart for Harland, but one
that had avowedly been a slave to another. To conceal this from him would
be unjust, and not reconcilable to good faith; to confess it, humiliating,
and without the pale of probability. It was the misfortune of Jane to keep
the world too constantly before her, and to lose sight too much of her
really depraved nature, to relish the idea of humbling herself so low in
the opinion of a fellow-creature. The refusal of Harland's offer was the
consequence, although she had begun to feel an esteem for him, that would
no doubt have given rise to an attachment in time, far stronger and more
deeply seated than her passing fancy for Colonel Egerton had been.

If the horror of imposing on the credulity of Harland a wounded heart, was
creditable to Jane, and showed an elevation of character that under proper
guidance would have placed her in the first ranks of her sex; the pride
which condemned her to a station nature did not design her for was
irreconcilable with the humility a just view of her condition could not
fail to produce; and the second sad consequence of the indulgent weakness
of her parents, was confirming their child in passions directly at
variance with the first duties of a Christian.

We have so little right to value ourselves on anything that pride is a
sentiment of very doubtful service, and one certainly, that is unable to
effect any useful results which will not equally flow from good
principles.

Harland was disappointed and grieved, but prudently judging that
occupation and absence would remove recollections which could not be very
deep, they parted at Falmouth, and our travellers proceeded on their
journey for B----, whither, during their absence, Sir Edward's family had
returned to spend a month, before they removed to town for the residue of
the winter.

The meeting of the two parties was warm and tender, and as Jane had many
things to recount, and John as many to laugh at, their arrival threw a
gaiety around Moseley Hall to which it had for months been a stranger.

One of the first acts of Grace, after her return, was to enter strictly
into the exercise of all those duties and ordinances required by her
church, and the present state of her mind, and from the hands of Dr. Ives
she received her first communion at the altar.

As the season had now become far advanced, and the fashionable world had
been some time assembled in the metropolis, the Baronet commenced his
arrangements to take possession of his town-house, after an interval of
nineteen years. John proceeded to the capital first; and the necessary
domestics procured, furniture supplied, and other arrangements usual to
the appearance of a wealthy family in the world having been completed, he
returned with the information that all was ready for their triumphal
entrance.

Sir Edward, feeling that a separation for so long a time, and at such an
unusual distance, in the very advanced age of Mr. Benfield, would be
improper, paid him a visit, with the intention of persuading him to make
one of his family for the next four months. Emily was his companion, and
their solicitations were happily crowned with a success they had not
anticipated. Averse to be deprived of Peter's society, the honest steward
was included in the party.

"Nephew," said Mr. Benfield, beginning to waver in his objections to the
undertaking, as the arguments pro and con were produced, "there are
instances of gentlemen, not in parliament, going to town in the winter, I
know. You are one yourself; and old Sir John Cowel, who never could get
in, although he ran for every city in the kingdom, never missed his winter
in Soho. Yes, yes--the thing is admissible--but had I known your wishes
before, I would certainly have kept my borough if it were only for the
appearance of the thing--besides," continued the old man, shaking his
head, "his majesty's ministers require the aid of some more experienced
members in these critical times; for what should an old man like me do in
Westminster, unless it were to aid his country with his advice?"

"Make his friends happy with his company, dear uncle," said Emily, taking
his hand between both her own, and smiling affectionately on the old
gentleman as she spoke.

"Ah! Emmy dear!" cried Mr. Benfield, looking on her with melancholy
pleasure, "you are not to be resisted--just such another as the sister of
my old friend Lord Gosford; she could always coax me out of anything. I
remember now, I heard the earl tell her once he could not afford to buy a
pair of diamond ear-rings; and she looked--only looked--did not speak!
Emmy!--that I bought them with intent to present them to Her myself."

"And did she take them, uncle?" asked his niece, in a little surprise.

"Oh yes! When I told her if she did not I would throw them into the river,
as no one else should wear what had been intended for her; poor soul! how
delicate and unwilling she was. I had to convince her they cost three
hundred pounds, before she would listen to it; and then she thought it
such a pity to throw away a thing of so much value. It would have been
wicked, you know, Emmy, dear; and she was much opposed to wickedness and
sin in any shape."

"She must have been a very unexceptionable character indeed," cried the
Baronet, with a smile, as he proceeded to make the necessary orders for
their journey. "But we must return to the party left at Bath."



Chapter XXXVI.



The letters of Lady Laura informed her friends, that she and Colonel
Denbigh had decided to remain with his uncle until the recovery of the
latter was complete, and then to proceed to Denbigh Castle, to meet the
Duke and his sister during the approaching holidays.

Emily was much relieved by this postponement of an interview which she
would gladly have avoided for ever; and her aunt sincerely rejoiced that
her niece was allowed more time to eradicate impressions, which, she saw
with pain, her charge had yet a struggle to overcome.

There were so many points to admire in the character of Denbigh; his
friends spoke of him with such decided partiality; Dr. Ives, in his
frequent letters, alluded to him with so much affection; that Emily
frequently detected herself in weighing the testimony of his guilt, and
indulging the expectation that circumstances had deceived them all in
their judgment of his conduct. Then his marriage would cross her mind; and
with the conviction of the impropriety of admitting him to her thoughts at
all, would come the mass of circumstantial testimony which had accumulated
against him.

Derwent served greatly to keep alive the recollections of his person,
however; and as Lady Harriet seemed to live only in the society of the
Moseleys, not a day passed without giving the Duke some opportunity of
indirectly preferring his suit.

Emily not only appeared, but in fact was, unconscious of his admiration;
and entered into their amusements with a satisfaction that was increased
by the belief that the unfortunate attachment her cousin Chatterton had
once professed for herself, was forgotten in the more certain enjoyments
of a successful love.

Lady Harriet was a woman of manners and character very different from
Emily Moseley; yet had she in a great measure erased the impressions made
by the beauty of his kinswoman from the bosom of the baron.

Chatterton, under the depression of his first disappointment, it will be
remembered, had left B---- in company with Mr. Denbigh. The interest of
the duke had been unaccountably exerted to procure him the place he had so
long solicited in vain, and gratitude required his early acknowledgments
for the favor. His manner, so very different from a successful applicant
for a valuable office, had struck both Derwent and his sister as singular.
Before, however, a week's intercourse had passed between them, his own
frankness had made them acquainted with the cause; and a double wish
prevailed in the bosom of Lady Harriet, to know the woman who could resist
the beauty of Chatterton, and to relieve him from the weight imposed on
his spirits by disappointed affection.

The manners of Lady Harriet Denbigh were not in the least forward or
masculine; but they had the freedom of high rank, mingled with a good deal
of the ease of fashionable life. Mrs. Wilson noticed, moreover, in her
conduct to Chatterton, a something exceeding the interest of ordinary
communications in their situation, which might possibly have been
attributed more to feeling than to manner. It is certain, one of the
surest methods to drive Emily from his thoughts, was to dwell on the
perfections of some other lady; and Lady Harriet was so constantly before
him in his visit into Westmore land, so soothing, so evidently pleased
with his presence, that the baron made rapid advances in attaining his
object.

He had alluded, in his letter to Emily, to the obligation he was under to
the services of Denbigh, in erasing his unfortunate partiality for her:
but what those services were, we are unable to say, unless they were the
usual arguments of the plainest good sense, enforced in the singularly
insinuating and kind manner which distinguished that gentleman. In fact,
Lord Chatterton was not formed by nature to love long, deprived of hope,
or to resist long the flattery of a preference from such a woman as
Harriet Denbigh.

On the other hand, Derwent was warm in his encomiums on Emily to all but
herself; and Mrs. Wilson again thought it prudent to examine into the
state of her feelings, in order to discover if there was any danger of his
unremitted efforts drawing Emily into a connexion that neither her
religion nor prudence could wholly approve.

Derwent was a man of the world--a Christian only in name; and the cautious
widow determined to withdraw in season, should she find grounds for her
apprehensions.

About ten days after the departure of the Dowager and her companions, Lady
Harriet exclaimed, in one of her morning visits--

"Lady Moseley! I have now hopes of presenting to you soon the most
polished man in the United Kingdom!"

"As a husband! Lady Harriet?" inquired the other, with a smile.

"Oh, no! only as a cousin, a second cousin! madam!" replied Lady Harriet,
blushing a little, and looking in the opposite direction to the one in
which Chatterton was placed.

"But his name? You forget our curiosity! What is his name?" cried Mrs.
Wilson, entering into the trifling for the moment.

"Pendennyss, to be sure, my dear madam: whom else can I mean?"

"And you expect the earl at Bath?" Mrs. Wilson eagerly inquired.

"He has given us such hopes, and Derwent has written him to-day, pressing
the journey."

"You will be disappointed, I am afraid, sister," said the duke.
"Pendennyss has become so fond of Wales of late, that it is difficult to
get him out of it."

"But," said Mrs. Wilson, "he will take his seat in parliament during the
winter, my lord?"

"I hope he will, madam; though Lord Eltringham holds his proxies, in my
absence, in all important questions before the house."

"Your grace will attend, I trust," said Sir Edward. "The pleasure of your
company is among my expected enjoyments in the town."

"You are very good, Sir Edward," replied the duke, looking at Emily. "It
will somewhat depend on circumstances, I believe."

Lady Harriet smiled, and the speech seemed understood by all but the lady
most concerned in it.

"Lord Pendennyss is a universal favorite, and deservedly so," cried the
duke. "He has set an example to the nobility, which few are equal to
imitate. An only son, with an immense estate, he has devoted himself to
the profession of a soldier, and gained great reputation by it in the
world; nor has he neglected any of his private duties as a man----"

"Or a Christian, I hope," said Mrs. Wilson, delighted with the praises of
the earl.

"Nor of a Christian, I believe," continued the duke; "he appears
consistent, humble, and sincere--three requisites, I believe, for that
character."

"Does not your grace know?" said Emily, with a benevolent smile.

Derwent colored slightly as he answered--

"Not as well as I ought; but"--lowering his voice for her ear alone, he
added, "under proper instruction I think I might learn."

"Then I would recommend that book to you, my lord," rejoined Emily, with a
blush, pointing to a pocket Bible which lay near her, though still
ignorant of the allusion he meant to convey.

"May I ask the honor of an audience of Miss Moseley," said Derwent, in the
same low tone, "whenever her leisure will admit of her granting the
favor?"

Emily was surprised; but from the previous conversation and the current of
her thoughts at the moment, supposing his communication had some reference
to the subject before them, she rose from her chair, and unobtrusively,
but certainly with an air of perfect innocence and composure, she went
into the adjoining room, the door of which was open very near them.


Caroline Harris had abandoned all ideas of a coronet with the departure of
the Marquess of Eltringham and his sisters for their own seat; and as a
final effort of her fading charms, had begun to calculate the capabilities
of Captain Jarvis, who had at this time honored Bath with his company.

It is true, the lady would have greatly preferred her father's neighbor,
but that was an irretrievable step. He had retired, disgusted with her
haughty dismissal of his hopes, and was a man who, although he greatly
admired her fortune, was not to be recalled by any beck or smile which
might grow out of caprice.

Lady Jarvis had, indeed, rather magnified the personal qualifications of
her son; but the disposition they had manifested, to devote some of their
surplus wealth to purchasing a title, had great weight, for Miss Harris
would cheerfully, at any time, have sacrificed one half her own fortune to
be called my lady. Jarvis would make but a shabby-looking lord, 'tis true;
but then what a lord's wife would she not make herself! His father was a
merchant, to be sure, but then merchants were always immensely rich, and a
few thousand pounds, properly applied, might make the merchant's son a
baron. She therefore resolved to inquire, the first opportunity, into the
condition of the sinking fund of his plebeianism, and had serious thoughts
of contributing her mite towards the advancement of the desired object,
did she find it within the bounds of probable success.

An occasion soon offered, by the invitation of the Captain to accompany
him in an excursion in the tilbury of his brother-in-law.

In this ride they passed the equipages of Lady Harriet and Mrs. Wilson,
with their respective mistresses, taking an airing. In passing the latter,
Jarvis bowed (for he had renewed his acquaintance at the rooms, without
daring to visit at the lodgings of Sir Edward), and Miss Harris saw both
parties as they dashed by them.

"You know the Moseleys, Caroline?" said Jarvis, with the freedom her
manners had established between them.

"Yes," replied the lady, drawing her head back from a view of the
carriages; "what fine arms those of the Duke's are--and the coronet, it is
so noble--so rich--I am sure if I were a man," laying great emphasis on
the word--"I would be a Lord."

"If you could, you mean," cried the captain.

"Could--why money will buy a title, you know--only most people are fonder
of their cash than of honor."

"That's right," said the unreflecting captain; "money is the thing, after
all. Now what do you suppose our last mess-bill came to?"

"Oh, don't talk of eating and drinking," cried Miss Harris, in affected
aversion; "is it beneath the consideration of nobility."

"Then any one may be a lord for me," said Jarvis, drily "if they are not
to eat and drink; why, what do they live for, but such sort of things!"

"A soldier lives to fight and gain honor and distinction"--for his
wife--Miss Harris would have added, had she spoken all she thought.

"A poor way that of spending a man's time," said the Captain. "Now there
is Captain Jones in our regiment; they say he loves fighting as much as
eating: if he do, he is a bloodthirsty fellow."

"You know how intimate I am with your dear mother," continued the lady,
bent on the principal object; "she has made me acquainted with her
greatest wish."

"Her greatest wish!" cried the Captain, in astonishment; "why, what can
that be?--a new coach and horses?"

"No, I mean one much dearer to us--I should say, to her, than any such
trifles: she has told me of the _plan_."

"Plan!" said Jarvis, still in wonder, "what plan?"

"About the fund for the peerage, you know. Of course, the thing is sacred
with me, as, indeed, I am equally interested with you all in its success."

Jarvis eyed her with a knowing look, and as she concluded, rolling his
eyes in an expression of significance, he said--

"What, serve Sir William some such way, eh?"

"I will assist a little, if it be necessary, Henry," said the lady,
tenderly, "although my mite cannot amount to a great deal."

During this speech, the Captain was wondering what she could mean; but,
having had a suspicion, from something that had fallen from his mother,
that the lady was intended for him as a wife, and that she might be as
great a dupe as Lady Jarvis herself, he was resolved to know the whole,
and to act accordingly.

"I think it might be made to do," he replied, evasively in order to
discover the extent of his companion's information.

"Do!", cried Miss Harris, with fervor, "it cannot fail! How much do you
suppose will be wanting to buy a barony, for instance?"

"Hem!" said Jarvis; "you mean more than we have already?"

"Certainly."

"Why, about a thousand pounds, I think, will do it, with what we have,"
said Jarvis, affecting to calculate.

"Is that all?" cried the delighted Caroline; and the captain grew in an
instant, in her estimation, three inches higher;--quite noble in his air,
and, in short, very tolerably handsome.

From that moment, Miss Harris, in her own mind, had fixed the fate of
Captain Jarvis, and had determined to be his wife, whenever she could
persuade him to offer himself; a thing she had no doubt of accomplishing
with comparative ease. Not so the Captain. Like all weak men, there was
nothing of which he stood more in terror than of ridicule. He had heard
the manoeuvres of Miss Harris laughed at by many of the young men in Bath,
and was by no means disposed to add himself to the food for mirth of these
wags; and, indeed, had cultivated her acquaintance with a kind of bravado
to some of his bottle companions, in order to show his ability to oppose
all her arts, when most exposed to them: for it is one of the greatest
difficulties to the success of this description of ladies, that their
characters soon become suspected, and do them infinitely more injury than
all their skill in their vocation.

With these views in the respective champions the campaign opened, and the
lady, on her return, acquainted his mother with the situation of the privy
purse, that was to promote her darling child to the enviable distinction
of the peerage. Lady Jarvis was for purchasing a baronetcy on the spot,
with what they had, under the impression that when ready for another
promotion they would only have to pay the difference, as they did in the
army when he received his captaincy. As, however, the son was opposed to
any arrangement that might make the producing the few hundred pounds he
had obtained from his mother's folly necessary, she was obliged to
postpone the wished-for day, until their united efforts could compass the
means of effecting the main point. As an earnest, however, of her spirit
in the cause, she gave him a fifty pound note, that morning obtained from
her husband, and which the Captain lost at one throw of the dice to his
brother-in-law the same evening.

During the preceding events, Egerton had either studiously avoided all
collision with the Moseleys, or his engagements had confined him to such
very different scenes, that they never met.

The Baronet had felt his presence a reproach, and Lady Moseley rejoiced
that Egerton yet possessed sufficient shame to keep him from insulting her
with his company.

It was a month after the departure of Lady Chatterton that Sir Edward
returned to B----, as related in the preceding chapter, and that the
arrangements for the London winter were commenced.

The day preceding their leaving Bath, the engagement of Chatterton with
Lady Harriet was made public amongst their mutual friends, and an
intimation was given that their nuptials would be celebrated before the
family of the Duke left his seat for the capital.

Something of the pleasure that she had for a long time been a stranger to,
was felt by Emily Moseley, as the well remembered tower of the village
church of B---- struck her sight on their return from their protracted
excursion. More than four months had elapsed since they had commenced
their travels, and in that period what changes of sentiments had she not
witnessed in others; of opinions of mankind in general, and of one
individual in particular, had she not experienced in her own person. The
benevolent smiles, the respectful salutations they received, in passing
the little group of houses which, clustered round the church, had obtained
the name of "the village," conveyed a sensation of delight that can only
be felt by the deserving and virtuous; and the smiling faces, in several
instances glistening with tears, which met them at the Hall, gave ample
testimony to the worth of both the master and his servants.

Francis and Clara were in waiting to receive them, and a very few minutes
elapsed before the rector and Mrs. Ives, having heard they had passed,
drove in also. In saluting the different members of the family, Mrs.
Wilson noticed the startled look of the doctor, as the change in Emily's
appearance first met his eyes. Her bloom, if not gone, was greatly
diminished; and it was only when under the excitement of strong emotions,
that her face possessed that radiance which had so eminently distinguished
it before her late journey.

"Where did you last see my friend George?" said the Doctor to Mrs. Wilson,
in the course of the first afternoon, as he took a seat by her side, apart
from the rest of the family.

"At L----," said Mrs. Wilson, gravely.

"L----!" cried the doctor, in evident amazement. "Was he not at Bath then
during your stay there?"

"No; I understand he was in attendance on some sick relative, which
detained him from his friends," said Mrs. Wilson, wondering why the doctor
chose to introduce so delicate a topic. Of his guilt in relation to Mrs.
Fitzgerald he was doubtless ignorant, but surely not of his marriage.

"It is now some time since I heard from him," continued the doctor,
regarding Mrs. Wilson expressively, but to which the lady only replied
with a gentle inclination of the body; and the Rector, after pausing a
moment, continued:

"You will not think me impertinent if I am bold enough to ask, has George
ever expressed a wish to become connected with your niece by other ties
than those of friendship?"

"He did," answered the widow, after a little hesitation.

"He did, and--"

"Was refused," continued Mrs. Wilson, with a slight feeling for the
dignity of her sex, which for a moment caused her to lose sight of justice
to Denbigh.

Dr. Ives was silent; but manifested by his dejected countenance the
interest he had taken in this anticipated connexion, and as Mrs. Wilson
had spoken with ill-concealed reluctance on the subject at all, the Rector
did not attempt a renewal of the disagreeable.



Chapter XXXVII.



"Samvenson has returned, and I certainly must hear from Harriet,"
exclaimed the sister of Pendennyss, as she stood at a window watching the
return of a servant from the neighboring post-office.

"I am afraid," rejoined the Earl, who was seated by the breakfast table,
waiting the leisure of the lady to give him his cup of tea--"You find
Wales very dull, sister. I sincerely hope both Derwent and Harriet will
not forget their promise of visiting us this month."

The lady slowly took her seat at the table, engrossed in her own
reflections, when the man entered with his budget of news; and having
deposited sundry papers and letters he respectfully withdrew. The Earl
glanced his eyes over the directions of the epistles, and turning to his
servants said, "Answer the bell when called." Three or four liveried
footmen deposited their silver salvers and different implements of
servitude, and the peer and his sister were left to themselves.

"Here is one from the Duke to me, and one for you from his sister," said
the brother; "I propose they be read aloud for our mutual advantage." To
this proposal the lady, whose curiosity to hear the contents of Derwent's
letter greatly exceeded her interest in that of his sister, cheerfully
acquiesced, and her brother first broke the seal of his own epistle, and
read its contents as follow:


"Notwithstanding my promise of seeing you this month in Caernarvonshire,
I remain here yet, my dear Pendennyss, unable to tear myself from the
attractions I have found in this city, although the pleasure of their
contemplation has been purchased at the expense of mortified feelings and
unrequited affections. It is a truth (though possibly difficult to be
believed), that this mercenary age has produced a female disengaged,
young, and by no means very rich, who has refused a jointure of six
thousand a year, with the privilege of walking at a coronation within a
dozen of royalty itself."

Here the accidental falling of a cup from the hands of the fair listener
caused some little interruption to the reading of the brother; but as the
lady, with a good deal of trepidation and many blushes, apologized hastily
for the confusion her awkwardness had made, the Earl continued to read.

"I could almost worship her independence: for I know the wishes of both
her parents were for my success. I confess to you freely, that my vanity
has been a good deal hurt, as I really thought myself agreeable to her.
She certainly listened to my conversation, and admitted my approaches,
with more satisfaction than those of any other of the men around her; and
when I ventured to hint to her this circumstance, as some justification
for my presumption, she frankly acknowledged the truth of my impression,
and, without explaining the reasons for her conduct, deeply regretted the
construction I had been led to place upon the circumstance. Yes, my lord,
I felt it necessary to apologize to Emily Moseley for presuming to aspire
to the honor of possessing so much loveliness and virtue. The accidental
advantages of rank and wealth lose all their importance, when opposed to
her delicacy, ingenuousness, and unaffected principles.

"I have heard it intimated lately, that George Denbigh was in some way or
other instrumental in saving her life once; and that to her gratitude, and
to my resemblance to the colonel, am I indebted to a consideration with
Miss Moseley, which, although it has been the means of buoying me up with
false hopes, I can never regret, from the pleasure her society has
afforded me. I have remarked, on my mentioning his name to her, that she
showed unusual emotion; and as Denbigh is already a husband, and myself
rejected, the field is now fairly open to you. You will enter on your
enterprise with great advantage, as you have the same flattering
resemblance, and, if anything, the voice, which, I am told, is our
greatest recommendation with the ladies, in higher perfection than either
George or your humble servant."

Here the reader stopped of his own accord, and was so intently absorbed in
his meditations, that the almost breathless curiosity of his sister was
obliged to find relief by desiring him to proceed. Roused by the sound of
her voice, the earl changed color sensibly, and continued:

"But to be serious on a subject of great importance to my future life (for
I sometimes think her negative will make Denbigh a duke), the lovely girl
did not appear happy at the time of our interview, nor do I think she
enjoys at any time the spirits nature has evidently given her. Harriet is
nearly as great an admirer of Miss Moseley, and takes her refusal to heart
as much as myself; she even attempted to intercede with her in my behalf.
But the charming girl though mild, grateful, and delicate, was firm and
unequivocal, and left no grounds for the remotest expectation of success
from perseverance on my part.

"As Harriet had received an intimation that both Miss Moseley and her aunt
entertained extremely rigid notions on the score of religion, she took
occasion to introduce the subject in her conference with the former, and
was told in reply, 'that other considerations would have determined her to
decline the honor I intended her; but that, under any circumstances, a
more intimate knowledge of my principles would be necessary before she
could entertain a thought of accepting my hand, or, indeed, that of any
other man.' Think of that, Pendennyss! The principles of a duke!--now, a
dukedom and forty thousand a year would furnish a character, with most
people, for a Nero.

"I trust the important object I have had in view here is a sufficient
excuse for my breach of promise to you; and I am serious when I wish you
(unless the pretty Spaniard has, as I sometimes suspect, made you a
captive) to see, and endeavor to bring me in some degree connected with,
the charming family of Sir Edward Moseley.

"The aunt, Mrs. Wilson, often speaks of you with the greatest interest,
and, from some cause or other, is strongly enlisted in your favor, and
Miss Moseley hears your name mentioned with evident pleasure. _Your_
religion or principles cannot be doubted. You can offer larger
settlements, as honorable if not as elevated a title, a far more
illustrious name, purchased by your own services, and personal merit
greatly exceeding the pretensions of your assured friend and relative,

"DERWENT."


Both brother and sister were occupied with their own reflections for
several minutes after the letter was ended, and the silence was broken
first, by the latter saying with a low tone to her brother,--

"You must endeavor to become acquainted with Mrs. Wilson; she is, I know,
very anxious to see you, and your friendship for the general requires it
of you."

"I owe General Wilson much," replied the brother, in a melancholy voice;
"and when we go to Annerdale House, I wish you to make the acquaintance of
the ladies of the Moseley family, should they be in town this winter;--but
you have yet the letter of Harriet to read."

After first hastily running over its contents, the lady commenced the
fulfilment of her part of the engagement.


"Frederick has been so much engrossed of late with his own affairs, that
he has forgotten there is such a creature in existence as his sister, or,
indeed, any one else but a Miss Emily Moseley, and consequently I have
been unable to fulfil my promise of making you a visit, for want of a
proper escort, and--and--perhaps some other considerations, not worth
mentioning in a letter I know you will read to the earl.

"Yes, my dear cousin, Frederick Denbigh has supplicated the daughter of a
country baronet to become a duchess; and, hear it, ye marriage-seeking
nymphs and marriage-making dames! has supplicated in vain!

"I confess to you, when the thing was first in agitation, my aristocratic
blood roused itself a little at the anticipated connexion; but finding on
examination that Sir Edward was of no doubtful lineage, and that the blood
of the Chattertons runs in his veins, and finding the young lady
everything I could wish in a sister, my scruples soon disappeared, with
the folly that engendered them.

"There was no necessity for any alarm, for the lady very decidedly refused
the honor offered her by Derwent, and what makes the matter worse, refused
the solicitations of his sister also.

"I have fifty times been surprised at my own condescension, and to this
moment am at a loss to know whether it was to the lady's worth, my
brother's happiness, or the Chatterton blood, that I finally yielded.
Heigho! this Chatterton is certainly much too handsome for a man; but I
forget you have never seen him." (Here an arch smile stole over the
features of the listener, as his sister continued)--"To return to my
narration, I had half a mind to send for a Miss Harris there is here, to
learn the most approved fashion of a lady preferring a suit, but as fame
said she was just now practising on a certain hero ycleped Captain Jarvis,
heir to Sir Timo of that name, it struck me her system might be rather too
abrupt, so I was fain to adopt the best plan--that of trusting to nature
and my own feelings for words.

"Nobility is certainly a very pretty thing (for those who have it), but I
would defy the old Margravine of ---- to keep up the semblance of
superiority with Emily Moseley. She is so very natural, so very beautiful,
and withal at times a little arch, that one is afraid to set up any other
distinctions than such as can be fairly supported.

"I commenced with hoping her determination to reject the hand of Frederick
was not an unalterable one. (Yes, I called him Frederick, what I never did
out of my own family before in my life.) There was a considerable tremor
in the voice of Miss Moseley, as she replied, 'I now perceive, when too
late, that my indiscretion has given reason to my friends to think that I
have entertained intentions towards his grace, of which I entreat you to
believe me, Lady Harriet, I am innocent. Indeed--indeed, as anything more
than an agreeable acquaintance I have never allowed myself to think of
your brother:' and from my soul I believe her. We continued our
conversation for half an hour longer, and such was the ingenuousness,
delicacy, and high religious feeling displayed by the charming girl, that
if I entered the room with a spark of regret that I was compelled to
solicit another to favor my brother's love, I left it with a feeling that
my efforts had been unsuccessful. Yes! thou peerless sister of the more
peerless Pendennyss! I once thought of your ladyship as a wife for
Derwent--"

A glass of water was necessary to enable the reader to clear her voice,
which grew husky from speaking so long.

"But I now openly avow, neither your birth, your hundred thousand pounds,
nor your merit, would put you on a footing, in my estimation, with my
Emily. You may form some idea of her power to captivate, and of her
indifference to her conquests, when I mention that she once refused--but I
forget, you don't know him, and therefore cannot be a judge. The thing is
finally decided, and we shortly go into Westmoreland, and next week, the
Moseleys return to Northamptonshire. I don't know when I shall be able to
visit you, and think I may _now_ safely invite you to Denbigh Castle,
although a month ago I might have hesitated. Love to the earl, and kind
assurance to yourself of unalterable regard.

"HARRIET DENBIGH."

"P.S. I believe I forgot to mention that Mrs. Moseley, a sister of Lord
Chatterton, has gone to Portugal, and that the peer himself is to go into
the country with us: there is, I suppose, a fellow-feeling between _them_
just now, though I do not think Chatterton looks so very miserable as he
might. Adieu."


On ending this second epistle the same silence which had succeeded the
reading of the first prevailed, until the lady with an arch expression,
interrupted it by saying,

"Harriet will, I think, soon grace the peerage."

"And happily, I trust," replied the brother.

"Do you know Lord Chatterton?"

"I do; he is very amiable, and admirably calculated to contrast with the
lively gaiety of Harriet Denbigh."

"You believe in loving our opposites, I see," rejoined the lady; and then
affectionately stretching out her hand to him, she added, "but,
Pendennyss, you must give me for a sister one as nearly like yourself as
possible."

"That might please your affections," answered the earl with a smile, "but
how would it comport with my tastes? Will you suffer me to describe the
kind of man _you_ are to select for your future lord, unless, indeed, you
have decided the point already?"

The lady colored violently, and appearing anxious to change the subject,
she tumbled over two or three unopened letters, as she cried eagerly--

"Here is one from the Donna Julia." The earl instantly broke the seal and
read aloud; no secrets existing between them in relation to their mutual
friend.


"My Lord,

"I hasten to write you what I know it will give you pleasure to hear,
concerning my future prospects in life. My uncle, General M'Carthy, has
written me the cheerful tidings, that my father has consented to receive
his only child, without any other sacrifice than a condition of attending
the service of the Catholic Church without any professions on my side, or
even an understanding that I am conforming to its peculiar tenets. This
may be, in some measure, irksome at times, and possibly distressing; but
the worship of God with a proper humiliation of spirit, I have learnt to
consider as a privilege to us here, and I owe a duty to my earthly father
of penitence and care in his later years that will justify the measure in
the eyes of my heavenly One. I have, therefore, acquainted my uncle in
reply, that I am willing to attend the Conde's summons at any moment he
will choose to make them; and I thought it a debt due your care and
friendship to apprise your lordship of my approaching departure from this
country; indeed, I have great reasons for believing that your kind and
unremitted efforts to attain this object have already prepared you to
expect this result.

"I feel it will be impossible to quit England without seeing you and your
sister, to thank you for the many, very many favors, of both a temporal
and eternal nature, you have been the agents of conferring on me. The
cruel suggestions which I dreaded, and which it appears had reached the
ears of my friends in Spain, have prevented my troubling your lordship of
late unnecessarily with my concerns. The consideration of a friend to your
character (Mrs. Wilson) has removed the necessity of applying for your
advice; she and her charming niece, Miss Emily Moseley, have been, next to
yourselves, the greatest solace I have had in my exile, and united you
will be remembered in my prayers. I will merely mention here, deferring
the explanation until I see you in London, that I have been visited by the
wretch from whom you delivered me in Portugal, and that the means of
ascertaining his name have fallen into my hands. You will be the best
judge of the proper steps to be taken; but I wish, by all means, something
may be done to prevent his attempting to see me in Spain. Should it be
discovered to my relations there that he has any such intentions, it would
certainly terminate in his death, and possibly in my disgrace. Wishing you
and your kind sister all possible happiness, I remain,

"Your Lordship's obliged friend,

"JULIA FITZGERALD."


"Oh!" cried the sister as she concluded the letter, "we must certainly see
her before she goes. What a wretch that persecutor of hers must be! how
persevering in his villainy!"

"He does exceed my ideas of effrontery," said the earl, in great
warmth--"but he may offend too far; the laws shall interpose their power
to defeat his schemes, should he ever repeat them."

"He attempted to take your life, brother," said the lady shuddering, "if I
remember the tale aright."

"Why, I have endeavored to free him from that imputation," rejoined the
brother, musing, "he certainly fired pistol, but the latter hit my horse
at such a distance from myself, that I believe his object was to disable
me and not murder. His escape has astonished me; he must have fled by
himself into the woods, as Harmer was but a short distance behind me,
admirably mounted, and the escort was up and in full pursuit within ten
minutes. After all it may be for the best he was not taken; for I am
persuaded the dragoons would have sabred him on the spot, and he may have
parents of respectability, or a wife to kill by the knowledge of his
misconduct."

"This Emily Moseley must be a faultless being," cried the sister, as she
ran over the contents of Julia's letter. "Three different letters, and
each containing her praises!"

The earl made no reply, but opening the duke's letter again, he appeared
to be studying its contents. His color slightly changed as he dwelt on its
passages, and turning to his sister he inquired if she had a mind to try
the air of Westmoreland for a couple of weeks or a month.

"As you say, my Lord," replied the lady, with cheeks of scarlet.

"Then I say we will go. I wish much to see Derwent and I think there will
be a wedding during our visit."

He rang the bell, and the almost untasted breakfast was removed in a few
minutes. A servant announced that his horse was in readiness. The earl
wished his sister a friendly good morning, and proceeded to the door,
where was standing one of the noble black horses before mentioned, held
by a groom, and the military-looking attendant ready mounted on another.

Throwing himself into the saddle, the young peer rode gracefully from the
door, followed by his attendant horseman. During this ride, the master
suffered his steed to take whatever course most pleased himself, and his
follower looked up in surprise more than once, to see the careless manner
in which the Earl of Pendennyss, confessedly one of the best horsemen in
England, managed the noble animal. Having, however, got without the gates
of his own park, and into the vicinity of numberless cottages and
farm-houses, the master recovered his recollection, and the man ceased to
wonder.

For three hours the equestrians pursued their course through the beautiful
vale which opened gracefully opposite one of the fronts of the castle; and
if faces of smiling welcome, inquiries after his own and his sister's
welfare, which evidently sprang from the heart, or the most familiar but
respectful representations of their own prosperity or misfortunes, gave
any testimony of the feelings entertained by the tenantry of this noble
estate for their landlord, the situation of the young nobleman might be
justly considered envied.

As the hour for dinner approached, they turned the heads of their horses
towards home; and on entering the park, removed from the scene of industry
and activity without, the earl relapsed into his fit of musing. A short
distance from the house he suddenly called, "Harmer." The man drove his
spurs into the loins of his horse, and in an instant was by the side of
his master, which he signified by raising his hand to his cap with the
palm opening outward.

"You must prepare to go to Spain when required, in attendance on Mrs.
Fitzgerald."

The man received his order with the indifference of one used to
adventures and movements, and having laconically dignified his assent, he
drew his horse back again into his station in the rear.



Chapter XXXVIII.



The day succeeding the arrival of the Moseleys at the seat of their
ancestors, Mrs. Wilson observed Emily silently putting on her pelisse, and
walking out unattended by either of the domestics or any of the family.
There was a peculiar melancholy in her air and manner, which inclined the
cautious aunt to suspect that her charge was bent on the indulgence of
some ill-judged weakness; more particularly, as the direction she took led
to the arbor, a theatre in which Denbigh had been so conspicuous an actor.
Hastily throwing a cloak over her own shoulders, Mrs. Wilson followed
Emily with the double purpose of ascertaining her views, and if necessary,
of interposing her own authority against the repetition of similar
excursions.

As Emily approached the arbor, whither in truth she had directed her
steps, its faded vegetation and chilling aspect, so different from its
verdure and luxuriance when she last saw it, came over her heart as a
symbol of her own blighted prospects and deadened affections. The
recollection of Denbigh's conduct on that spot, of his general benevolence
and assiduity to please, being forcibly recalled to her mind at the
instant, forgetful of her object in visiting the arbor, Emily yielded to
her sensibilities, and sank on the seat weeping as if her heart would
break.

She had not time to dry her eyes, and to collect her scattered thoughts,
before Mrs. Wilson entered the arbor. Eyeing her niece for a moment with a
sternness unusual for the one to adopt or the other to receive, she said,

"It is a solemn obligation we owe our religion and ourselves, to endeavor
to suppress such passions as are incompatible with our duties; and there
is no weakness greater than blindly adhering to the wrong, when we are
convinced of our error. It is as fatal to good morals as it is unjust to
ourselves to persevere, from selfish motives, in believing those innocent
whom evidence has convicted as guilty. Many a weak woman has sealed her
own misery by such wilful obstinacy, aided by the unpardonable vanity of
believing herself able to control a man that the laws of God could not
restrain."

"Oh, dear madam, speak not so unkindly to me," sobbed the weeping girl;
"I--I am guilty of no such weakness, I assure you:" and looking up with an
air of profound resignation and piety, she continued: "Here, on this spot,
where he saved my life, I was about to offer up my prayers for his
conviction of the error of his ways, and for the pardon of his too--too
heavy transgressions."

Mrs. Wilson, softened almost to tears herself, viewed her for a moment
with a mixture of delight, and continued in a milder tone,--

"I believe you, my dear. I am certain, although you may have loved Denbigh
much, that you love your Maker and his ordinances more; and I have no
apprehensions that, were he a disengaged man, and you alone in the
world--unsupported by anything but your sense of duty--you would ever so
far forget yourself as to become his wife But does not your religion, does
not your own usefulness in society, require you wholly to free your heart
from the power of a man who has so unworthily usurped a dominion over it?"

To this Emily replied, in a hardly audible voice, "Certainly--and I pray
constantly for it."

"It is well, my love," said the aunt, soothingly; "you cannot fail with
such means, and your own exertions, finally to prevail over your own worst
enemies, your passions. The task our sex has to sustain is, at the best,
an arduous one; but so much the greater is our credit if we do it well."

"Oh! how is an unguided girl ever to judge aright, if,--" cried Emily,
clasping her hands and speaking with great energy, and she would have
said, "one like Denbigh in appearance, be so vile!" Shame, however, kept
her silent.

"Few men can support such a veil of hypocrisy as that with which I
sometimes think Denbigh must deceive even himself. His case is an
extraordinary exception to a very sacred rule--'that the tree is known by
its fruits,'" replied her aunt. "There is no safer way of judging of
character that one's opportunities will not admit of more closely
investigating, than by examining into and duly appreciating early
impressions. The man or woman who has constantly seen the practice of
piety before them, from infancy to the noon of life, will seldom so far
abandon the recollection of virtue as to be guilty of great enormities.
Even Divine Truth has promised that his blessings or his curses shall
extend to many generations. It is true, that with our most most guarded
prudence we may be deceived." Mrs. Wilson paused and sighed heavily, as
her own case, connected with the loves of Denbigh and her niece, occurred
strongly to her mind. "Yet," she continued, "we may lessen the danger much
by guarding against it; and it seems to me no more than what
self-preservation requires in a young woman. But for a religious parent to
neglect it, is a wilful abandonment of a most solemn duty."

As Mrs. Wilson concluded, her niece, who had recovered the command of her
feelings pressed her hand in silence to her lips, and showed a disposition
to retire from a spot which she found recalled too many recollections of
a man whose image it was her imperious duty to banish, on every
consideration of propriety and religion.

Their walk into the house was silent, and their thoughts were drawn from
the unpleasant topic by finding a letter from Julia, announcing her
intended departure from this country, and her wish to take leave of them
in London before she sailed. As she had mentioned the probable day for
that event, both the ladies were delighted to find it was posterior to the
time fixed by Sir Edward for their own visit to the capital.

Had Jane, instead of Emily, been the one that suffered through the agency
of Mrs. Fitzgerald, however innocently on the part of the lady, her
violent and uncontrolled passions would have either blindly united the
innocent with the guilty in her resentments; or, if a sense of justice had
vindicated the lady in her judgment, yet her pride and ill-guided delicacy
would have felt her name a reproach, that would have forbidden any
intercourse with her or any belonging to her.

Not so with her sister. The sufferings of Mrs. Fitzgerald had taken a
strong hold on her youthful feelings, and a similarity of opinions and
practices on the great object of their lives, had brought them together in
a manner no misconduct in a third person could weaken. It is true, the
recollection of Denbigh was intimately blended with the fate of Mrs.
Fitzgerald. But Emily sought support against her feeling from a quarter
that rather required an investigation of them than a desire to _drown_
care with thought.

She never indulged in romantic reflections in which the image of Denbigh
was associated. This she had hardly done in her happiest moments; and his
marriage, if nothing else had interfered, now absolutely put it out of the
question. But, although a Christian, and an humble and devout one, Emily
Moseley was a woman, and had loved ardently, confidingly, and gratefully.
Marriage is the business of life with her sex,--with all, next to a
preparation for a better world,--and it cannot be supposed that a first
passion in a bosom like that of our heroine was to be suddenly erased and
to leave no vestiges of its existence.

Her partiality for the society of Derwent, her meditations in which she
sometimes detected herself drawing a picture of what Denbigh might have
been, if early care had been taken to impress him with his situation in
this world, and from which she generally retired to her closet and her
knees, were the remains of feelings too strong and too pure to be torn
from her in a moment.

The arrival of John, with Grace and Jane, enlivened not only the family
but the neighborhood. Mr. Haughton and his numerous friends poured in on
the young couple with their congratulations, and a few weeks stole by
insensibly, previously to the commencement of the journeys of Sir Edward
and his son--the one to Benfield Lodge and the other to St. James's
Square.

On the return of the travellers, a few days before they commenced their
journey to the capital, John laughingly told his uncle that, although he
himself greatly admired the taste of Mr. Peter Johnson in dress, yet he
doubted whether the present style of fashions in the metropolis would not
be scandalized by the appearance of the honest steward.

John had in fact noticed, in their former visit to London, mob of
mischievous boys eyeing Peter with indications of rebellious movements
which threatened the old man, and from which he had retreated by taking a
coach, and he now made the suggestion from pure good-nature, to save him
any future trouble from a similar cause.

They were at dinner when Moseley made the remark, and the steward was in
his place at the sideboard--for his master was his home. Drawing near at
the mention of his name first, and casting an eye over his figure to see
if all was decent, Peter respectfully broke silence, determined to defend
his own cause.

"Why! Mr. John--Mr. John Moseley? if I might judge, for an elderly man,
and a serving man," said the steward, bowing humbly, "I am no
disparagement to my friends, or even to my honored master."

Johnson's vindication of his wardrobe drew the eyes of the family upon
him, and an involuntary smile passed from one to the other, as they
admired his starched figure and drab frock, or rather doublet with sleeves
and skirts. Sir Edward, being of the same opinion with his son, observed--

"I do think, Uncle Benfield, there might be an improvement in the dress of
your steward without much trouble to the ingenuity of his tailor."

"Sir Edward Moseley--honorable sir," said the steward, beginning to grow
alarmed, "if I may be so bold, you young gentlemen may like gay clothes;
but as for me and his honor; we are used to such as we wear, and what we
are used to we love."

The old man spoke with earnestness, and drew the particular attention of
his master to a review of his attire. After reflecting that no gentleman
in the house had been attended by any servitor in such a garb, Mr.
Benfield thought it time to give his sentiments on the subject.

"Why I remember that my Lord Gosford's gentleman never wore a livery, nor
can I say that he dressed exactly after the manner of Johnson. Every
member had his body servant, and they were not unfrequently taken for
their masters. Lady Juliana, too, after the death of her nephew, had one
or two attendants out of livery, and in a different fashion from your
attire. Peter, I think with John Moseley there, we must alter you a little
for the sake of appearances."

"Your honor!" stammered out Peter, in increased terror; "for Mr. John
Moseley and Sir Edward, and youngerly gentlemen like, dress may do. Now,
your honor, if--" and Peter, turning to Grace, bowed nearly to the
floor--"I had such a sweet, most beautiful young lady to smile on me, I
might wish to change; but, sir, my day has gone by." Peter sighed as the
recollection of Patty Steele and his youthful love floated across his
brain. Grace blushed and thanked him for the compliment, and gave her
opinion that his gallantry merited a better costume.

"Peter," said his master, decidedly, "I think Mrs. Moseley is right. If I
should call on the viscountess (the Lady Juliana, who yet survived an
ancient dowager of seventy), I shall want your attendance, and in your
present garb you cannot fail to shock her delicate feelings. You remind me
now I think, every time I look at you, of old Harry, the earl's
gamekeeper, one of the most cruel men T ever knew."

This decided the matter. Peter well knew that his master's antipathy to
old Harry arose from his having pursued a poacher one day, in place of
helping the Lady Juliana over a stile, in her flight from a bull that was
playing his gambols in the same field; and not for the world would the
faithful steward retain even a feature, if it brought unpleasant
recollections to his kind master. He at one time thought of closing his
innovations on his wardrobe, however, with a change of his nether garment;
as after a great deal of study he could only make out the resemblance
between himself and the obnoxious gamekeeper to consist in the leathern
breeches. But fearful of some points escaping his memory in forty years,
he tamely acquiesced in all John's alterations, and appeared at his
station three days afterwards newly decked from head to foot in a more
modern suit of snuff-color.

The change once made, Peter greatly admired himself in a glass, and
thought, could he have had the taste of Mr. John Moseley in his youth to
direct his toilet, that the hard heart of Patty Steele would not always
have continued so obdurate.

Sir Edward wished to collect his neighbors round him once more before he
left them for another four months; and accordingly the rector and his
wife, Francis and Clara, the Haughtons, with a few others, dined at the
Hall by invitation, the last day of their stay in Northamptonshire. The
company had left the table to join the ladies, when Grace came into the
drawing-room with a face covered with smiles and beaming with pleasure.

"You look like the bearer of good news, Mrs. Moseley," cried the rector,
catching a glimpse of her countenance as she passed.

"Good! I sincerely hope and believe," replied Grace. "My letters from my
brother announce that his marriage took place last week, and give us hopes
of seeing them all in town within the month."

"Married!" exclaimed Mr. Haughton, casting his eyes unconsciously on
Emily, "my Lord Chatterton married! May I ask the name of the bride, my
dear Mrs. Moseley?"

"To Lady Harriet Denbigh--and at Denbigh Castle in Westmoreland; but very
privately, as you may suppose from seeing Moseley and myself here,"
answered Grace, her cheeks yet glowing with surprise and pleasure at the
intelligence.

"Lady Harriet Denbigh?" echoed Mr. Haughton; "what! a kinswoman of our old
friend? _your_ friend, Miss Emily?" The recollection of the service he
had performed at the arbor still-fresh in his memory.

Emily commanded herself sufficiently to reply, "Brothers' children, I
believe, sir."

"But a _lady_--how came she my lady?" continued the good man, anxious to
know the whole, and ignorant of any reasons for delicacy where so great a
favorite as Denbigh was in the question.

"She is the daughter of the late Duke of Derwent," said Mrs. Moseley, as
willing as himself to talk of her new sister.

"How happens it that the death of old Mr. Denbigh was announced as plain
Geo. Denbigh, Esq., if he was the brother of a duke?" said Jane,
forgetting for a moment the presence of Dr. and Mrs. Ives, in her
surviving passion for genealogy: "should he not have been called Lord
George, or honorable?"

This was the first time any allusion had been made to the sudden death in
the church by any of the Moseleys in the hearing of the rector's family;
and the speaker sat in breathless terror at her own inadvertency. But Dr.
Ives, observing that a profound silence prevailed as soon as Jane ended,
answered, mildly, though in a way to prevent any further comments--

"The late Duke's succeeding a cousin-german in the title, was the reason,
I presume, Emily, I am to hear from you by letter I hope, after you enter
into the gaieties of the metropolis?"

This Emily cheerfully promised, and the conversation took another turn.

Mrs. Wilson had carefully avoided all communications with the rector
concerning his youthful friend, and the Doctor appeared unwilling to
commence anything which might lead to his name being mentioned. "He is
disappointed in him as well as ourselves," thought the widow, "and it
must be unpleasant to have his image recalled. He saw his attentions to
Emily, and he knows of his marriage to Lady Laura of course, and he loves
us all, and Emily in particular, too well not to feel hurt by his
conduct."

"Sir Edward!" cried Mr. Haughton, with a laugh, "Baronets are likely to be
plenty. Have you heard how near we were to have another in the
neighborhood lately?" Sir Edward answered in the negative, and his
neighbor continued--

"Why no less a man than Captain Jarvis, promoted to the bloody hand."

"Captain Jarvis!" exclaimed five or six at once; "explain yourself, Mr.
Haughton."

"My near neighbor, young Walker, has been to Bath on an unusual
business--his health--and for the benefit of the country he has brought
back a pretty piece of scandal. It seems that Lady Jarvis, as I am told
she is since she left here, wished to have her hopeful heir made a lord,
and that the two united for some six months in forming a kind of savings'
bank between themselves, to enable them at some future day to bribe the
minister to honor the peerage with such a prodigy. After awhile the
daughter of our late acquaintance, Sir William Harris, became an accessory
to the plot, and a contributor too, to the tune of a couple of hundred
pounds. Some circumstances, however, at length made this latter lady
suspicious, and she wished to audit the books The Captain
prevaricated--the lady remonstrated, until the gentleman, with more truth
than manners, told her that she was a fool--the money he had expended or
lost at dice; and that he did not think the ministers quite so silly as to
make him a lord, or that he himself was such a fool as to make her his
wife; so the whole thing exploded."

John listened with a delight but little short of what he had felt when
Grace owned her love, and anxious to know all, eagerly inquired--

"But, is it true? how was it found out?"

"Oh, the lady complained of part, and the Captain tells all to get the
laugh on his side; so that Walker says the former is the derision and the
latter the contempt of all Bath."

"Poor Sir William," said the baronet, with feeling; "he is much to be
pitied."

"I am afraid he has nothing to blame but his own indulgence," remarked the
rector.

"You don't know the worst of it," replied Mr. Haughton. "We poor people
are made to suffer--Lady Jarvis wept and fretted Sir Time out of his
lease, which has been given up, and a new house is to be taken in another
part of the kingdom, where neither Miss Harris nor the story is known."

"Then Sir William has to procure a new tenant," said Lady Moseley, not in
the least regretting the loss of the old one.

"No! my lady!" continued Mr. Haughton, with a smile. "Walker is, you know,
an attorney, and does some business occasionally for Sir William. When
Jarvis gave up the lease, the baronet, who finds himself a little short of
money, offered the deanery for sale, it being a useless place to him; and
the very next day, while Walker was with Sir William, a gentleman called,
and without higgling agreed to pay down at once his thirty thousand pounds
for it."

"And who is the purchaser?" inquired Lady Moseley, eagerly.

"The Earl of Pendennyss."

"Lord Pendennyss!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson in rapture.

"Pendennyss!" cried the rector, eyeing the aunt and Emily with a smile.

"Pendennyss!" echoed all in the room in amazement.

"Yes," said Mr. Haughton, "it is now the property of the earl, who says he
has bought it for his sister."



Chapter XXXIX.



Mrs. Wilson found time the ensuing day to ascertain before they left the
hall, the truth of the tale related by Mr. Haughton. The deanery had
certainly changed its master, and a new steward had already arrived to
take possession in the name of his lord. What induced Pendennyss to make
this purchase she was at a loss to conceive--most probably some
arrangement between himself and Lord Bolton. But whatever might be his
motive, it in some measure insured his becoming for a season their
neighbor; and Mrs. Wilson felt a degree of pleasure at the circumstance
that she had been a stranger to for a long time--a pleasure which was
greatly heightened as she dwelt on the lovely face of the companion who
occupied the other seat in her travelling chaise.

The road to London led by the gates of the deanery, and near them they
passed a servant in the livery of those they had once seen following the
equipage of the earl. Anxious to know anything which might hasten her
acquaintance with this admired nobleman, Mrs. Wilson stopped her carriage
to inquire.

"Pray, sir, whom do you serve?"

"My Lord Pendennyss, ma'am," replied the man, respectfully taking off his
hat.

"The earl is not here?" asked Mrs. Wilson, with interest.

"Oh, no, madam; I am here in waiting on his steward. My lord is in
Westmoreland, with his grace and Colonel Denbigh, and the ladies."

"Does he remain there long?" continued the anxious widow, desirous of
knowing all she could learn.

"I believe not, madam; most of our people have gone to Annerdale-House,
and my lord is expected in town with the duke and the colonel."

As the servant was an elderly man, and appeared to understand the
movements of his master so well, Mrs. Wilson was put in unusual spirits by
this prospect of a speedy termination to her anxiety to meet Pendennyss.

"Annerdale-House is the earl's town residence?" quietly inquired Emily.

"Yes; he got the fortune of the last duke of that title, but how I do not
exactly know. I believe, however, through his mother. General Wilson did
not know his family: indeed, Pendennyss bore a second title during his
lifetime; but did you observe how very civil his servant was, as well as
the one John spoke to before,--a sure sign their master is a gentleman?"

Emily smiled at the strong partialities of her aunt, and replied, "Your
handsome chaise and attendants will draw respect from most men in his
situation, dear aunt, be their masters who they may."

The expected pleasure of meeting the earl was a topic frequently touched
upon between her aunt and Emily during their journey; the former beginning
to entertain hopes she would have laughed at herself for, could they have
been fairly laid before her; and the latter entertaining a profound
respect for his character, but chiefly governed by a wish to gratify her
companion.

The third day they reached the baronet's handsome house in St. James's
Square, and found that the forethought of John had provided everything in
the best and most comfortable manner.

It was the first visit of both Jane and Emily to the metropolis; and
under the protection of their almost equally curious mother, and escorted
by John, they wisely determined to visit the curiosities, while their
leisure yet admitted of the opportunity. For the first two weeks their
time was chiefly employed in the indulgence of this unfashionable and
vulgar propensity, which, if it had no other tendency, served greatly to
draw the thoughts of both the young women from the recollections of the
last few months.

While her sister and nieces were thus employed, Mrs. Wilson, assisted by
Grace, was occupied in getting things in preparation to do credit to the
baronet's hospitality.

The second week after their arrival, Mrs. Moseley was delighted by seeing
advance upon her unexpectedly through the door of the breakfast parlor,
her brother, with his bride leaning on his arm. After the most sincere
greetings and congratulations, Lady Chatterton cried out gaily,

"You see, my dear Lady Moseley, I am determined to banish ceremony between
us, and so, instead of sending you my card, have come myself to notify you
of my arrival. Chatterton would not suffer me even to swallow my
breakfast, he was so impatient to show me off."

"You are placing things exactly on the footing I wish to see ourselves
with all our connexions," replied Lady Moseley, kindly; "but what have you
done with the duke? is he not in your train?"

"Oh! he is gone to Canterbury with George Denbigh, madam," cried the lady,
shaking her head reproachfully though affectionately at Emily; "his grace
dislikes London just now excessively, he says, and the Colonel being
obliged to leave his wife, on regimental business, Derwent was good enough
to keep him company during his exile."

"And Lady Laura, do we see her?" inquired Lady Moseley.

"She came with us. Pendennyss and his sister follow immediately; so, my
dear madam, the dramatis personæ will all be on the stage soon."

Cards and visits now began to accumulate on the Moseleys, and their time
no longer admitted of that unfettered leisure which they had enjoyed at
their entrance on the scene. Mrs. Wilson, for herself and charge, adopted
a rule for the government of her manner of living, which was consistent
with her duties. They mixed in general society sparingly; and, above all,
they rigidly adhered to the obedience to the injunction which commanded
them to keep the Sabbath day holy; a duty of no trifling difficulty to
perform in fashionable society in the city of London, or, indeed, in any
other place, where the influence of fashion has supplanted the laws of
God.

Mrs. Wilson was not a bigot; but she knew and performed her duty rigidly.
It was a pleasure to her to do so. It would have been misery to do
otherwise. In the singleness of heart and deep piety of her niece, she had
a willing pupil to her system of morals, and a rigid follower of her
religious practices. As they both knew that the temptations to go astray
were greater in town than in country, they kept a strict guard over the
tendency to err, and in watchfulness found their greatest security.

John Moseley, next to his friends, loved his bays: indeed, if the
aggregate of his affections for these and Lady Herriefield had been put in
opposite scales, we strongly suspect the side of the horses would
predominate.

One Sunday, soon after being domesticated, John, who had soberly attended
morning service with the ladies, came into a little room where the more
reflecting part of the family were assembled, in search of his wife.

Grace, we have before mentioned, had become a real member of that church
in which she had been educated, and had entered, under the direction of
Dr. Ives and Mrs. Wilson, into an observance of its wholesome ordinances.
Grace was certainly piously inclined, if not devout. Her feelings on the
subject of religion had been sensibly awakened during their voyage to
Lisbon; and at the period of which we write, Mrs. Moseley was as sincerely
disposed to perform her duty as her powers admitted. To the request of her
husband, that she would take a seat in his phaeton while he drove her
round the park once or twice, Grace gave a mild refusal, by saying,

"It is Sunday, my dear Moseley."

"Do you think I don't know that?" cried John, gaily. "There will, be
everybody there, and, the better day, the better deed."

Now, Moseley, if he had been asked to apply this speech to the case before
them, would have frankly owned his inability; but his wife did not make
the trial: she was contented with saying, as she laid down her book to
look on a face she so tenderly loved,

"Ah! Moseley, you should set a better example to those below you in life."

"I wish to set an example," returned her husband, with an affectionate
smile, "to all above as well as below me, in order that they may find out
the path to happiness, by exhibiting to the world a model of a wife, in
yourself, dear Grace."

As this was uttered with a sincerity which distinguished the manner of
Moseley, his wife was more pleased with the compliment than she would have
been willing to make known; and John spoke no more than he thought; for a
desire to show his handsome wife was the ruling passion for a moment.

The husband was too pressing and the wife too fond not to yield the
point; and Grace took her seat in the carriage with a kind of half-formed
resolution to improve the opportunity by a discourse on serious
subjects--a resolution which terminated as all others do, that postpone
one duty to discharge another of less magnitude; it was forgotten.

Mrs. Wilson had listened with interest to the efforts of John to prevail
on his wife to take the ride, and on her leaving the room to comply she
observed to Emily, with whom she now remained alone--

"Here is a consequence of a difference in religious views between man and
wife, my child: John, in place of supporting Grace in the discharge of her
duties, has been the actual cause of her going astray."

Emily felt the force of her aunt's remark, and saw its justice; yet her
love for the offender induced her to say--

"John will not lead her openly astray for he has a sincere respect for
religion, and this offence is not unpardonable, dear aunt."

"The offence is assuredly not unpardonable," replied Mrs. Wilson, "and to
infinite mercy it is hard to say what is; but it is an offence, and
directly in the face of an express ordinance of the Lord; it is even
throwing off the _appearance_ of keeping the Sabbath day holy, much less
observing the substance of the commandment; and as to John's respect for
holy things in this instance, it was injurious to his wife. Had he been an
open deist she would have shrunk from the act in suspicion of its
sinfulness. Either John must become Christian, or I am afraid Grace will
fall from her under taking."

Mrs. Wilson shook her head mournfully, while Emily offered up a silent
petition that the first might speedily be the case.

Lady Laura had been early in her visit to the Moseleys; and as Denbigh
had both a town residence and a seat in parliament, it appeared next to
impossible to avoid meeting him or to requite the pressing civilities of
his wife by harsh refusals; that might prove in the end injurious to
themselves by creating a suspicion that resentment at his not choosing a
partner from amongst them, governed the conduct of the Moseleys towards a
man to whom they were under such a heavy obligation.

Had Sir Edward known as much as his sister and daughters he would probably
have discountenanced the acquaintance altogether; but owing to the
ignorance of the rest of her friends of what had passed, Mrs. Wilson and
Emily had not only the assiduities of Lady Laura but the wishes of their
own family to contend with, and consequently she submitted to the
association with a reluctance that was in some measure counteracted by
their regard for Lady Laura, and by compassion for her abused confidence.

A distant connexion of Lady Moseley's had managed to collect in her house
a few hundred of her nominal friends, and as she had been particularly
attentive in calling in person on her venerable relative, Mr. Benfield,
soon after his arrival in town, out of respect to her father's cousin, or
perhaps mindful of his approaching end, and remembering there were such
things as codicils to wills, the old man, flattered by her notice, and yet
too gallant to reject the favor of a lady, consented to accompany the
remainder of the family on the occasion.

Most of their acquaintances were there, and Lady Moseley soon found
herself engaged in a party at quadrille, while the young people were
occupied by the usual amusements of their age in such scenes. Emily alone
feeling but little desire to enter into the gaiety of general conversation
with a host of gentlemen who had collected round her aunt and sisters,
offered her arm to Mr. Benfield, on seeing him manifest a disposition to
take a closer view of the company, and walked away with him.

They wandered from room to room, unconscious of the observation attracted
by the sight of a man in the costume of Mr. Benfield, leaning on the arm
of so young and lovely a woman as his niece; and many an exclamation of
surprise, ridicule, admiration, and wonder had been made, unnoticed by the
pair, until finding the crowd rather inconvenient to her companion, Emily
gently drew him into one of the apartments where the card-tables, and the
general absence of beauty, made room less difficult to be found.

"Ah! Emmy dear," said the old gentleman, wiping his face, "times are much
changed, I see, since my youth. Then you would see no such throngs
assembled in so small a space; gentlemen shoving ladies, and yes, Emmy,"
continued her uncle in a lower tone, as if afraid of uttering something
dangerous, "the ladies themselves shouldering the men. I remember at a
drum given by Lady Gosford, that although I may, without vanity, say I was
one of the gallantest men in the rooms, I came in contact with but one of
the ladies during the whole evening, with the exception of handing the
Lady Juliana to a chair, and that," said her uncle, stopping short and
lowering his voice to a whisper, "was occasioned by a mischance in the old
duchess in rising from her seat when she had taken too much strong waters,
as she was at times a little troubled with a pain in the chest."

Emily smiled at the casualty of her grace, and they proceeded slowly
through the table until their passage was stopped by a party at the game
of whist, which, by its incongruous mixture of ages and character,
forcibly drew her attention.

The party was composed of a young man of five or six and twenty, who
threw down his cards in careless indifference, and heedlessly played with
the guineas which were laid on the side of the table as markers, or the
fruits of a former victory: or by stealing hasty and repeated glances
through the vista of the tables into the gayer scenes of the adjoining
rooms, proved he was in duresse, and waited for an opportunity to make his
escape from the tedium of cards and ugliness to the life of conversation
and beauty.

His partner was a woman of doubtful age, and one whose countenance rather
indicated that the uncertainty was likely to continue until the record of
the tomb-stone divulged the so often contested circumstance to the world.
Her eyes also wandered to the gayer scenes, but with an expression of
censoriousness mingled with longings; nor did she neglect the progress of
the game as frequently as her more heedless partner. A glance thrown on
the golden pair which was placed between her and her neighbor on her
right, marked the importance of the _corner_, and she shuffled the cards
with a nervousness which plainly denoted her apprehension of the
consequences of her partner's abstraction.

Her neighbor on the right was a man of sixty, and his vestments announced
him a servant of the sanctuary. His intentness on the game proceeded no
doubt from his habits of reflection; his smile at success, quite possibly
from charity to his neighbors; his frown in adversity from displeasure at
the triumphs of the wicked, for such in his heart he had set down Miss
Wigram to be; and his unconquerable gravity in the employment from a
profound regard to the dignity of his holy office.

The fourth performer in this trial of memories was an ancient lady, gaily
dressed, and intently eager on the game. Between her and the young man was
a large pile of guineas, which appeared to be her exclusive property, from
which she repeatedly, during the play, tendered one to his acceptance on
the event of a hand or a trick, and to which she seldom failed from
inadvertence to add his mite, contributing to accumulate the pile.

"Two double and the rub, my dear doctor," exclaimed the senior lady, in
triumph. "Sir William, you owe me ten."

The money was paid as easily as it had been won, and the dowager proceeded
to settle some bets with her female antagonist.

"Two more, I fancy, ma'am," said she, closely scanning the contributions
of the maiden.

"I believe it is right, my lady," was the answer, with a look that said
pretty plainly, that or nothing.

"I beg pardon, my dear, here are but four; and you remember two on the
corner, and four on the points. Doctor, I will trouble you for a couple of
guineas from Miss Wigram's store, I am in haste to get to the Countess's
route."

The doctor was coolly helping himself from the said store, under the
watchful eyes of its owner, and secretly exulting in his own judgment in
requiring the stakes, when the maiden replied in great warmth,

"Your ladyship forgets the two you lost to me at Mrs. Howard's."

"It must be a mistake, my dear, I always pay as I lose," cried the
dowager, with great spirit, stretching over the table and helping herself
to the disputed money.

Mr. Benfield and Emily had stood silent spectators of the whole scene, the
latter in astonishment to meet such manners in such society, and the
former under feelings it would have been difficult to describe; for in the
face of the Dowager which was inflamed partly from passion and more from
high living, he recognised the remains of his Lady Juliana, now the
Dowager Viscountess Haverford.

"Emmy, dear," said the old man, with a heavy-drawn sigh, as if awaking
from a long and troubled dream, "we will go."

The phantom of forty years had vanished before the truth and the fancies
of retirement, simplicity, and a diseased imagination yielded to the
influence of life and common sense.



Chapter XL.



With Harriet, now closely connected with them by marriage as well as
attachment, the baronet's family maintained a most friendly intercourse;
and Mrs. Wilson, and Emily, a prodigious favorite with her new cousin,
consented to pass a day soberly with her during an excursion of her
husband to Windsor on business connected with his station. They had,
accordingly, driven round to an early breakfast; and Chatterton, after
politely regretting his loss, and thanking them for their consideration
for his wife, made his bow.

Lady Harriet Denbigh had brought the Baron a very substantial addition to
his fortune; and as his sisters were both provided for by ample
settlements, the pecuniary distresses which had existed a twelvemonth
before had been entirely removed. Chatterton's income was now large, his
demands upon it small, and he kept up an establishment in proportion to
the rank of both husband and wife.

"Mrs. Wilson," cried the hostess, twirling her cup as she followed with
her eyes the retreating figure of her husband at the door, "I am about to
take up the trade of Miss Harris, and become a match-maker."

"Not on your own behalf so soon, surely," rejoined the widow.

"Oh no, my fortune is made for life, or not at all," continued the other,
gaily; "but in behalf of our little friend Emily here."

"Me," cried Emily, starting from a reverie, in which the prospect of
happiness to Lady Laura was the subject; "you are very good, Harriet; for
whom do you intend me?"

"Whom! Who is good enough for you, but my cousin Pendennyss? Ah!" she
cried, laughing, as she caught Emily by the hand, "Derwent and myself both
settled the matter long since, and I know you will yield when you come to
know him."

"The duke!" cried the other, with a surprise and innocence that
immediately brought a blush of the brightest vermillion into her face.

"Yes, the duke," said Lady Chatterton: "you may think it odd for a
discarded lover to dispose of his mistress so soon, but both our hearts
are set upon it. The earl arrived last night, and this day he and his
sister dine with us in a sober way: now, my dear madam," turning to Mrs.
Wilson, "have I not prepared an agreeable surprise for you?"

"Surprise indeed," said the widow, excessively gratified at the probable
termination to her anxieties for this meeting; "but where are they from?"

"From Northamptonshire, where the earl has already purchased a residence,
I understand, and in your neighborhood too; so, you perceive, _he_ at
least begins to think of the thing."

"A certain evidence, truly," cried Emily, "his having purchased the house.
But was he without a residence that he bought the deanery?"

"Oh no! he has a palace in town, and three seats in the country; but none
in Northamptonshire but this," said the lady, with a laugh. "To own the
truth he did offer to let George Denbigh have it for the next summer, but
the Colonel chose to be nearer Eltringham; and I take it, it was only a
ruse in the earl to cloak his own designs. You may depend upon it, we
trumpeted your praises to him incessantly in Westmoreland."

"And is Colonel Denbigh in town?" said Mrs. Wilson, stealing an anxious
glance towards her niece, who, in spite of all her efforts, sensibly
changed color.

"Oh, yes! and Laura is as happy--as happy--as myself," said Lady
Chatterton, with a glow on her cheeks, as she attended to the request of
her housekeeper, and left the room.

Her guests sat in silence, occupied with their own reflections, while they
heard a summons at the door of the house. It was opened, and footsteps
approached the door of their own room. It was pushed partly open, as a
voice on the other side said, speaking to a servant without,--

"Very well. Do not disturb your lady. I am in no haste."

At the sound of its well known tones, both the ladies almost sprang from
their seats. Here could be no resemblance, and a moment removed their
doubts. The speaker entered. It was Denbigh.

He stood for a moment fixed as a statue: It was evident the surprise was
mutual. His face was pale as death, and then instantly was succeeded by a
glow of fire. Approaching them, he paid his compliments with great
earnestness, and in a voice in which his softest tones preponderated.

"I am happy, very happy, to be so fortunate in again meeting with such
friends, and so unexpectedly."

Mrs. Wilson bowed in silence to his compliment, and Emily, pale as
himself, sat with her eyes fastened on the carpet, without daring to trust
her voice with an attempt to speak.

After struggling with his mortified feelings for a moment, Denbigh rose
from the chair he had taken, and drawing near the sofa on which the ladies
were placed, exclaimed with fervor,

"Tell me, dear madam, lovely, too lovely Miss Moseley, has one act of
folly, of wickedness if you please, lost me your good opinion for ever?
Derwent had given me hopes that you yet retained some esteem for my
character, lowered, as I acknowledge it to be, in my own estimation."

"The Duke of Derwent? Mr. Denbigh!"

"Do not; do not use a name, dear madam, almost hateful to me," cried he,
in a tone of despair.

"If," said Mrs. Wilson, gravely, "you have made your own name
disreputable, I can only regret it, but--"

"Call me by my title--oh! do not remind me of my folly; I cannot bear it,
and from you."

"Your title!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson, with a cry of wonder, and Emily
turned on him a face in which the flashes of color and succeeding paleness
were as quick, and almost as vivid, as the glow of lightning. He caught
their astonishment in equal surprise.

"How is this? some dreadful mistake, of which I am yet in ignorance," he
cried, taking the unresisting hand of Mrs. Wilson, and pressing it with
warmth between both his own, as he added, "do not leave me in suspense."

"For the sake of truth, for my sake, for the sake of this suffering
innocent, say, in sincerity, who and what you are," said Mrs. Wilson in a
solemn voice, gazing on him in dread of his reply.

Still retaining her hand, he dropped on his knees before her, as he
answered,--

"I am the pupil, the child of your late husband, the companion of his
dangers, the sharer of his joys and griefs, and would I could add, the
friend of his widow. I am the Earl of Pendennyss."

Mrs. Wilson's head dropped on the shoulders of the kneeling youth, her
arms were thrown in fervor around his neck, and she burst into a flood of
tears. For a moment, both were absorbed in their own feelings; but a cry
from Pendennyss aroused the aunt to the situation of her niece.

Emily had fallen senseless on the sofa.

An hour elapsed before her engagements admitted of the return of Lady
Chatterton to the breakfast parlor, where she was surprised to find the
breakfast equipage yet standing, and her cousin, the earl. Looking from
one to the other in surprise, she exclaimed,--

"Very sociable, upon my word; how long has your lordship honored my house
with your presence, and have you taken the liberty to introduce yourself
to Mrs. Wilson and Miss Moseley?"

"Sociability and ease are the fashion of the day. I have been here an
hour, my dear coz, and _have_ taken the liberty of _introducing myself_ to
Mrs. Wilson and Miss Moseley," replied the earl gravely, although a smile
of meaning lighted his handsome features as he uttered the latter part of
the sentence, which was returned by Emily with a look of archness and
pleasure that would have graced her happiest moments of juvenile joy.

There was such an interchange of looks, and such a visible alteration in
the appearance of her guests, that it could not but attract the notice of
Lady Chatterton. After listening to the conversation between them for some
time in silence; and wondering what could have wrought so sudden a change
below stairs, she broke forth with saying,--"Upon my word, you are an
incomprehensible party to me. I left you ladies alone, and find a
gentleman with you. I left you grave, if not melancholy, and find you all
life and gaiety. I find you with a stranger, and you talk with him about
walks, and rides, and scenes, and acquaintances. Will _you_, madam, or
_you_, my lord, be so kind as to explain these seeming inconsistencies?"

"No," cried the earl, "to punish your curiosity, I will keep you in
ignorance; but Marian is in waiting for me at your neighbor's, Mrs.
Wilmot, and I must hasten to her--- you will see us both by five." Rising
from his seat he took the offered hand of Mrs. Wilson and pressed it to
his lips. To Emily he also extended his hand, and received hers in return,
though with a face suffused with the color of the rose. Pendennyss held it
to his heart for a moment with fervor, and kissing it, precipitately left
the room. Emily concealed her face with her hands, and, dissolving in
tears, sought the retirement of an adjoining apartment.

All these unaccountable movements filled Lady Chatterton with amazement,
that would have been too painful for further endurance; and Mrs. Wilson,
knowing that further concealment with so near a connexion would be
impossible, if not unnecessary, entered into a brief explanation of the
earl's masquerade (although ignorant herself of its cause, or of the means
of supporting it), and his present relation with her niece.

"I declare it is provoking," cried Lady Chatterton, with a tear in her
eye, "to have such ingenious plans as Derwent and I had made lost from the
want of necessity in putting them in force. Your demure niece has deceived
us all handsomely; and my rigid cousin, too--I will rate him soundly for
his deception."

"I believe he already repents sincerely of his having practised it," said
Mrs. Wilson, "and is sufficiently punished for his error by its
consequence. A life of misery for four months is a serious penalty to a
lover."

"Yes," said the other; "I am afraid his punishment was not confined to
himself alone: he has made others suffer from his misconduct. I will rate
him famously, depend upon it I will."

If anything, the interest felt by Lady Chatterton for her friend was
increased by this discovery of the affections of Pendennyss, and a few
hours were passed by the three, in we will not say sober delight, for
transport would be a better word. Lady Chatterton frankly declared that
she would rather see Emily the wife of the earl than of her brother, for
_he_ alone was good enough for her; and Mrs. Wilson felt an exhilaration
of spirits, in the completion of her most sanguine wishes, that neither
her years, her philosophy, nor even her religion, could entirely restrain.
The face of Emily was a continued blush, her eye sparkled with the lustre
of renewed hope, and her bosom was heaving with the purest emotions of
happiness.

At the appointed hour the rattling of wheels announced the approach of the
earl and his sister.

Pendennyss came into the room with a young woman of great personal beauty
and extremely feminine manners, leaning on his arm. He first announced her
to Mrs. Wilson as his sister, Lady Marian Denbigh, who received her with a
frank cordiality that made them instantly acquainted. Emily, although
confiding in the fullest manner in the truth and worth of her lover, had
felt an inexplicable sensation of pleasure, as she heard the earl speak of
his sister by the name of Marian; love is such an unquiet, and generally
such an engrossing passion, that few avoid unnecessary uneasiness while
under its influence, unless so situated as to enjoy a mutual confidence.

As this once so formidable Marian approached to salute her with an
extended hand, Emily rose, with a face illumined with pleasure, to receive
her. Marian viewed her for a moment intently, and folding her arms around
her, whispered softly as she pressed her to her heart,

"My sister, my only sister."

Our heroine was affected to tears, and Pendennyss gently separating the
two he loved best in the world, they soon became calm.

Lady Marian was extremely like her brother, and had a family resemblance
to her cousin Harriet; but her manners were softer and more retiring, and
she had a slight tinge of a settled melancholy. When her brother spoke she
was generally silent, not in fear, but in love. She evidently regarded him
amongst the first of human beings, and all her love was amply returned.

Both the aunt and niece studied the manners of the earl closely, and found
several shades of distinction between what he was and what he had been. He
was now the perfect man of the world, without having lost the frank
sincerity which caused you to believe all he said. Had Pendennyss once
told Mrs. Wilson, with his natural air and manner, "I am innocent," she
would have believed him, and an earlier investigation would have saved
them months of misery; but the consciousness of his deception had
oppressed him with the curse of the wicked.

Pendennyss had lost that air of embarrassment and alarm which had so often
startled the aunt, even in her hours of greatest confidence, and which had
their original in the awkwardness of disguise. But he retained his
softness, his respect, his modest diffidence of his opinions, although
somewhat corrected now by his acknowledged experience and acquaintance
with man.

Mrs. Wilson thought these decided trifling alterations in manner were
improvements; but it required some days and a few tender speeches to
reconcile Emily to any change in the appearance of Denbigh.

Lady Marian had ordered her carriage early, as she had not anticipated the
pleasure she found, and was engaged to accompany her cousin, Lady Laura,
to a fashionable rout that evening. Unwilling to be torn from ins newly
found friends, the earl proposed that the three ladies should accompany
his sister to Annerdale House, and then accept himself as an escort to
their own residence. To this Harriet assented, and leaving a message for
Chatterton, they entered the coach of Marian, and Pendennyss, mounting the
dickey, drove off.

Annerdale House was amongst the best edifices of London. It had been
erected in the preceding century, and Emily for a moment felt, as she went
through its splendid apartments, that it threw a chill around her domestic
affections; but the figure of Pendennyss by her side reconciled her to a
magnificence she had been unused to, which looked the lord indeed; but
with so much modesty and softness, and so much attention to herself, that
before she left the house, Emily began to think it very possible to enjoy
happiness even in the lap of splendor.

The names of Colonel Denbigh and Lady Laura were soon announced, and this
formidable gentleman made his appearance, He resembled Pendennyss more
than even the duke, and appeared about the same age.

Mrs. Wilson soon saw that she had no grounds for pitying Lady Laura. The
colonel was a polished, elegant man, of evident good sense and knowledge
of the world, and apparently devoted to his wife. He was called George
frequently by all his relatives, and he, not unfrequently, used the same
term himself in speaking to the earl. Something was said of a much admired
bust, and the doors of a large library were opened to view it. Emily was
running over the backs of a case of books, until her eye rested on one;
and half smiling and blushing she turned to Pendennyss, who watched every
movement, as she said, playfully,

"Pity me, my lord, and lend me this volume."

"What is it you read?" he asked, as he bowed his cheerful assent.

But Emily hid the book in her handkerchief. Pendennyss noticing an
unwillingness, though an extremely playful one, to let him into the
secret, examined the case, and perceiving her motive, smiled, as he took
down another volume and said--

"I am not an Irish, but an English peer, Emily. You have the wrong
volume."

Emily laughed, with deeper blushes, when she found her wishes detected,
while the earl, opening the volume he held--the first of Debrett's
Peerage--pointed with his finger to the article concerning his own family,
and said to Mrs. Wilson, who had joined them at the instant--

"To-morrow, dear madam, I shall beg your attention to a melancholy tale,
and which may, in some slight degree, extenuate the offence I was guilty
of in assuming, or rather in maintaining an accidental disguise."

As he ended, he went to the others, to draw off their attention, while
Emily and her aunt examined the paragraph. It was as follows:

"George Denbigh--Earl of Pendennyss--and Baron Lumley, of Lumley Castle---
Baron Pendennyss--Beaumaris, and Fitzwalter, born----, of----, in the year
of----; a bachelor." The list of earls and nobles occupied several pages,
but the closing article was as follows:

"George, the 21st earl, succeeded his mother Marian, late Countess of
Pendennyss, in her own right, being born of her marriage with George
Denbigh, Esq., a cousin-german to Frederick, the 9th Duke of Derwent."

"Heir apparent. The titles being to heirs general, will descend to his
lordship's sister, Lady Marian Denbigh, should the present earl die
without lawful issue."

As much of the explanation of the mystery of our tales, involved in the
foregoing paragraphs, we may be allowed to relate in our own language,
what Pendennyss made his friends acquainted with at different times, and
in a manner suitable to the subject and his situation.



Chapter XLI.



It was at the close of that war which lost this country the wealthiest and
most populous of her American colonies, that a fleet of ships were
returning from their service amongst the islands of the New World, to seek
for their worn out and battered hulks, and equally weakened crews, the
repairs and comforts of England and home.

The latter word, to the mariner the most endearing of all sounds, had, as
it were, drawn together by instinct a group of sailors on the forecastle
of the proudest ship of the squadron, who gazed with varied emotions on
the land which gave them birth, but with one common feeling of joy that
the day of attaining it was at length arrived.

The water curled from the bows of this castle of the ocean, in increasing
waves and growing murmurs, that at times drew the attention of the veteran
tar to their quickening progress, and having cheered his heart with the
sight, he cast his experienced eye in silence on the swelling sails, to
see if nothing more could be done to shorten the distance between him and
his country.

Hundreds of eyes were fixed on the land of their birth, and hundreds of
hearts were beating in that one vessel with the awakening delights of
domestic love and renewed affections; but no tongue broke the disciplined
silence of the ship into sounds that overcame the propitious ripple of the
water.

On the highest summit of their towering mast floated a small blue flag,
the symbol of authority, and beneath it paced a man to and fro the deck,
who was abandoned by his inferiors to his more elevated rank. His
square-built form and careworn features, which had lost the brilliancy of
an English complexion, and hair whitened prematurely, spoke of bodily
vigor, and arduous services which had put that vigor to the severest
trials.

At each turn of his walk, as he faced the land of his nativity, a lurking
smile stole over his sun-burnt features, and then a glance of his eye
would scan the progress of the far-stretched squadron which obeyed his
orders, and which he was now returning to his superiors, undiminished in
numbers, and proud with victory.

By himself stood an officer in a uniform differing from all around him.
His figure was small, his eye restless, quick, and piercing, and bent on
those shores to which he was unwillingly advancing, with a look of anxiety
and mortification, that showed him the late commander of those vessels
around them, which, by displaying their double flags, manifested to the
eye of the seaman a recent change of masters.

Occasionally the conqueror would stop, and by some effort of well meant,
but rather uncouth civility, endeavor to soften the hours of captivity;
efforts which were received with the courtesy of the most punctilious
etiquette, but a restraint which showed that they were unwelcome.

It was, perhaps, the most unlucky moment that had occurred within the two
months of their association, for an exchange of their better feelings. The
honest heart of the English tar dilated with ill-concealed delight at his
approach to the termination of labors performed with credit and honor, and
his smiles and good humor, which partly proceeded from the feelings of a
father and a friend, were daggers to the heart of his discomfited rival.

A third personage now appeared from the cabin of the vessel, and
approached the spot where the adverse admirals at the moment were engaged
in one of these constrained conferences.

The appearance and dress of this gentleman differed widely from the two
just described. He was tall, graceful, and dignified; he was a soldier,
and clearly of high rank. His carefully dressed hair concealed the ravages
of time and on the quarter-deck of a first-rate his attire and manners
were suited to a field-day in the park.

"I really insist, monsieur," cried the admiral, good-naturedly, "that you
shall take part of my chaise to London. You are a stranger, and it will
help to keep up your spirits by the way."

"You are very good, Monsieur Howell," replied the Frenchman, with a polite
bow and forced smile, misconstruing ill-judged benevolence into a wish for
his person to grace a triumph--"but I have accepted the offer Monsieur le
General Denbigh was so good as to make me."

"The comte is engaged to me, Howell," said the general, with a courtly
smile, "and, indeed, you must leave the ship to night, or as soon as we
anchor.--But I shall take daylight and to-morrow."

"Well--well--Denbigh," exclaimed the other, rubbing his hands with
pleasure as he viewed the increasing power of the wind, "only make
yourselves happy, and I am contented."

A few hours intervened before they reached the Bay of Plymouth, and round
the table, after their dinner, were seated the general and English
admiral. The comte, under the pretence of preparing his things for a
removal, had retired to his apartment to conceal his feelings;--and the
captain of the ship was above, superintending the approach of the vessel
to her anchorage. Two or three well emptied bottles of wine yet remained;
but as the healths of all the branches of the House of Brunswick had been
propitiated from their contents, with a polite remembrance of Louis XVI.
and Marie Antoinette from General Denbigh, neither of the superiors was
much inclined for action.

"Is the Thunderer in her station?" said the admiral to the signal
lieutenant, who at that moment came below with a report.

"Yes, sir, and has answered."

"Very well; make the signal to prepare to anchor."

"Aye, aye, sir."

"And here, Bennet," to the retiring lieutenant--"call the transports all
in shore of us."

"Three hundred and eighty-four, sir," said the officer, looking at his
signal-book.

The admiral cast his eye at the book, and nodded an assent.

"And let the Mermaid--Flora--Weasel--Bruiser, and all the sloops lie well
off, until we have landed the soldiers: the pilot says the channel is full
of luggers, and Jonathan has grown very saucy."

The lieutenant made a complying bow, and was retiring to execute these
orders, as Admiral Howell, taking up a bottle not yet entirely deserted by
its former tenant, cried stoutly--"Here, Bennet--I forgot--take a glass of
wine; drink success to ourselves, and defeat to the French all over the
world."

The general pointed significantly to the adjoining cabin of the French
admiral, as he pressed his hand on his lips for silence.

"Oh!" cried Admiral Howell, recollecting himself, continuing in a whisper,
"you can drink it in your heart, notwithstanding."

The signal officer nodded, and drank the liquor. As he smacked his lips
while going on deck, he thought to himself, these nabobs drink famous good
wine.

Although the feelings of General Denbigh were under much more command and
disciplined obedience than those of his friend, yet was he too unusually
elated with his return to home and expected honors. If the admiral had
captured a fleet, _he_ had taken an island;--and hand in hand they had
co-operated in unusual harmony through the difficulties of an arduous
campaign. This rather singular circumstance was owing to their personal
friendship. From their youth they had been companions, and although of
very different characters and habits, chance had cemented their intimacy
in more advanced life. While in subordinate stations, they had been
associated together in service; and the general and admiral, in command of
an army and fleet, had once before returned to England with less renown,
as a colonel and a captain of a frigate. The great family influence of the
soldier, with the known circumstance of their harmony, had procured them
this later command, and home, with its comforts and rewards, was close
before them. Pouring out a glass of Madeira, the general, who always
calculated what he said, exclaimed,

"Peter--we have been friends from boys."

"To be sure we have," said the admiral, looking up in a little surprise at
this unexpected commencement--"and it will not be my fault if we do not
die such, Frederick."

Dying was a subject the general did not much delight in although of
conspicuous courage in the field; and he proceeded to his more important
purpose--"I could never find, although I have looked over our family tree
so often, that we are in any manner related, Howell."

"I believe it is too late to mend that matter now," said the admiral,
musing.

"Why no--hem--I think not, Howell; take a glass of this Burgundy."

The admiral shook his head with a stubborn resolution to taste nothing
French, but he helped himself to a bountiful stock of Madeira, as he
replied--

"I should like to know how you can bring it about this time of day,
Denbigh."

"How much money will you be able to give that girl of yours, Peter?" said
his friend, evading the point.

"Forty thousand down, my good fellow, and as much more when I die," cried
the open-hearted sailor, with a nod of exultation.

"George, my youngest son, will not be rich--but Francis will be a duke,
and have a noble estate; yet," said the general; meditating, "he is so
unhappy in his disposition and uncouth in his manners, I cannot think of
offering him to your daughter as a husband."

"Isabel shall marry a good-natured man, like myself, or not at all," said
the admiral, positively, but not in the least suspecting the drift of his
friend, who was influenced by anything but a regard for the lady's
happiness.

Francis, his first born, was, in truth, as he had described; but his
governing wish was to provide for his favorite George. Dukes could never
want wives, but unportioned captains in the guards might.

"George is one of the best tempers in the world," said his father, with
strong feeling, "and the delight of us all. I could wish he had been the
heir to the family honors."

"_That_ it is certainly too late to help," cried the admiral, wondering if
the ingenuity of his friend could devise a remedy for this evil too.

"Too late, indeed," said the other, with a heavy sigh, "but Howell, what
say you to matching Isabel with my favorite George?"

"Denbigh," cried the sailor, eyeing him keenly, "Isabel is my only child,
and a dutiful, good girl; one that will obey orders if she breaks owners,
as we sailors say. Now I did think of marrying her to a seaman, when a
proper man came athwart my course; yet your son is a soldier, and that is
next to being in the navy: if-so-be you had made him come aboard me, when
I wanted you to, there would have been no objection at all: however, when
occasion offers. I will overhaul the lad, and if I find him staunch he may
turn in with Bell and welcome."

This was uttered in perfect simplicity, and with no intention of giving
offence, partaking partly of the nature of a soliloquy; so the general,
greatly encouraged, was about to push the point, when a gun was fired from
their own ship.

"There's some of them lubberly transports won't mind our signals; they
have had these soldiers so long on board, they get as clumsy as the
red-coats themselves," muttered the admiral, hastening on deck to enforce
his commands.

A shot or two, sent significantly in the direction of the wanderers, but
so as not to hit them, restored order; and within an hour forty line of
battle ships and a hundred transports were disposed in the best manner for
convenience and safety.

On their presentation to their sovereign, both veterans were embellished
with the riband of the Bath; and as their exploits filled the mouths of
the newsmongers, and the columns of the public prints of the day, the new
knights began to think more seriously of building a monument to their
victories, in a union between their children. The admiral, however,
determined to do nothing with his eyes shut, and he demanded a scrutiny.

"Where is the boy who is to be a duke?" exclaimed he, one day, when his
friend had introduced the point with a view to a final arrangement. "Bell
has good blood in her veins--is a tight built little vessel--clean heel'd
and trim, and would make as good a duchess as the best of them; so
Denbigh, I will begin by taking a survey of the senior."

To this the general had no objection, as he well knew that Francis would
be wide of pleasing the tastes of an open-hearted, simple man, like the
sailor. They met, accordingly, for what the general facetiously called the
review, and what the admiral innocently termed his survey, at the house of
the former, when the young gentlemen were submitted to his inspection.

Francis Denbigh was about four and twenty, of a feeble body, and with a
face marked with the small-pox, to approaching deformity; his eye was
brilliant and piercing, but unsettled, and at times wild--his manner
awkward, constrained, and timid. There would be seen, it is true, an
intelligence and animation, which occasionally lighted his countenance
into gleams of sunshine, that caused you to overlook the lesser
accompaniments of complexion and features in the expression; but they were
transient, and inevitably vanished whenever his father spoke or in any
manner mingled in his pursuits.

An observer close as Mrs. Wilson, would have said that the feelings of the
father and son were not such as ought to exist between parent and child.

But the admiral, who regarded model and rigging a good deal, satisfied
himself with muttering, as he turned his eye on the junior--

"He may do for a duke--but I would not have him for a cockswain."

George was a year younger than Francis; in form, stature, and personal
grace, the counterpart of his father; his eye was less keen but more
attractive than that of his brother; his air open, polished, and manly.

"Ah!" thought the sailor, as he ended a satisfactory survey of the youth,
"what a thousand pities Denbigh did not send him to sea!"

The thing was soon settled, and George was to be the happy man. Sir Peter
concluded to dine with his friend, in order to settle preliminaries over
the bottle by themselves; the young men and their mother being engaged to
their uncle the duke.

"Well, Denbigh," cried the admiral, as the last servant withdrew, "when do
you mean to have the young couple spliced?"

"Why," replied the wary soldier, who knew he could not calculate on
obedience to his mandate with as great a certainty as his friend--"the
better way is to bring the young people together, in order that they may
become acquainted, you know."

"Acquainted--together--" cried his companion, in a little surprise, "what
better way is there to bring them together, than to have them up before a
priest, or to make them acquainted by letting them swing in the same
hammock?"

"It might answer the end, indeed," said the general, with a smile, "but
somehow or other, it is always the best method to bring young folks
together, to let them have their own way in the affair for a time."

"Own way!" rejoined Sir Peter, bluntly, "did you ever find it answer to
let a woman have her own way, Sir Frederick?"

"Not common women certainly, my good friend," said the general, "but such
a girl as my intended daughter is an exception."

"I don't know that," cried the sailor; "Bell is a good girl, but she has
her quirks and whims like all the sex."

"You have had no trouble with her as yet, I believe, Howell," said Sir
Frederick cavalierly, throwing an inquiring glance on his friend at the
same time.

"No, not yet--nor do I think she will ever dare to mutiny; but there has
been one wishing to take her in tow already since we got in."

"How!" said the other in alarm, "who--what is he? some officer in the
navy, I suppose."

"No, he was a kind of chaplain, one Parson Ives, a good sort of a youth
enough, and a prodigious favorite with my sister, Lady Hawker."

"Well, what did you answer, Peter?" said his companion in increasing
uneasiness; "did you put him off?"

"Off! to be sure I did--do you think I wanted a barber's clerk for a
son-in-law? No, no, Denbigh; a soldier is bad enough, without having a
preacher."

The general compressed his lips at this direct attack on a profession that
he thought the most honorable of any in the world, in some resentment; but
remembering the eighty thousand pounds, and accustomed to the ways of the
other, he curbed his temper, and inquired--

"But Miss Howell--your daughter--how did she stand affected to this
priest?"

"How--why--how?--why I never asked her."

"Never asked her?"

"No, never asked her: she is my daughter, you know, and bound to obey my
orders, and I did not choose she should marry a parson; but, once for all,
when is the wedding to take place?"

General Denbigh had indulged his younger son too blindly and too fondly to
expect that implicit obedience the admiral calculated to a certainty on,
and with every prospect of not being disappointed, from his daughter.
Isabel Howell was pretty, mild, and timid, and unused to oppose any of her
father's commands; but George Denbigh was haughty, positive, and
self-willed, and unless the affair could be so managed as to make him a
willing assistant in the courtship, his father knew it might be abandoned
at once. He thought his son might be led, but not driven; and, relying on
his own powers for managing, the general saw his only safety in executing
the scheme was in postponing his advances for a regular siege to the
lady's heart.

Sir Peter chafed and swore at this circumlocution: the thing could be done
as well in a week as in a year; and the veterans, who, for a miracle, had
agreed in their rival stations, and in doubtful moments of success, were
near splitting on the point of marrying a girl of nineteen.

As Sir Peter both loved his friend, and had taken a prodigious fancy to
the youth, he however was fain to submit to a short probation.

"You are always for going a round-about way to do a thing," said the
admiral, as he yielded the point. "Now, when you took that battery, had
you gone up in front, as I advised you, you would have taken it in ten
minutes, instead of five hours."

"Yes," said the other, with a friendly shake of the hand at parting, "and
lost fifty men in place of one by the step."



Chapter XLII.



The Honorable General Denbigh was the youngest of three sons. His seniors,
Francis and George, were yet bachelors. The death of a cousin had made
Francis a duke while yet a child, and both he and his favorite brother
George, had decided on lives of inactivity and sluggishness.

"When I die, brother," the oldest would say, "you will succeed me, and
Frederick can provide heirs for the name hereafter."

This arrangement had been closely adhered to, and the two elder brothers
reached the ages of fifty-five and fifty-six, without altering their
condition. In the mean time, Frederick married a young woman of rank and
fortune; the fruits of their union being the two young candidates for the
hand of Isabel Howell.

Francis Denbigh, the eldest son of the general, was naturally diffident,
and, in addition, it was his misfortune to be the reverse of captivating
in external appearance. The small-pox sealed his doom;--ignorance, and the
violence of the attack, left him indelibly impressed with the ravages of
that dreadful disorder. Oh the other hand, his brother escaped without any
vestiges of the complaint; and his spotless skin and fine open
countenance, met the gaze of his mother, after the recovery of the two, in
striking contrast to the deformed lineaments of his elder brother. Such an
occurrence is sure to excite one of two feelings in the breast of every
beholder--pity or disgust; and, unhappily for Francis, maternal
tenderness, in his case, was unable to counteract the latter sensation.
George become a favorite, and Francis a neutral. The effect was easy to be
seen, and it was rapid, as it was indelible.

The feelings of Francis were sensitive to an extreme. He had more
quickness, more sensibility, more real talent than George; which enabled
him to perceive, and caused him to feel more acutely, the partiality of
his mother.

As yet, the engagements and duties of the general had kept his children
and, their improvements out of his sight; but at the ages of eleven and
twelve, the feelings of a father, began, to take pride in the possession
of his sons.

On his return from a foreign station, after an absence of two years, his
children were ordered from school to meet him. Francis had improved in
stature, but not in beauty; George had flourished in both.

The natural diffidence of the former was increased, by perceiving that he
was no favorite, and the effect began to show itself on manners at no time
engaging. He met his father with doubt, and he saw with anguish, that the
embrace received by his brother much exceeded in warmth that which had
been bestowed on himself.

"Lady Margaret," said the general to his wife, as he followed the boys as
they retired from the dinner table, with his eyes, "it is a thousand
pities George had not been the elder. _He_ would have graced a dukedom or
a throne. Frank is only fit for a parson."

This ill-judged speech was uttered sufficiently loud to be overheard by
both the sons: on the younger, it made a pleasurable sensation for the
moment. His father--his dear father, had thought him fit to be a king; and
his father must be a judge, whispered his native vanity; but all this time
the connexion between the speech and his brother's rights did not present
themselves to his mind. George loved this brother too well, too
sincerely, to have injured him even in thought; and so far as Francis was
concerned, his vanity was as blameless as it was natural.

The effect produced on the mind of Francis was different both in substance
and in degree. It mortified his pride, alarmed his delicacy, and wounded
his already morbid sensibility to such an extent, as to make him entertain
the romantic notion of withdrawing from the world, and of yielding a
birthright to one so every way more deserving of it than himself.

From this period might be dated an opinion of Francis's, which never
afterwards left him; he fancied he was doing injustice to another, and
that other, a brother whom he ardently loved, by continuing to exist. Had
he met with fondness in his parents, or sociability in his playfellows,
these fancies would have left him as he grew into life. But the affections
of his parents were settled on his more promising brother; and his manners
daily increasing in their repulsive traits, drove his companions to the
society of others, more agreeable to their own buoyancy and joy.

Had Francis Denbigh, at this age, met with a guardian clear-sighted enough
to fathom his real character, and competent to direct his onward course,
he would yet have become an ornament to his name and country, and a useful
member of society. But no such guide existed. His natural guardians, in
his particular case, were his worst enemies; and the boys left school for
college four years afterwards, each advanced in his respective properties
of attraction and repulsion.

Irreligion is hardly a worse evil in a family than favoritism. When once
allowed to exist, in the breast of the parent, though hid apparently from
all other eyes, its sad consequences begin to show themselves. Effects are
produced, and we look in vain for the cause. The awakened sympathies of
reciprocal caresses and fondness are mistaken for uncommon feelings, and
the forbidding aspect of deadened affections is miscalled native
sensibility.

In this manner the evil increases itself, until manners are formed, and
characters created, that must descend with their possessor to the tomb.

In the peculiar formation of the mind of Francis Denbigh, the evil was
doubly injurious. His feelings required sympathy and softness, and they
met only with coldness and disgust. George alone was an exception to the
rule. _He_ did love his brother; but even his gaiety and spirits finally
tired of the dull uniformity of the diseased habits of his senior.

The only refuge Francis found in his solitude, amidst the hundreds of the
university, was in his muse and in the powers of melody. The voice of his
family has been frequently mentioned in these pages; and if, as Lady Laura
had intimated, there had ever been a siren in the race, it was a male one.
He wrote prettily, and would sing these efforts of his muse to music of
his own, drawing crowds around his windows, in the stillness of the night,
to listen to sounds as melodious as they were mournful. His poetical
efforts partook of the distinctive character of the man, being melancholy,
wild, and sometimes pious.

George was always amongst the most admiring of his brother's auditors, and
would feel a yearning of his heart towards him, at such moments, that was
painful. But George was too young and too heedless, to supply the place of
a monitor, or to draw his thoughts into a more salutary train. This was
the _duty_ of his parents, and should have been their _task_. But the
world, his rising honors, and his professional engagements, occupied the
time of the father; and fashion, parties, and pleasure, killed the time of
his mother. When they did think of their children, it was of George; the
painful image of Francis being seldom admitted to disturb their serenity.

George Denbigh was open-hearted without suspicion, and a favorite. The
first quality taxed his generosity, the second subjected him to fraud, and
the third supplied him with the means. But these means sometimes failed.
The fortune of the general, though handsome, was not more than competent
to support his style of living. He expected to be a duke himself one day,
and was anxious to maintain an appearance now that would not disgrace his
future elevation. A system of strict but liberal economy had been adopted
in the case of his sons. They had, for the sake of appearances, a stated
and equal allowance.

The duke had offered to educate the heir himself, and under his own eye.
But to this Lady Margaret had found some ingenious excuse, and one that
seemed to herself and the world honorable to her natural feeling; but had
the offer been made to George, these reasons would have vanished in the
desire to advance his interests, or to gratify his propensities. Such
decisions are by no means uncommon; parents having once decided on the
merits and abilities of their children, frequently decline the
interference of third persons, since the improvement of their denounced
offspring might bring their own judgment into question, if it did not
convey an indirect censure on their justice.

The heedlessness of George brought his purse to a state of emptiness. His
last guinea was gone, and two months were wanting to the end of the
quarter. George had played and been cheated. He had ventured to apply to
his mother for small sums, when his dress or some trifling indulgence
required an advance; and always with success. But here were sixty guineas
gone at a blow, and pride, candor, forbade his concealing the manner of
his loss, if he made the application. This was dreadful; his own
conscience reproached him, and he had so often witnessed the violence of
his mother's resentments against Francis, for faults which appeared to him
very trivial, not to stand in the utmost dread of her more just
displeasure in the present case.

Entering the apartment of his brother, in this disturbed condition, George
threw himself into a chair, and with his face concealed between his hands,
sat brooding over his forlorn situation.

"George!" said his brother, soothingly, "you are in distress; can I
relieve you in any way?"

"Oh no--no--no--Frank; it is entirely out of your power."

"Perhaps not, my dear brother," continued the other, endeavoring to draw
his hand into his own.

"Entirely! entirely!" said George. Then springing up in despair, he
exclaimed, "But I must live--I cannot die."

"Live! die!" cried Francis, recoiling in horror. "What do you mean by such
language? Tell me, George, am I not your brother? Your only brother and
best friend?"

Francis felt he had no friend if George was not that friend, and his face
grew pale while the tears flowed rapidly down his cheeks.

George could not resist such an appeal. He caught the hand of his brother
and made him acquainted with his losses and his wants.

Francis mused some little time over his narration, ere he broke silence.

"It was all you had?"

"The last shilling," cried George, beating his head with his hand.

"How much will you require to make out the quarter?"

"Oh I must have at least fifty guineas, or how can I live at all?"

The ideas of life in George were connected a good deal with the manner it
was to be enjoyed. His brother appeared struggling with himself, and then
turning to the other, continued,

"But surely, under present circumstances, you could make less do."

"Less, never--hardly that"--interrupted George, vehemently. "If Lady
Margaret did not inclose me a note now and then, how could we get along at
all? don't you find it so yourself, brother?"

"I don't know," said Francis, turning pale--

"Don't know!" cried George, catching a view of his altered
countenance--"you get the money, though?"

"I do not remember it," said the other, sighing heavily.

"Francis," cried George, comprehending the truth, "you shall share every
shilling I receive in future--you shall--indeed you shall."

"Well, then," rejoined Francis with a smile, "it is a bargain; and you
will receive from me a supply in your present necessities."

Without waiting for an answer, Francis withdrew into an inner apartment,
and brought out the required sum for his brother's subsistence for two
months. George remonstrated, but Francis was positive; he had been saving,
and his stock was ample for his simple habits without it.

"Besides, you forget we are partners, and in the end I shall be a gainer."

George yielded to his wants and his brother's entreaties, and he gave him
great credit for the disinterestedness of the act. Several weeks passed
without any further allusion to this disagreeable subject, which had at
least the favorable result of making George more guarded and a better
student.

The brothers, from this period, advanced gradually in those distinctive
qualities which were to mark the future men; George daily improving in
grace and attraction, Francis, in an equal ratio, receding from those very
attainments which it was his too great desire to possess. In the education
of his sons, General Denbigh had preserved the appearance of impartiality;
his allowance to each was the same: they were at the same college, they
had been at the same school; and if Frank did not improve as much as his
younger brother, it was unquestionably his own obstinacy and stupidity,
and surely not want of opportunity or favor.

Such, then, were the artificial and accidental causes, which kept a noble,
a proud, an acute but a diseased mind, in acquirements much below another
every way its inferior, excepting in the happy circumstance of wanting
those very excellences, the excess and indiscreet management of which
proved the ruin instead of the blessing of their possessor.

The duke would occasionally rouse himself from his lethargy, and complain
to the father, that the heir of his honors was far inferior to his younger
brother in acquirements, and remonstrate against the course which produced
such an unfortunate inequality. On these occasions a superficial statement
of his system from the general met the objection; they cost the same
money, and he was sure he not only wished but did everything an indulgent
parent could, to render Francis worthy of his future honors. Another evil
of the admission of feelings of partiality, in the favor of one child, to
the prejudice of another, is that the malady is contagious as well as
lasting: it exists without our own knowledge, and it seldom fails to
affect those around us. The uncle soon learnt to distinguish George as the
hope of the family, yet Francis must be the heir of its honors, and
consequently of its wealth.

The duke and his brother were not much addicted to action, hardly to
reflection; but if anything could rouse them to either, it was the
reputation of the house of Denbigh. Their ideas of reputation, it is true,
were of their own forming.

The hour at length drew near when George expected a supply from the
ill-judged generosity of his mother; it came, and with a heart beating
with pleasure, the youth flew to the room of Francis with a determination
to force the whole of his twenty pounds on his acceptance. On throwing
open his door, he saw his brother evidently striving to conceal something
behind his books. It was at the hour of breakfast, and George had intended
for a novelty to share his brother's morning repast. They always met at
dinner, but the other meals were made in their own rooms. George looked in
vain for the usual equipage of the table; suspicion flashed upon him; he
threw aside the books, and a crust of bread and a glass of water met his
eye; the truth now flashed upon him in all its force.

"Francis, my brother, to what has my extravagance reduced you!" exclaimed
the contrite George with a heart nearly ready to burst. Francis endeavored
to explain, but a sacred regard to the truth held him tongue-tied, until
dropping his head on the shoulder of George, he sobbed out--

"It is a trifle; nothing to what I would do for you, my brother."

George felt all the horrors of remorse, and was much too generous to
conceal his error any longer; he wrote a circumstantial account of the
whole transaction to Lady Margaret.

Francis for a few days was a new being. He had acted nobly, his conscience
approved of his motives, and of his delicate concealment of them; he in
fact began to think there were in himself the seeds of usefulness, as his
brother, who from this moment began to understand his character better,
attached himself more closely to him.

The eye of Francis met that of George with the look of acknowledged
affection, his mind became less moody, and his face was sometimes
embellished with a smile.

The reply of their mother to the communication of George threw a damp on
the revived hopes of the senior, and drove him back into himself with
tenfold humility.

"I am shocked, my child, to find that you have lowered yourself, and
forgot the family you belong to, so much as to frequent those
gambling-houses, which ought not to be suffered in the neighborhood of the
universities: when at a proper age and in proper company, your occasional
indulgence at cards I could not object to, as both your father and myself
sometimes resort to it as an amusement, but never in low company. The
consequence of mingling in such society is, that you were cheated, and
such will always be your lot unless you confine yourself to associates
more becoming your rank and illustrious name.

"As to Francis, I see every reason to condemn the course he has taken.
Being the senior by a year, he should have taken the means to prevent your
falling into such company; and he should have acquainted me immediately
with your loss, in place of wounding your pride by subjecting you to the
mortification of receiving a pecuniary obligation from one so little older
than yourself, and exposing his own health by a diet on bread and water,
as you wrote me, for a whole month. Both the general and myself are
seriously displeased with him, and think of separating you, as you thus
connive at each other's follies."

George was too indignant to conceal this letter and the reflections of
Francis were dreadful.

For a short time he actually meditated suicide, as the only method of
removing himself from before the advancement of George. Had not George
been more attentive and affectionate than formerly, the awful expedient
might have been resorted to.

From college the young men went, one into the army and the other to the
mansion of his uncle. George became an elegant, gay, open-hearted, admired
captain in the guards; and Francis stalked through the halls of his
ancestors, their acknowledged future lord, but a misanthrope; hateful to
himself and disagreeable to all around him.

This picture may be highly wrought, but the effects, in the case of
Francis, were increased by the peculiar tone of his diseased state of
mind. The indulgence of favoritism, nevertheless, always brings its own
sad consequences, in a greater or less degree, while it seldom fails to
give sorrow and penitence to the bosom of the parents.



Chapter XLIII.



No little art and management had been necessary to make the admiral
auxiliary to the indirect plan proposed by his friend to bring George and
Isabel together. This, however, effected, the general turned his whole
strategy to the impression to be made on the heart of the young gentleman.

Sir Frederick Denbigh had the same idea of the virtue of management as the
Dowager Lady Chatterton, but he understood human nature better.

Like a prudent officer, his attacks were all masked, and, like a great
officer, they seldom failed of success.

The young couple were thrown in each other's way, and as Isabel was
extremely attractive, somewhat the opposite to himself in ardor of
temperament and vivacity, modest, and sensible, it cannot be expected that
the association was maintained by the youth with perfect impunity. Within
a couple of months he fancied himself desperately in love with Isabel
Howell; and, in truth, he had some reason for the supposition.

The general watched every movement of his son with a wary and vigilant
eye--occasionally adding fuel to the flame, by drawing his attention to
projects of matrimony in other quarters, until George began to think he
was soon to undergo a trial of his constancy, and in consequence he armed
himself with a double portion of admiration for his Isabel, in order to
enable himself to endure the persecution; while the admiral several times
endangered the success of the whole enterprise by volunteer contributions
to the hopes of the young man, which only escaped producing an opposite
effect to that which was intended, by being mistaken for the overflowings
of good nature and friendship.

After suffering his son to get, as he thought, sufficiently entangled in
the snares of Cupid, Sir Frederick determined to fire a volley from one of
his masked batteries, which he rightly judged would bring on a general
engagement. They were sitting at the table after dinner, alone, when the
general took the advantage of the name of Miss Howell being accidentally
mentioned, to say--

"By the by, George, my friend the admiral said something yesterday on the
subject of your being so much with his daughter. I wish you to be
cautious, and not to give the old sailor offence in any way, for he is my
particular friend."

"He need be under no violent apprehensions," cried George, coloring highly
with shame and pride, "I am sure a Denbigh is no unworthy match for a
daughter of Sir Peter Howell."

"Oh! to be sure not, boy, we are as old a house as there is in the
kingdom, and as noble too; but the admiral has queer notions, and,
perhaps, he has some cub of a sailor in his eye for a son-in-law. Be
prudent, my boy, be prudent; that is all I ask of you."

The general, satisfied with the effect he had produced, carelessly arose
from his seat, and joined Lady Margaret in her drawing-room.

George remained for several minutes musing on his father's singular
request, as well as the admiral's caution, when he sprang from his seat,
caught up his hat and sword, and in ten minutes rang at Sir Peter's door
in Grosvenor Square. He was admitted, and ascending to the drawing-room,
he met the admiral on his way out. Nothing was further from the thoughts
of the veteran than a finesse like the general's; and, delighted to see
George on the battle-ground, he pointed significantly over his shoulder
towards the door of the room Isabel was in, and exclaimed, with a
good-natured smile,

"There she is, my hearty; lay her aside, and hang me if she don't strike.
I say, George, faint heart never won fair lady: remember that, my boy; no,
nor a French ship."

George would have been at some loss to have reconciled this speech to his
father's caution, if time had been allowed him to think at all; but the
door being open he entered, and found Isabel endeavoring to hide her
tears.

The admiral, dissatisfied from the beginning with the tardy method of
despatching things, thought he might be of use in breaking the ice for
George, by trumpeting his praises on divers occasions to his daughter.
Under all circumstances, he thought she might be learning to love the man,
as he was to be her husband; and speeches like the following had been
frequent of late from the parent to the child:

"There's that youngster, George Denbigh: now, Bell, is he not a fine
looking lad? Then I know he is brave. His father before him, was good
stuff and a true Englishman. What a proper husband he would make for a
young woman, he loves his king and country so; none of your new-fangled
notions about religion and government, but a sober, religious churchman;
that is, as much so, girl, as you can expect in the guards. No Methodist,
to be sure;--it's a great pity he wasn't sent to sea, don't you think so?
But cheer up, girl, one of these days he may be taking a liking to you
yet."

Isabel, whose fears taught her the meaning of these eloquent praises of
Captain Denbigh, listened to these harangues in silence, and often
meditated on their import by herself in tears.

George approached the sofa on which the lady was seated before she had
time to conceal the traces of her sorrow, and in a voice softened by
emotion, he took her hand gently as he said,--

"What can have occasioned this distress to Miss Howell. If anything in my
power to remove, or which a life devoted to her service can mitigate, she
has only to command me to find a cheerful obedience."

"The trifling causes of sorrow in a young woman," replied Isabel,
endeavoring to smile, "will hardly require such serious services to remove
them."

But the lady was extremely interesting at the moment. George was goaded by
his father's caution, and urged on by his own feelings, with great
sincerity, and certainly much eloquence, he therefore proffered his love
and hand to the acceptance of his mistress.

Isabel heard him in painful silence. She respected him, and dreaded his
power over her father; but, unwilling to abandon hopes to which she yet
clung as to her spring of existence, with a violent effort she determined
to throw herself on the generosity of her lover.

During her father's late absence Isabel had, as usual, since the death of
her mother, been left with his sister, and had formed an attachment for a
young clergyman, a younger son of a baronet, and the present Dr. Ives. The
inclination had been mutual; and as Lady Hawker knew her brother to be
perfectly indifferent to money, she could see no possible objection to its
indulgence.

On his return, Ives made his proposals, as related; and although warmly
backed by the recommendations of the aunt, he was refused. Out of delicacy
the wishes of Isabel had not been mentioned by her clerical lover, and
the admiral supposed he had only complied with his agreement with the
general, without in any manner affecting the happiness of his daughter by
his answer. But the feelings which prompted the request still remained in
full vigor in the lovers; and Isabel now, with many blushes and some
hesitation of utterance, made George fully acquainted with the state of
her heart, giving him at the same time to understand that he was the only
obstacle to her happiness.

It cannot be supposed that George heard her without pain or mortification.
The struggle with self-love was a severe one, but his better feelings
prevailed, and he assured the anxious Isabel that from his importunities
she had nothing to apprehend in future. The grateful girl overwhelmed him
with thanks, and George had to fly ere he repented of his own generosity.

Miss Howell intimated, in the course of her narrative, that a better
understanding existed between their parents than the caution of the
general had discovered to his unsuspecting child, and George was
determined to know the worst at once.

At supper he mentioned, as if in remembrance of his father's injunction,
that he had been to take his leave of Miss Howell, since he found his
visits gave uneasiness to her friends. "On the whole," he added,
endeavoring to yawn carelessly, "I believe I shall visit there no more."

"Nay, nay," returned Sir Frederick, a little displeased at his son's
obedience, "I meant no such thing. Neither the admiral nor myself, has the
least objection to your visiting in moderation; indeed, you may marry the
girl with all our hearts, if you can agree."

"But we can't agree, I take it," said George, looking up at the wall.

"Why not? what hinders?' cried his father unguardedly.

"Only--only I don't like her," said the son, tossing off a glass of wine,
which nearly strangled him.

"You don't," cried the general with great warmth, thrown entirely off his
guard by this unexpected declaration "and may I presume to ask the reason
why you do not like Miss Howell, sir?"

"Oh! you know, one never pretends to give a reason for this sort of
feeling, my dear sir."

"Then," cried his father with increasing heat, "you must allow me to say,
my dear sir, that the sooner you get rid of these sort of feelings the
better. I choose you shall not only like, but love Miss Howell; and this I
have promised her father."

"I thought that the admiral was displeased with my coming to his house so
much--or did I not understand you this morning?"

"I know nothing of his displeasure, and care less. He has agreed that
Isabel shall be your wife, and I have passed my word to the engagement;
and if, sir, you wish to be considered as my son, you will prepare to
comply."

George was expecting to discover some management on the part of his
father, but by no means so settled an arrangement, and his anger was in
proportion to the deception.

To annoy Isabel any further was out of the question; to betray her, base;
and the next morning he sought an audience with the Duke. To him he
mentioned his wish for actual service, but hinted that the maternal
fondness of Lady Margaret was averse to his seeking it. This was true, and
George now pressed his uncle to assist him in effecting an exchange.

The boroughs of the Duke of Derwent were represented by loyal members of
parliament, his two brothers being contemporary with Mr. Benfield in that
honor; and a request from a man who sent six members to the Commons,
besides having a seat in the Lords in his own person, must be listened to.

Within the week George ceased to be a captain in the guards, and became
lieutenant-colonel of a regiment under orders for America.

Sir Frederick soon became sensible of the error his warmth had led him
into, and endeavored, by soothing and indulgence, to gain the ground he
had so unguardedly lost. But terrible was his anger, and bitter his
denunciations, when his son acquainted him with his approaching
embarkation with his new regiment for America. They quarrelled; and as the
favorite child had never, until now, been thwarted or spoken harshly to,
they parted in mutual disgust. With his mother George was more tender; and
as Lady Margaret never thought the match such as the descendant of two
lines of dukes was entitled to form, she almost pardoned the offence in
the cause.

"What's this here?" cried Sir Peter Howell, as he ran over a morning paper
at the breakfast table: "Captain Denbigh, late of the guards, has been
promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the ---- Foot, and sails to-morrow
to join that regiment, now on its way to America."

"It's a lie, Bell!--it's all a lie! not but what he ought to be there,
too, serving his king and country; but he never would serve you so."

"Me?" said Isabel, with a heart throbbing with the contending feelings of
admiration for George's generosity, and delight at her own deliverance.
"What have I to do with the movements of Mr. Denbigh?"

"What!" cried her father in astonishment; "a'n't you to be his wife,
a'n't it all agreed upon--that is, between Sir Frederick and me, which is
the same thing, you know--"

Here he was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the general himself,
who had just learnt the departure of his son and hastened, with the double
purpose of breaking the intelligence to his friend, and of making his own
peace.

"See here, Denbigh," exclaimed the admiral, pointing to the paragraph,
"what do you say to that?"

"Too true--too true, my dear friend," replied the general shaking his head
mournfully.

"Hark ye, Sir Frederick Denbigh," cried the admiral fiercely; "did you not
say that your son George was to marry my daughter?"

"I certainly did, Sir Peter, and am sorry to say that, in defiance of my
entreaties and commands, he has deserted his' home, and, in consequence, I
have discarded him for ever."

"Now, Denbigh," said the admiral, a good deal mollified by this
declaration, "have I not always told you, that in the army you know
nothing of discipline? Why, sir, if he was a son of mine, he should marry
blindfolded, if I chose to order it. I wish, now, Bell had an offer, and
dared to refuse it."

"There is the barber's clerk, you know," said the general, a good deal
irritated by the contemptuous manner of his friend.

"And what of that, Sir Frederick?" said the sailor sternly; "if I choose
her to marry a quill-driver, she shall comply."

"Ah! my good friend," said the general, willing to drop the disagreeable
subject, "I am afraid we shall both find it more difficult to control the
affections of our children than we at first imagined."

"You do, General Denbigh?" said the admiral, with a curl of contempt on
his lip; and ringing the bell violently, he bid the servant send his young
lady to him.

On the appearance of Isabel, her father inquired with an air of settled
meaning where young Mr. Ives resided. It was only in the next street, and
a messenger was sent to him, with Sir Peter Howell's compliments, and a
request to see him without a moment's delay.

"We'll see, we'll see, my old friend, who keeps the best discipline,"
muttered the admiral, as he paced up and down the room, in eager
expectation of the return of his messenger.

The wondering general gazed on his friend, to ascertain if he was out of
his senses. He knew he was quick to decide, and excessively obstinate, but
he did not think him so crazy as to throw away his daughter in a fit of
spleen. It never occurred to Sir Frederick, however, that the engagement
with himself was an act of equal injustice and folly, because it was done
with more form and deliberation, which, to the eye of sober reason, would
rather make the matter worse. Isabel sat in trembling suspense for the
issue of the scene, and Ives in a few minutes made his appearance in no
little alarm.

On entering, the admiral addressed him abruptly, by inquiring if he still
wished to marry that girl, pointing to his daughter. The reply was an
eager affirmative. Sir Peter beckoned to Isabel, who approached, covered
with blushes; and her father having placed her hand in that of her lover,
with an air of great solemnity he gave them his blessing. The young people
withdrew to another room at Sir Peter's request, when he turned to his
friend, delighted with his own decision and authority, and exclaimed,

"There, Fred. Denbigh, that is what I call being minded."

The general had penetration enough to see that the result was agreeable
to both the young people, a thing he had long apprehended; and being glad
to get rid of the affair in any way that did not involve him in a quarrel
with his old comrade, he gravely congratulated the admiral on his good
fortune and retired.

"Yes, yes," said Sir Peter to himself, as he paced up and down his room,
"Denbigh is mortified enough, with his joy, and felicity, and
grand-children. I never had any opinion of their manner of discipline at
all; too much bowing and scraping. I'm sorry, though, he is a priest; not
but what a priest may be as good a man as another, but let him behave ever
so well, he can only get to be a bishop at the most. Heaven forbid he
should ever get to be a Pope! After all, his boys may be admirals if they
behave themselves;" and he went to seek his daughter, having in
imagination manned her nursery with vice and rear admirals in embryo by
the half dozen.

Sir Peter Howell survived the marriage of his daughter but eighteen
months; yet that was sufficient time to become attached to his invaluable
son-in-law. Mr. Ives insensibly led the admiral, during his long
indisposition, to a more correct view of sacred things, than he had been
wont to entertain; and the old man breathed his last, blessing both his
children for their kindness, and with an humble hope of future happiness.
Some time before his death, Isabel, whose conscience had always reproached
her with the deception practised on her father, and with the banishment of
George from his country and home, threw herself at the feet of Sir Peter
and acknowledged her transgression.

The admiral heard her in astonishment, but not in anger. His opinions of
life had sensibly changed, and his great cause of satisfaction with his
new son removed all motives for regret for anything but for the fate of
poor George. With the noble forbearance and tenderness of the young man to
his daughter, the hardy veteran was sensibly touched; and his entreaties
with Sir Frederick made his peace with a father already longing for the
return of his only hope.

The admiral left Colonel Denbigh his blessing, and his favorite pistols,
as a remembrance of his esteem; but he did not live to see the reunion
with his family.

George had soon learnt, deprived of hope and in the midst of novelty, to
forget a passion which could no longer be prosperous; and two years from
his departure returned to England, glowing in health, and improved in
person and manners by a more extensive knowledge of the world and mankind.



Chapter XLIV.



During the time occupied by the foregoing events, Francis continued a
gloomy inmate of his uncle's house. The duke and his brother George were
too indolent and inactive in their minds to pierce the cloud that
mortification and deadened affections had drawn around the real character
of their nephew; and although he was tolerated as the heir, he was but
little loved as a man.

In losing his brother, Francis lost the only human being with whom he
possessed any sympathies in common; and he daily drew more and more into
himself, in gloomy meditation on his forlorn situation, in the midst of
wealth and expected honors. The attentions he received were paid to his
rank, and Francis had penetration enough to perceive it. His visits to his
parents were visits of ceremony, and in time all parties came to look to
their termination with pleasure, as to the discontinuance of heartless and
forced civilities.

Affection, even in the young man, could not endure, repulsed as his
feelings were, for ever; and in the course of three years, if his
attachments were not alienated from his parents, his ardor had become much
abated.

It is a dreadful truth, that the bonds of natural affection can be broken
by injustice and contumely; and it is yet more to be deplored, that when
from such causes we loosen the ties habit and education have drawn around
us, a reaction in our feelings commences; we seldom cease to love, but we
begin to hate. Against such awful consequences it is one of the most
solemn duties of the parent to provide in season; and what surer
safeguard is there, than to inculcate those feelings which teach the mind
to love God, and in so doing induce love to the whole human family?

Sir Frederick and Lady Margaret attended the church regularly, repeated
the responses with much decency, toasted the church next to the king, even
appeared at the altars of their God, and continued sinners. From such
sowings, no good fruit could be expected to flourish: yet Francis was not
without his hours of devotion; but his religion was, like himself,
reserved, superstitious, ascetic, and gloomy. He never entered into social
worship: if he prayed it was with an ill-concealed wish to end this life
of care. If he returned thanks, it was with a bitterness that mocked the
throne before which he was prostrate. Such pictures are revolting; but
their originals have and do exist; for what enormity is there of which
human frailty, unchecked by divine assistance, may not be guilty?

Francis received an invitation to visit a brother of his mother's at his
seat in the country, about the time of the expected return of George from
America; and in compliance with the wishes of his uncles he accepted it.
The house was thronged with visitors, and many of them were ladies. To
these, the arrival of the unmarried heir of the house of Derwent was a
subject of no little interest. His character had, however, preceded him,
and a few days of his awkward and, as they conceived, sullen deportment,
drove them back to their former beaux, with the exception of one; and she
was not only amongst the fairest of the throng, but decidedly of the
highest pretensions on the score of birth and fortune.

Marian Lumley was the only surviving child of the last Duke of Annerdale,
with whom had expired the higher honors of his house. But the Earldom of
Pendennyss, with numerous ancient baronies, were titles in fee; and
together with his princely estates had descended to his daughter as
heir-general of the family. A peeress in her own right, with an income far
exceeding her utmost means of expenditure, the lovely Countess of
Pendennyss was a prize aimed at by all the young nobles of the empire.

Educated in the midst of flatterers and dependants she had become haughty,
vain, and supercilious; still she was lovely, and no one knew better how
to practise the most winning arts of her sex, when whim or interest
prompted her to the trial.

Her host was her guardian and relative; and through his agency she had
rejected, at the age of twenty, numerous suitors for her hand. Her eyes
were fixed on the ducal coronet; and unfortunately for Francis Denbigh, he
was, at the time, the only man of the proper age who could elevate her to
that enviable distinction in the kingdom; and an indirect measure of her
own had been the means of his invitation to the country.

Like the rest of her young companions, Marian was greatly disappointed on
the view of her intended captive, and for a day or two she abandoned him
to his melancholy and himself. But ambition was her idol; and to its
powerful rival, love, she was yet a stranger. After a few struggles with
her inclinations the consideration that their united fortunes and family
alliances would make one of the wealthiest and most powerful houses in the
kingdom, prevailed. Such early sacrifices of the inclinations in a woman
of her beauty, youth and accomplishments, may excite surprise; but where
the mind is left uncultivated by the hand of care, the soul untouched by
the love of goodness, the human heart seldom fails to set up an idol of
its own to worship. In the Countess of Pendennyss this idol was pride.

The remainder of the ladies, from ceasing to wonder at the manners of
Francis, had made them the subject of their mirth; and nettled at his
apparent indifference to their society, which they erroneously attributed
to his sense of his importance, they overstepped the bounds of
good-breeding in manifesting their displeasure.

"Mr. Denbigh," cried one of the most thoughtless and pretty of the gay
tribe to him one day, as Francis sat in a corner abstracted from the scene
around him, "when do you mean to favor the world with your brilliant ideas
in the shape of a book?"

"Oh! no doubt soon," said a second; "and I expect they will be homilies,
or another volume to the Whole Duty of Man."

"Rather," cried a third, with bitter irony, "another canto to the Rape of
the Lock, his ideas are so vivid and full of imagery."

"Or, what do you think," said a fourth, speaking in a voice of harmony,
and tones of the most soothing tenderness, "of pity and compassion, for
the follies of those inferior minds, who cannot enjoy the reflections of a
good sense and modesty peculiarly his own?"

This might also be irony; and Francis thought it so; but the tones were so
soft and conciliating, that with a face pale with his emotions, he
ventured to look up and met the eye of Marian, fixed on him in an
expression that changed his death-like hue into the color of vermillion.

He thought of this speech; he reasoned on it; he dreamt on it. But for the
looks which accompanied it, like the rest of the party, he would have
thought it the cruellest cut of them all. But that look, those eyes, that
voice, what a commentary on her language did they not afford!

Francis was not long in suspense; the next morning an excursion was
proposed, which included all but himself in its arrangements. He was
either too reserved or too proud to offer services which were not
required.

Several gentlemen had contended for the honor of driving the countess in a
beautiful phaeton of her own. They grew earnest in their claims: one had
been promised by its mistress with an opportunity of trying the ease of
the carriage; another was delighted with the excellent training of her
horses; in short, all had some particular claim to the distinction, which
was urged with a warmth and pertinacity proportionate to the value of the
prize to be obtained. Marian heard the several claimants with an ease and
indifference natural to her situation, and ended the dispute by saying--

"Gentlemen, as I have made so many promises from the dread of giving
offence, I must throw myself on the mercy of Mr. Denbigh, who alone, with
the best claims, does not urge them; to you then," continued she,
approaching him with the whip which was to be given the victor, "I adjudge
the prize, if you will condescend to accept it."

This was uttered with one of her most attractive smiles, and Francis
received the whip with an emotion that he with difficulty could control.

The gentlemen were glad to have the contest decided by adjudging the prize
to one so little dangerous, and the ladies sneered at her choice as they
left the house.

There was something so soothing in the manners of Lady Pendennyss, she
listened to the little he said with such a respectful attention, was so
anxious to have him give his opinions, that the unction of flattery, thus
sweetly applied, and for the first time, could not fail of its wonted
effects.

The communications thus commenced were continued. It was so easy to be
attentive, by being simply polite to one unused to notice of any kind,
that Marian found the fate of the young man in her hands almost as soon
as she attempted to control it.

A new existence opened upon Francis, as day after day she insensibly led
him to a display of powers he was unconscious until now of possessing
himself. His self-respect began to increase, his limited pleasures to
multiply, and he could now look around him with a sense of participation
in the delights of life, as he perceived himself of consequence to this
much admired woman.

Trifling incidents, managed on her part with consummate art, had led him
to the daring inference that he was not entirely indifferent to her; and
Francis returned the incipient affection of his mistress with a feeling
but little removed from adoration. Week flew by after week, and still he
lingered at the residence of his kinsman, unable to tear himself from the
society of one so worshipped, and yet afraid to take a step by making a
distinct declaration which might involve him in disgrace or ridicule.

The condescension of the countess increased, and she had indirectly given
him the most flattering assurances of his success, when George, just
arrived from America, having first paid his greetings to his reconciled
parents, and the happy couple of his generosity, flew to the arms of his
brother in Suffolk.

Francis was overjoyed to see George, and George delighted in the visible
improvement of his brother. Still Francis was far, very far behind his
junior in graces of mind and body; indeed, few men in England were more
adapted by nature and education for female society than was Colonel
Denbigh at the period of which we write.

Marian witnessed all his attractions, and deeply felt their influence; for
the first time she felt the emotions of the gentle passion; and after
having sported in the gay world, and trifled with the feelings of others
for years, the countess in her turn became an unwilling victim to its
power. George met her flame with a corresponding ardor, and the struggle
between ambition and love became severe; the brothers unconsciously were
rivals.

Had George for a moment suspected the situation of the feelings of
Francis, his very superiority in the contest would have induced him to
retreat from the unnatural rivalry. Had the elder dreamt of the views of
his junior, he would have abandoned his dearest hopes in utter despair.
Francis had so long been accustomed to consider George as his superior in
everything, that a competition with him would have appeared desperate.
Marian contrived to keep both in hopes, undecided herself which to choose,
and perhaps ready to yield to the first applicant. A sudden event,
however, removed all doubts, and decided the fate of the three.

The Duke of Derwent and his bachelor brother became so dissatisfied with
the character of their future heir, that they as coolly set about
providing themselves with wives as they had performed any other ordinary
transaction of life, They married cousins, and on the same day the choice
of the ladies was assigned between them by lots; and if his grace got the
prettier, his brother certainly got the richest; under the circumstances a
very tolerable distribution of fortune's favors.

These double marriages dissolved the charm of Francis, and Lady Pendennyss
determined to consult her wishes; a little pointed encouragement brought
out the declaration of George, and he was accepted.

Francis, who had never communicated his feelings to any one but the lady,
and that only indirectly, was crushed by the blow. He continued in public
until the day of their union; was present, composed and silent; but it
was the silence of a mountain whose volcanic contents had not reached the
surface. The same day he disappeared, and every inquiry after him proved
fruitless; search was baffled, and for seven years it was not known what
had become of the general's eldest son.

George on marrying resigned his commission, at the earnest entreaties of
his wife, and retired to one of her seats, to the enjoyment of ease and
domestic love. The countess was enthusiastically attached to him; and as
motives for the indulgence of coquetry were wanting, her character became
gradually improved by the contemplation of the excellent qualities of her
generous husband.

A lurking suspicion of the cause of Francis's sudden disappearance
rendered her uneasy at times; but Marian was too much beloved, too happy,
in the enjoyment of too many honors, and of too great wealth, to be open
to the convictions of conscience. It is in our hours of pain and privation
that we begin to feel its sting: if we are prosperous, we fancy we reap
the fruits of our own merit; but if we are unfortunate, the voice of truth
seldom fails to remind us that we are deserving of our fate:--a blessed
provision of Providence that often makes the saddest hours of our earthly
career the morn of a day that is to endure for ever.

General Denbigh and Lady Margaret both died within five years of the
marriage of their favorite child, although both lived to see their
descendant, in the person of the infant Lord Lumley.

The duke and his brother George were each blessed with offspring, and in
these several descendants of the different branches of the family of
Denbigh may be seen the different personages of our history. On the birth
of her youngest child, the Lady Marian, the Countess of Pendennyss
sustained a shock in her health from which she never wholly recovered: she
became nervous, and lost most of her energy both of mind and body. Her
husband was her solace; his tenderness remaining unextinguished, while his
attentions increased.

As the fortune of Ives and Isabel put the necessity of a living out of the
question, and no cure offering for the acceptance of the first, he was
happy to avail himself of an offer to become domestic chaplain to his now
intimate friend, Mr. Denbigh. For the first six years they were inmates of
Pendennyss Castle. The rector of the parish was infirm, and averse to a
regular assistant; but the unobtrusive services of Mr. Ives were not less
welcome to the pastor than to his parishioners.

Employed in the duties which of right fell to the incumbent, and intrusted
with the spiritual guardianship of the dependants of the castle, our young
clergyman had ample occupation for all his time, if not a sufficient
theatre for his usefulness. Isabel and himself remained the year round in
Wales, and the first dawnings of education received by Lord Lumley were
those he acquired conjointly with Francis from the care of the latter's
father. They formed, with the interval of the time spent by Mr. Denbigh
and Lady Pendennyss in town in winter, but one family. To the gentleman,
the attachment of the grateful Ives was as strong as it was lasting. Mrs.
Ives never ceased to consider him as a self-devoted victim to her
happiness; and although a far more brilliant lot had awaited him by the
change, yet her own husband could not think it a more happy one.

The birth of Lady Marian had already, in its consequences, begun, to throw
a gloom round the domestic comforts of Denbigh, when he was to sustain
another misfortune in a separation from his friends.

Mr., now Dr. Ives, had early announced his firm intention, whenever an
opportunity was afforded him, to enter into the fullest functions of his
ministry, as a matter of duty. Such an opportunity now offered at B----,
and the doctor became its rector about the period Sir Edward became
possessor of his paternal estate.

Denbigh tried every inducement within his power to keep the doctor in his
own society. If as many thousands as his living would give him hundreds
could effect it, they would have been at his service; but Denbigh
understood the character of the divine too well to offer such an
inducement: he however urged the claims of friendship to the utmost, but
without success. The doctor acknowledged the hold both himself and family
had gained upon his affections, but he added--

"Consider, my dear Mr. Denbigh, what we would have thought of one of the
earlier followers of our Saviour, who from motives of convenience or
worldly-mindedness could have deserted his sacred calling. Although the
changes in the times may have rendered the modes of conducting them
different, necessarily the duties remain the same. The minister of our
holy religion who has once submitted to the call of his divine Master,
must allow nothing but ungovernable necessity to turn him from the path he
has entered on; and should he so far forget himself, I greatly fear he
would plead, when too late to remedy the evil, his worldly duties, his
cares, or even his misfortunes, in vain. Solemn and arduous are his
obligations to labor, but when faithfully he has discharged these duties,
oh! how glorious must be his reward."

Before such opinions every barrier must fall, and the doctor entered into
the cure of his parish without further opposition, though not without
unceasing regret on the part of his friend. Their intercourse was,
however, maintained by letter, and they also frequently met at Lumley
Castle, a seat of the countess's, within two days' ride of the doctor's
parish, until her increasing indisposition rendered journeying impossible;
then, indeed, the doctor extended his rides into Wales, but with longer
intervals between his visits, though with the happiest effects to the
objects of his journey.

Mr. Denbigh, worn down with watching and blasted hopes, under the
direction of the spiritual watchfulness of the rector of B----, became an
humble, sincere, and pious Christian.



Chapter XLV.



It has been already mentioned, that the health of Lady Pendennyss suffered
a severe shock, in giving birth to a daughter. Change of scene was
prescribed as a remedy for her disorder, and Denbigh and his wife were on
their return from a fruitless excursion amongst the northern lakes, in
pursuit of amusement and relief for the latter when they were compelled to
seek shelter from the fury of a sudden gust in the first building that
offered. It was a farm-house of the better sort; and the attendants,
carriages, and appearance of their guests, caused no little confusion to
its simple inmates. A fire was lighted in the best parlor, and every
effort was made by the inhabitants to contribute to the comforts of the
travellers.

The countess and her husband were sitting in that kind of listless
melancholy which had been too much the companion of their later hours,
when in the interval of the storm, a male voice in an adjoining room
commenced singing the following ballad, the notes being low, monotonous,
but unusually sweet, and the enunciation so distinct, as to rende every
syllable intelligible:

    Oh! I have lived in endless pain,
    And I have lived, alas! in vain,
      For none regard my woe--
    No father's care conveyed the truth,
    No mother's fondness blessed my youth,
      Ah! joys too great to know--

    And Marian's love, and Marian's pride,
    Have crushed the heart that would have died.
      To save my Marian's tears--
    A brother's hand has struck the blow
    Oh! may that brother never know
      Such madly sorrowing years!

    But hush my griefs--and hush my song,
    I've mourned in vain--I've mourned too long;
      When none have come to soothe--
    And dark's the path, that lies before,
    And dark have been the days of yore,
      And all was dark in youth.

The maids employed around the person of their comfortless mistress, the
valet of Denbigh engaged in arranging a dry coat for his master--all
suspended their employments to listen in breathless silence to the
mournful melody of the song.

But Denbigh himself had started from his seat at the first notes, and he
continued until the voice ceased, gazing in vacant horror in the direction
of the sounds. A door opened from the parlor to the room of the musician;
he rushed through it, and there, in a kind of shed to the building, which
hardly sheltered him from the fury of the tempest, clad in the garments of
the extremest poverty, with an eye roving in madness, and a body rocking
to and fro from mental inquietude, he beheld seated on a stone the remains
of his long lost brother, Francis.

The language of the song was too plain to be misunderstood. The truth
glared around George with a violence that dazzled his brain; but he saw it
all, he felt it all, and rushing to the feet of his brother, he exclaimed
in horror, pressing his hands between his own,--

"Francis--my own brother--do you not know me?"

The maniac regarded him with a vacant gaze, but the voice and the person
recalled the compositions of his more reasonable moments to his
recollection; pushing back the hair of George, so as to expose his fine
forehead to view, he contemplated him for a few moments, and then
continued to sing, in a voice still rendered sweeter than before by his
faint impressions:

    His raven locks, that richly curled,
    His eye, that proud defiance hurled.
      Have stol'n my Marian's love!
    Had I been blest by nature's grace,
    With such a form, with such a face,
      Could I so treacherous prove?

    And what is man--and what is care--
    That he should let such passions tear
      The bases of the soul!
    Oh! you should do, as I have done--
    And having pleasure's summit won,
      Each bursting sob control!

On ending the last stanza, the maniac released his brother, and broke into
the wildest laugh of madness.

"Francis!--Oh! Francis, my brother," cried George, in bitterness. A
piercing shriek drew his eye to the door he had passed through--on its
threshold lay the senseless body of his wife. The distracted husband
forgot everything in the situation of his Marian, and raising her in his
arms, he exclaimed,--

"Marian--my Marian, revive--look up--know me."

Francis had followed him, and now stood by his side, gazing intently on
the lifeless body; his looks became more soft--his eye glanced less
wildly--he too cried,--

"Marian--_My_ Marian."

There was a mighty effort; nature could endure no more, he broke a
blood-vessel and fell at the feet of George. They flew to his assistance,
giving the countess to her women; but he was dead.

For seventeen years Lady Pendennyss survived this shock: but having
reached her own abode, during that long period she never left her room.

In the confidence of his surviving hopes, Doctor Ives and his wife were
made acquainted with the real cause of the grief of their friend, but the
truth went no further. Denbigh was the guardian of his three young
cousins, the duke, his sister, and young George Denbigh; these, with his
son, Lord Lumley, and daughter, Lady Marian, were removed from the
melancholy of the Castle to scenes better adapted to their opening
prospects in life. Yet Lumley was fond of the society of his father, and
finding him a youth endowed beyond his years, the care of his parent was
early turned to the most important of his duties in that sacred office;
and when he yielded to his wishes to go into the army, he knew he went a
youth of sixteen, possessed of principles and self-denial that would
become a man of five-and-twenty.

General Wilson completed the work which the father had begun; and Lord
Lumley formed a singular exception to the character of most of his
companions.

At the close of the Spanish war, he returned home, and was just in time to
receive the parting breath of his mother.

A few days before her death, the countess requested that her children
might be made acquainted with her history and misconduct; and she placed
in the hands of her son a letter; with directions for him to open it after
her decease. It was addressed to both children, and after recapitulating
generally the principal events of her life, continued:

"Thus, my children, you perceive the consequences of indulgence and
hardness of heart, which made me insensible to the sufferings of others,
and regardless of the plainest dictates of justice. Self was my idol. The
love of admiration, which was natural to me, was increased by the
flatterers who surrounded me; and had the customs of our country suffered
royalty to descend in their unions to a grade in life below their own,
your uncle would have escaped the fangs of my baneful coquetry.

"Oh! Marian, my child, never descend so low as to practise those arts
which have degraded your unhappy mother. I would impress on you, as a
memorial of my parting affection, these simple truths--that coquetry
stands next to the want of chastity in the scale of female vices; it is in
fact a kind of mental prostitution; it is ruinous to all that delicacy of
feeling which gives added lustre to female charms; it is almost
destructive to modesty itself. A woman who has been addicted to its
practice, may strive long and in vain to regain that singleness of heart,
which can bind her up so closely in her husband and children as to make
her a good wife or a mother; and if it should have degenerated into habit,
it may lead to the awful result of infidelity to her marriage vows.

"It is vain for a coquette to pretend to religion; its practice involves
hypocrisy, falsehood, and deception--everything that is mean--everything
that is debasing. In short, as it is bottomed on selfishness and pride,
where it has once possessed the mind, it will only yield to the
truth-displaying banners of the cross. This, and this only, can remove the
evil; for without it she, whom the charms of youth and beauty have enabled
to act the coquette, will descend into the vale of life, altered, it is
true, but not amended. She will find the world, with its allurements,
clinging around her parting years, in vain regrets for days that are
flown, and in mercenary views for her descendants. Heaven bless you, my
children, console and esteem your inestimable father while he yet remains
with you; and place your reliance on that Heavenly Parent who will never
desert those who seek him in sincerity and love. Your dying mother,

"M. PENDENNYSS."

This letter, evidently written under the excitement of deep remorse, made
a great impression on both her children. In Lady Marian it was pity,
regret, and abhorrence of the fault which had been the principal cause of
the wreck of her mother's peace of mind; but in her brother, now Earl of
Pendennyss, these feelings were united with a jealous dread of his own
probable lot in the chances of matrimony.

His uncle had been the supposed heir to a more elevated title than his
own, but he was now the actual possessor of as honorable a name, and of
much larger revenues. The great wealth of his maternal grandfather, and
the considerable estate of his own father, were, or would soon be, centred
in himself; and if a woman as amiable, as faultless, as affection had
taught him to believe his mother to be, could yield in her situation to
the lure of worldly honors, had he not great reason to dread, that a hand
might be bestowed at some day upon himself, when the heart would point out
some other destination, if the real wishes of its owner were consulted?

Pendennyss was modest by nature, and humble from principle, though by no
means distrustful; yet the shock of discovering his mother's fault, the
gloom occasioned by her death and his father's declining health, sometimes
led him into a train of reflections which, at others, he would have
fervently deprecated.

A short time after the decease of the countess, Mr. Denbigh, finding his
constitution fast giving way, under the wasting of a decline he had been
in for a year, resolved to finish his days in the abode of his Christian
friend, Doctor Ives. For several years they had not met; increasing duties
and infirmities on both sides having interrupted their visits.

By easy stages he left the residence of his son in Wales, and accompanied
by both his children he reached Lumley Castle much exhausted; here he took
a solemn and final leave of Marian, unwilling that she should so soon
witness again the death of another parent, and dismissing the earl's.
equipage and attendants a short day's ride from B----, they proceeded
alone to the rectory.

A letter had been forwarded acquainting the doctor of his approaching
visit, wishing it to be perfectly private, but not alluding to its object,
and naming a day, a week later than the one on which he arrived. This plan
was altered on perceiving the torch of life more rapidly approaching the
socket than he had at first supposed. His unexpected appearance and
reception are known. Denbigh's death and the departure of his son
followed; Francis having been Pendennyss's companion to the tomb of his
ancestors in Westmoreland.

The earl had a shrinking delicacy, under the knowledge of his family
history, that made him anxious to draw all eyes from the contemplation of
his mother's conduct; how far the knowledge of it had extended in society
he could not know, but he wished it buried with her in the tomb. The
peculiar manner of his father's death would attract notice, and might
recall attention to the prime cause of his disorder; as yet all was
veiled, and he wished the doctor's family to let it remain so. It was,
however, impossible that the death of a man of Mr. Denbigh's rank should
be unnoticed in the prints, and the care of Francis dictated the simple
truth without comments, as it appeared. As regarded the Moseleys, what was
more natural than that the son of _Mr. Denbigh_ should also be _Mr.
Denbigh?_

In the presence of the rector's family no allusions were made to their
friends, and the villagers and the neighborhood spoke of them as old and
young Mr. Denbigh.

The name of Lord Lumley, now Earl of Pendennyss, was known to the whole
British nation; but the long retirement of his father and mother had
driven them almost from the recollection of their friends. Even Mrs.
Wilson supposed her favorite hero a Lumley. Pendennyss Castle had been for
centuries the proud residence of that family; and the change of name in
its possessor was forgotten with the circumstances that had led to it.

When, therefore, Emily met the earl so unexpectedly the second time at the
rectory, she, of course, with all her companions, spoke of him as Mr.
Denbigh. On that occasion, Pendennyss had called in person, in expectation
of meeting his kinsman, Lord Bolton; but, finding him absent, he could not
resist his desire to visit the rectory. Accordingly, he sent his carriage
and servants on to London, leaving them at a convenient spot, and arrived
on foot at the house of Dr. Ives. From the same motives which had
influenced him before--a wish to indulge, undisturbed by useless ceremony,
his melancholy reflections--he desired that his name might not be
mentioned.

This was an easy task. Both Doctor and Mrs. Ives had called him, when a
child, George or Lumley, and were unused to his new appellation of
Pendennyss; indeed, it rather recalled painful recollections to them all.

It may be remembered that circumstances removed the necessity of any
introduction to Mrs. Wilson and her party; and the difficulty in that
instance was happily got rid of.

The earl had often heard Emily Moseley spoken of by his friends, and in
their letters they frequently mentioned her name as connected with their
pleasures and employments, and always with an affection Pendennyss thought
exceeding that which they manifested for their son's wife; and Mrs Ives,
the evening before, to remove unpleasant thoughts, had given him a lively
description of her person and character. The earl's curiosity had been a
little excited to see this paragon of female beauty and virtue; and,
unlike most curiosity on such subjects, he was agreeably disappointed by
the examination. He wished to know more, and made interest with the doctor
to assist him to continue the incognito with which accident had favored
him.

The doctor objected on the ground of principle, and the earl desisted; but
the beauty of Emily, aided by her character, had made an impression not to
be easily shaken off, and Pendennyss returned to the charge.

His former jealousies were awakened in proportion to his admiration; and,
after some time, he threw himself on the mercy of the divine, by declaring
his new motive, but without mentioning his parents. The doctor pitied him,
for he scanned his feelings thoroughly, and consented to keep silent, but
laughingly declared it was bad enough for a divine to be accessory to,
much less aiding in a deception; and that he knew if Emily and Mrs. Wilson
learnt his imposition, he would lose ground in their favor by the
discovery.

"Surely, George," said the doctor with a laugh, "you don't mean to marry
the young lady as Mr. Denbigh?"

"Oh, no! it is too soon to think of marrying her at all," replied the earl
with a smile; "but, somehow, I should like to see what my reception in the
world will be as plain Mr. Denbigh, unprovided for and unknown."

"No doubt, my lord," said the rector archly, "in proportion to your
merits, very unfavorably indeed; but then your humility will be finally
elevated by the occasional praises I have heard Mrs. Wilson lavish on your
proper character of late."

"I am much indebted to her partiality," continued the earl mournfully;
then throwing off his gloomy thoughts he added, "I wonder, my dear doctor,
your goodness did not set her right in the latter particular."

"Why, she has hardly given me an opportunity; delicacy and my own feelings
have kept me very silent on the subject of your family to any of that
connexion. They think, I believe, I was a rector in Wales, instead of your
father's chaplain; and somehow," continued the doctor, smiling on his
wife, "the association with your late parents was so connected in my mind
with my most romantic feelings, that although I have delighted in it, I
have seldom alluded to it in conversation at all. Mrs. Wilson has spoken
of you but twice in my hearing, and that since she has expected to meet
you; your name has doubtless recalled the remembrance of her husband."

"I have many, many reasons to remember the general with gratitude," cried
the earl with fervor; "but doctor, do not forget my incognito: only call
me George; I ask no more."

The plan of Pendennyss was put in execution. Day after day he lingered in
Northamptonshire, until his principles and character had grown upon the
esteem of the Moseleys in the manner we have mentioned.

His frequent embarrassments were from the dread and shame of a detection.
With Sir Herbert Nicholson he had a narrow escape, and Mrs. Fitzgerald and
Lord Henry Stapleton he of course avoided; for having gone so far, he was
determined to persevere to the end. Egerton he thought knew him, and he
disliked his character and manners.

When Chatterton appeared most attentive to Emily, the candor and good
opinion of that young nobleman made the earl acquainted with his wishes
and his situation. Pendennyss was too generous not to meet his rival on
fair grounds. His cousin and the duke were requested to use their united
influence secretly to obtain the desired station for the baron. The result
is known, and Pendennyss trusted his secret to Chatterton; he took him to
London, gave him in charge to Derwent, and returned to prosecute his own
suit. His note from Bolton Castle was a _ruse_ to conceal his character,
as he knew the departure of the baronet's family to an hour, and had so
timed his visit to the earl as not to come in collision with the Moseleys.

"Indeed, my lord," cried the doctor to him one day, "your scheme goes on
swimmingly, and I am only afraid when your mistress discovers the
imposition, you will find your rank producing a different effect from what
you have apprehended."



Chapter XLVI.



But Dr. Ives was mistaken. Had he seen the sparkling eyes and glowing
cheeks of Miss Moseley, the smile of satisfaction and happiness which
played on the usually thoughtful face of Mrs. Wilson, when the earl handed
them into his own carriage, as they left his house on the evening of the
discovery, the doctor would have gladly acknowledged the failure of his
prognostics. In truth, there was no possible event that, under the
circumstances, could have given both aunt and niece such heartfelt
pleasure, as the knowledge that Denbigh and the earl were the same person.

Pendennyss stood holding the door of the carriage in his hand, irresolute
how to act, when Mrs. Wilson said--

"Surely, my lord, you sup with us."

"A thousand thanks, my dear madam, for the privilege," cried the earl, as
he sprang into the coach; the door was closed, and they drove off.

"After the explanations of this morning, my lord," said Mrs. Wilson,
willing to remove all doubts between him and Emily, and perhaps anxious to
satisfy her own curiosity, "it will be fastidious to conceal our desire to
know more of your movements. How came your pocket-book in the possession
of Mrs. Fitzgerald?"

"Mrs. Fitzgerald!" cried Pendennyss, in astonishment "I lost the book in
one of the rooms of the Lodge, and supposed it had fallen into your hands,
and betrayed my disguise by Emily's rejection of me, and your own altered
eye. Was I mistaken then in both?"

Mrs. Wilson now, for the first time, explained their real grounds for
refusing his offers, which, in the morning, she had loosely mentioned as
owing to a misapprehension of his just character, and recounted the manner
of the book falling into the hands of Mrs. Fitzgerald.

The earl listened in amazement, and after musing with himself, exclaimed--

"I remember taking it from my pocket, to show Colonel Egerton some
singular plants I had gathered, and think I first missed it when returning
to the place where I had then laid it; in some of the side-pockets were
letters from Marian, addressed to me, properly; and I naturally thought
they had met your eye."

Mrs. Wilson and Emily immediately thought Egerton the real villain, who
had caused both themselves and Mrs. Fitzgerald so much uneasiness, and the
former mentioned her suspicions to the earl.

"Nothing more probable, dear madam," cried he, "and this explains to me
his startled looks when we first met, and his evident dislike to my
society, for he must have seen my person, though the carriage hid _him_
from my sight."

That Egerton was the wretch, and that through his agency the pocket-book
had been carried to the cottage, they all now agreed, and turned to more
pleasant subjects.

"Master!--here--master," said Peter Johnson, as he stood at a window of
Mr. Benfield's room, stirring a gruel for the old gentleman's supper, and
stretching his neck and straining his eyes to distinguish objects by the
light of the lamps--"I do think there is Mr. Denbigh, handing Miss Emmy
from a coach, covered with gold, and two footmen, all dizened with pride
like."

The spoon fell from the hands of Mr. Benfield. He rose briskly from his
seat, and adjusting his dress, took the arm of the steward, and proceeded
to the drawing-room. While these several movements were in operation,
which consumed some time, the old bachelor relieved the tedium of Peter's
impatience by the following speech:--

"Mr. Denbigh!--what, back?--I thought he never could let that rascal John
shoot him and forsake Emmy after all; (here the old gentleman suddenly
recollected Denbigh's marriage) but now, Peter, it can do no good
either.--I remember, that when my friend the Earl of Gosford "--(and again
he was checked by the image of the card-table and the viscountess) "but,
Peter," he said with great warmth, "we can go down and see him,
notwithstanding."

"Mr. Denbigh!" exclaimed Sir Edward, in astonishment, when he saw the
companion of his sister and child enter the drawing-room, "you are welcome
once more to your old friends: your sudden retreat from us gave us much
pain; but we suppose Lady Laura had too many attractions to allow us to
keep you any longer in Norfolk."

The good Baronet sighed, as he held out his hand to the man whom he had
once hoped to receive as a son.

"Neither Lady Laura nor any other lady, my dear Sir Edward," cried the
earl, as he took the baronet's hand, "drove me from you, but the frowns of
your own fair daughter; and here she is, ready to acknowledge her offence,
and, I hope, to atone for it."

John, who knew of the refusal of his sister, and was not a little
displeased with the cavalier treatment he had received at Denbigh's hands,
felt indignant at such improper levity in a married man, and approached
with--

"Your servant, Mr. Denbigh--I hope my Lady Laura is well."

Pendennyss understood his look, and replied very gravely--

"Your servant, Mr. John Moseley--my Lady Laura is, or certainly ought to
be, very well, as she has this moment gone to a rout, accompanied by her
husband."

The quick eye of John glanced from the earl to his aunt, to Emily; a
lurking smile was on all their features. The heightened color of his
sister, the flashing eyes of the young nobleman, the face of his aunt, all
told him that something uncommon was about to be explained; and, yielding
to his feelings, he caught the hand which Pendennyss extended to him, and
cried,

"Denbigh, I see--I feel--there is some unaccountable mistake--we are--"

"Brothers!" said the earl, emphatically. "Sir Edward--dear Lady Moseley, I
throw myself on your mercy. I am an impostor: when your hospitality
received me into your house, it is true you admitted George Denbigh, but
he is better known as the Earl of Pendennyss."

"The Earl of Pendennyss!" exclaimed Lady Moseley, in a glow of delight, as
she saw at once through some juvenile folly a deception which promised
both happiness and rank to one of her children. "Is it possible, my dear
Charlotte, that this is your unknown friend?"

"The very same, Anne," replied the smiling widow, "and guilty of a folly
that, at all events, removes the distance between us a little, by showing
that he is subject to the failings of mortality. But the masquerade is
ended, and I hope you and Edward will not only treat him as an earl, but
receive him as a son."

"Most willingly--most willingly," cried the baronet, with great energy;
"be he prince, peer, or beggar, he is the preserver of my child, and as
such he is always welcome."

The door now slowly opened, and the venerable bachelor appeared on its
threshold.

Pendennyss, who had never forgotten the good will manifested to him by
Mr. Benfield, met him with a look of pleasure, as he expressed his
happiness at seeing him again in London.

"I never have forgotten your goodness in sending honest Peter such a
distance from home, on the object of his visit. I now regret that a
feeling of shame occasioned my answering your kindness so laconically:"
turning to Mrs. Wilson, he added, "for a time I knew not how to write a
letter even, being afraid to sign my proper appellation, and ashamed to
use my adopted."

"Mr. Denbigh, I am happy to see you. I did send Peter, it is true, to
London, on a message to you--but it is all over now," the old man
sighed--"Peter, however, escaped the snares of this wicked place; and if
you are happy, I am content. I remember when the Earl of--"

"Pendennyss!" exclaimed the other, "imposed on the hospitality of a worthy
man, under an assumed appellation, in order to pry into the character of a
lovely female, who was only too good for him, and who now is willing to
forget his follies, and make him not only the happiest of men, but the
nephew of Mr. Benfield."

During this speech, the countenance of Mr. Benfield had manifested evident
emotion: he looked from one to another, until he saw Mrs. Wilson smiling
near him. Pointing to the earl with his finger, he stood unable to speak,
as she answered simply,--

"Lord Pendennyss."

"And Emmy dear--will you--will you marry him?" cried Mr. Benfield,
suppressing his feelings, to give utterance to his question.

Emily felt for her uncle, and blushing deeply, with great frankness she
put her hand in that of the earl, who pressed it with rapture again and
again to his lips.

Mr. Benfield sank into a chair, and with a heart softened by emotion,
burst into, tears.

"Peter," he cried, struggling with his feelings, "I am now ready to depart
in peace--I shall see my darling Emmy happy, and to her care I shall
commit you."

Emily, deeply affected with his love, threw herself into his arms, in a
torrent of tears, and was removed from them by Pendennyss, in
consideration for the feelings of both.

Jane felt no emotions of envy for her sister's happiness; on the contrary,
she rejoiced in common with the rest of their friends in her brightening
prospects, and they all took their seats at the supper table, as happy a
group as was contained in the wide circle of the metropolis. A few more
particulars served to explain the mystery sufficiently, until a more
fitting opportunity made them acquainted with the whole of the earl's
proceedings.

"My Lord Pendennyss," said Sir Edward, pouring out a glass of wine, and
passing the bottle to his neighbor: "I drink your health--and happiness to
yourself and my darling child."

The toast was drunk by all the family, and the earl replied to the
compliments with his thanks and smiles, while Emily could only notice them
with her blushes and tears.

But this was an opportunity not to be lost by the honest steward, who,
from affection and long services, had been indulged in familiarities
exceeding any other of his master's establishment. He very deliberately
helped himself to a glass of wine, and drawing near the seat of the
bride-elect, with an humble reverence, commenced his speech as follows:

"My dear Miss Emmy:--Here's hoping you'll live to be a comfort to your
honored father, and your honored mother, and my dear honored master, and
yourself, and Madam Wilson." The steward paused to clear his voice, and
profited by the delay to cast his eye round the table to collect the
names; "and Mr. John Moseley, and sweet Mrs. Moseley, and pretty Miss
Jane" (Peter had lived too long in the world to compliment one handsome
woman in the presence of another, without the qualifying his speech a
little); "and Mr. Lord Denbigh--earl like, as they say he now is,
and"--Peter stopped a moment to deliberate, and then making another
reference, he put the glass to his lips; but before he had got half
through its contents, recollected himself, and replenishing it to the
brim, with a smile acknowledging his forgetfulness, continued, "and the
Rev. Mr. Francis Ives, and the Rev. Mrs. Francis Ives."

Here the unrestrained laugh of John interrupted him; and considering with
himself that he had included the whole family, he finished his bumper.
Whether it was pleasure at his own eloquence in venturing on so long a
speech, or the unusual allowance, that affected the steward, he was
evidently much satisfied with himself, and stepped back behind his
master's chair, in great good humor.

Emily, as she thanked him, noticed a tear in the eye of the old man, as he
concluded his oration, that would have excused a thousand breaches of
fastidious ceremony. But Pendennyss rose from his seat, and took him
kindly by the hand, and returned his own thanks for his good wishes.

"I owe you much good will, Mr. Johnson, for, your two journeys in my
behalf, and trust I never shall forget the manner in which you executed
your last mission in particular. We are friends, I trust, for life."

"Thank you--thank your honor's lordship," said the steward, almost unable
to utter; "I hope you may live long, to make dear little Miss Emmy as
happy--as I know she ought to be."

"But really, my lord," cried John, observing that the steward's affection
for his sister had affected her to tears, "it was a singular circumstance,
the meeting of the four passengers of the stage so soon at your hotel."

Moseley explained his meaning to the rest of the company.

"Not so much so as you imagine," said the earl in reply; "yourself and
Johnson were in quest of me. Lord Henry Stapleton was under an engagement
to meet me that evening at the hotel, as we were both going to his
sister's wedding--I having arranged the thing with him by letter
previously; and General M'Carthy was also in search of me, on business
relating to his niece, the Donna Julia. He had been to Annerdale House,
and, through my servants, heard I was at an hotel. It was the first
interview between us, and not quite as amicable a one as has since been
had in Wales. During my service in Spain, I saw the Conde, but not the
general. The letter he gave me was from the Spanish ambassador, claiming a
right to require Mrs. Fitzgerald from our government, and deprecating my
using an influence to counteract his exertions"--

"Which you refused," said Emily, eagerly.

"Not refused," answered the earl, smiling at her warmth, while he admired
her friendly zeal, "for it was unnecessary: there is no such power vested
in the ministry. But I explicitly told the general, I would oppose any
violent measures to restore her to her country and a convent. From the
courts, I apprehended nothing for my fair friend."

"Your honor--my lord," said Peter, who had been listening with great
attention, "if I may presume just to ask two questions, without offence."

"Say on, my good friend," said Pendennyss, with an encouraging smile.

"Only" continued the steward--hemming, to give proper utterance to his
thoughts--"I wish to know, whether you stayed in that same street after
you left the hotel--for Mr. John Moseley and I had a slight difference in
opinion about it."

The earl smiled, having caught the arch expression of John, and replied--

"I believe I owe you an apology, Moseley, for my cavalier treatment; but
guilt makes us all cowards. I found you were ignorant of my incognito, and
I was equally ashamed to continue it, or to become the relater of my own
folly. Indeed," he continued, smiling on Emily as he spoke, "I thought
your sister had pronounced the opinion of all reflecting people on my
conduct. I went out of town, Johnson, at day-break. What is the other
query?"

"Why, my lord," said Peter, a little disappointed at finding his first
surmise untrue, "that outlandish tongue your honor used--"

"Was Spanish," cried the earl.

"And not Greek, Peter," said his master, gravely. "I thought, from the
words you endeavored to repeat to me, that you had made a mistake. You
need not be disconcerted, however, for I know several members of the
parliament of this realm who could not talk the Greek language, that is,
fluently. So it can be no disgrace to a serving-man to be ignorant of it."

Somewhat consoled to find himself as well off as the representatives of
his country, Peter resumed his station in silence, when the carriages
began to announce the return from the opera. The earl took his leave, and
the party retired to rest.

The thanksgivings of Emily that night, ere she laid her head on her
pillow, were the purest offering of mortal innocence. The prospect before
her was unsullied by a cloud and she poured out her heart in the fullest
confidence of pious love and heartfelt gratitude.

As early on the succeeding morning as good-breeding would allow, and much
earlier than the hour sanctioned by fashion, the earl and Lady Marian
stopped in the carriage of the latter at the door of Sir Edward Moseley.
Their reception was the most flattering that could be offered to people of
their stamp; sincere, cordial, and, with a trifling exception in Lady
Moseley, unfettered with any useless ceremonies.

Emily felt herself drawn to her new acquaintance with a fondness which
doubtless grew out of her situation with her brother; which soon found
reasons enough in the soft, lady-like, and sincere manners of Lady Marian,
to, justify her attachment on her own account.

There was a very handsome suite of drawing-rooms in Sir Edward's house,
and the communicating doors were carelessly open. Curiosity to view the
furniture, or some such trifling reasons, induced the earl to find his way
into the one adjoining that in which the family were seated. It was
unquestionably a dread of being lost in a strange house, that induced him
to whisper a request to the blushing Emily, to be his companion; and
lastly, it must have been nothing but a knowledge that a vacant room was
easier viewed than one filled with company, that prevented any one from
following them. John smiled archly at Grace, doubtless in approbation of
the comfortable time his friend was likely to enjoy, in his musings on the
taste of their mother. How the door became shut, we have ever been at a
loss to imagine.

The company without were too good-natured and well satisfied with each
other to miss the absentees, until the figure of the earl appeared at the
reopened door, beckoning, with a face of rapture, to Lady Moseley and Mrs.
Wilson. Sir Edward next disappeared, then Jane, then Grace--then Marian;
until John began to think a tête-à-tête with Mr. Benfield was to be his
morning's amusement.

The lovely countenance of his wife, however, soon relieved his ennui, and
John's curiosity was gratified by an order to prepare for his sister's
wedding the following week.

Emily might have blushed more than common during this interview, but it is
certain she did not smile less; and the earl, Lady Marian assured Sir
Edward, was so very different a creature from what he had recently been,
that she could hardly think it was the same sombre gentleman with whom she
had passed the last few months in Wales and Westmoreland.

A messenger was dispatched for Dr. Ives and their friends at B----, to be
witnesses to the approaching nuptials; and Lady Moseley at length found an
opportunity of indulging her taste for splendor on this joyful occasion.

Money was no consideration; and Mr. Benfield absolutely pined at the
thought that the great wealth of the earl put it out of his power to
contribute in any manner to the comfort of his Emmy. However, a fifteenth
codicil was framed by the ingenuity of Peter and his master, and if it did
not contain the name of George Denbigh, it did that of his expected second
son, Roderick Benfield Denbigh, to the qualifying circumstance of twenty
thousand pounds, as a bribe for the name.

"And a very pretty child, I dare say, it will be," said the steward, as he
placed the paper in its repository. "I don't know that I ever saw, your
honor, a couple that I thought would make a handsomer pair like, except--"
Peter's mind dwelt on his own youthful form coupled with the smiling
graces of Patty Steele.

"Yes! they are as handsome as they are good!" replied his master. "I
remember now, when our Speaker took his third wife, the world said that
they were as pretty a couple as there was at court. But my Emma and the
earl will be a much finer pair. Oh! Peter Johnson; they are young, and
rich, and beloved; but, after all, it avails but little if they be not
good."

"Good!" cried the steward in astonishment; "they are as good as angels."

The master's ideas of human excellence had suffered a heavy blow in the
view of his viscountess, but he answered mildly,

"As good as mankind can well be."



Chapter XLVII.



The warm weather had now commenced; and Sir Edward, unwilling to be shut
up in London at a time the appearance of vegetation gave the country a new
interest, and accustomed for many years of his life to devote an hour in
his garden each morn, had taken a little ready furnished cottage a short
ride from his residence, with the intention of frequenting it until after
the birthday. Thither then Pendennyss took his bride from the altar, and a
few days were passed by the newly married pair in this little asylum.

Doctor Ives, with Francis, Clara, and their mother, had obeyed the summons
with an alacrity in proportion to the joy they felt on receiving it, and
the former had the happiness of officiating on the occasion. It would have
been easy for the wealth of the earl to procure a license to enable them
to marry in the drawing-room; the permission was obtained, but neither
Emily nor himself felt a wish to utter their vows in any other spot than
at the altar, and in the house of their Maker.

If there was a single heart that felt the least emotion of regret or
uneasiness, it was Lady Moseley, who little relished the retirement of the
cottage on so joyful an occasion; but Pendennyss silenced her objections
by good-humoredly replying--

"The fates have been so kind to me, in giving me castles and seats, you
ought to allow me, my dear Lady Moseley, the only opportunity I shall
probably ever have of enjoying love in a cottage."

A few days, however, removed the uneasiness of the good matron, who had
the felicity within the week of seeing her daughter initiated mistress of
Annerdale House.

The morning of their return to this noble mansion the earl presented
himself in St. James's Square, with the intelligence of their arrival, and
smiling as he bowed to Mrs. Wilson, he continued--

"And to escort you, dear madam, to your new abode."

Mrs. Wilson started with surprise, and with a heart beating quick with
emotion, she required an explanation of his words.

"Surely, dearest Mrs. Wilson--more than aunt--my mother--you cannot mean,
after having trained my Emily through infancy to maturity in the paths of
duty, to desert her in the moment of her greatest trial. I am the pupil of
your husband," he continued, taking her hands in his own with reverence
and affection; "we are the children of your joint care, and one home, as
there is but one heart, must in future contain us."

Mrs. Wilson had wished for, but hardly dared to expect this invitation. It
was now urged from the right quarter, and in a manner that was as sincere
as it was gratifying. Unable to conceal her tears, the good widow pressed
the hand of Pendennyss to her lips as she murmured out her thanks. Sir
Edward was prepared also to lose his sister; but unwilling to relinquish
the pleasure of her society, he urged her making a common residence
between the two families.

"Pendennyss has spoken truth, my dear brother," cried she, recovering her
voice; "Emily is the child of my care and my love--the two beings I love
best in this world are now united--but," she added, pressing Lady Moseley
to her bosom, "my heart is large enough for you all; you are of my blood,
and my gratitude for your affection is boundless. There shall be but one
large family of us; and although our duties may separate us for a time, we
will, I trust, ever meet in tenderness and love, though with George and
Emily I will take up my abode."

"I hope your house in Northamptonshire is not to be vacant always," said
Lady Moseley to the earl, anxiously.

"I have no house there, my dear madam," he replied; "when I thought myself
about to succeed in my suit before, I directed a lawyer at Bath, where Sir
William Harris resided most of his time, to endeavor to purchase the
deanery, whenever a good opportunity offered: in my discomfiture," he
added, smiling, "I forgot to countermand the order, and he purchased it
immediately on its being advertised. For a short time it was an
incumbrance to me, but it is now applied to its original purpose. It is
the sole property of the Countess of Pendennyss, and I doubt not you will
see it often and agreeably tenanted."

This intelligence gave great satisfaction to his friends, and the expected
summer restored to even Jane a gleam of her former pleasure.

If there be bliss in this life, approaching in any degree to the happiness
of the blessed, it is the fruition of long and ardent love, where youth,
innocence, piety, and family concord, smile upon the union. And all these
were united in the case of the new-married pair; but happiness in this
world cannot or does not, in any situation, exist without alloy.

The peace of mind and fortitude of Emily were fated to receive a blow, as
unlooked for to herself as it was unexpected to the world. Bonaparte
appeared in France, and Europe became in motion.

From the moment the earl heard the intelligence his own course was
decided. His regiment was the pride of the army, and that it would be
ordered to join the duke he did not entertain a doubt.

Emily was, therefore, in some little measure prepared for the blow. It is
at such moments as our own acts, or events affecting us, get to be without
our control, that faith in the justice and benevolence of God is the most
serviceable to the Christian. When others spend their time in useless
regrets he is piously resigned: it even so happens, that when others mourn
he can rejoice.

The sound of the bugle, wildly winding its notes, broke on the stillness
of the morning in the little village in which was situated the cottage
tenanted by Sir Edward Moseley. Almost concealed by the shrubbery which
surrounded its piazza, stood the forms of the Countess of Pendennyss and
her sister Lady Marian, watching eagerly the appearance of those whose
approach was thus announced.

The carriage of the ladies, with its idle attendants, was in waiting at a
short distance; and the pale face but composed resignation of its
mistress, indicated a struggle between conflicting duties.

File after file of heavy horse passed them in military pomp, and the
wistful gaze of the two females had scanned them in vain for the well
known, much-beloved countenance of the leader. At length a single horseman
approached them, riding deliberately and musing: their forms met his eye,
and in an instant Emily was pressed to the bosom of her husband.

"It is the doom of a soldier," said the earl, dashing a tear from his eye;
"I had hoped that the peace of the world would not again be assailed for
years, and that ambition and jealousy would yield a respite to our bloody
profession; but cheer up, my love--hope for the best--your trust is not in
the things of this life, and your happiness is without the power of man."

"Ah! Pendennyss--my husband," sobbed Emily, sinking on his bosom, "take
with you my prayers--my love--everything that can console you--everything
that may profit you. I will not tell you to be careful of your life; your
duty teaches you that. As a soldier, expose it; as a husband guard it; and
return to me as you leave me, a lover, the dearest of men, and a
Christian."

Unwilling to prolong the pain of parting, the earl gave his wife a last
embrace, held Marian affectionately to his bosom, and mounting his horse,
was out of sight in an instant.

Within a few days of the departure of Pendennyss, Chatterton was surprised
with the entrance of his mother and Catharine. His reception of them was
that of a respectful child, and his wife exerted herself to be kind to
connexions she could not love, in order to give pleasure to a husband she
adored. Their tale was soon told. Lord and Lady Herriefield were
separated; and the dowager, alive to the dangers of a young woman in
Catharine's situation, and without a single principle on which to rest the
assurance of her blameless conduct in future, had brought her to England,
in order to keep off disgrace, by residing with her child herself.

There was nothing in his wife to answer the expectations with which Lord
Herriefield married. She had beauty, but with that he was already sated;
her simplicity, which, by having her attention drawn elsewhere, had at
first charmed him, was succeeded by the knowing conduct of a determined
follower of the fashions, and a decided woman of the world.

It had never struck the viscount as impossible that an artless and
innocent girl would fall in love with his faded and bilious face, but the
moment Catharine betrayed the arts of a manager, he saw at once the
artifice that had been practised; of course he ceased to love her.

Men are flattered for a season with notice that has been unsought, but it
never fails to injure the woman who practises it in the opinion of the
other sex, in time. Without a single feeling in common, without a regard
to anything but self, in either husband or wife, it could not but happen
that a separation must follow, or their days be spent in wrangling and
misery. Catharine willingly left her husband; her husband more willingly
got rid of her.

During all these movements the dowager had a difficult game to play. It
was unbecoming her to encourage the strife, and it was against her wishes
to suppress it; she therefore moralized with the peer, and frowned upon
her daughter.

The viscount listened to her truisms with the attention of a boy who is
told by a drunken father how wicked it is to love liquor, and heeded them
about as much; while Kate, mistress at all events of two thousand a year,
minded her mother's frowns as little as she regarded her smiles; both were
indifferent to her.

A few days after the ladies left Lisbon, the viscount proceeded to Italy
in company with the repudiated wife of a British naval officer; and if
Kate was not guilty of an offence of equal magnitude, it was more owing to
her mother's present vigilance than to her previous care.

The presence of Mrs. Wilson was a great source of consolation to Emily in
the absence of her husband; and as their longer abode in town was useless,
the countess declining to be presented without the earl, the whole family
decided upon a return into Northamptonshire.

The deanery had been furnished by order of Pendennyss immediately on his
marriage; and its mistress hastened to take possession of her new
dwelling. The amusement and occupation of this movement, the planning of
little improvements, her various duties under her increased
responsibilities, kept Emily from dwelling unduly upon the danger of her
husband. She sought out amongst the first objects of her bounty the
venerable peasant whose loss had been formerly supplied by Pendennyss on
his first visit to B----, after the death of his father. There might not
have been the usual discrimination and temporal usefulness in this
instance which generally accompanied her benevolent acts; but it was
associated with the image of her husband, and it could excite no surprise
in Mrs. Wilson, although it did in Marian, to see her sister driving two
or three times a week to relieve the necessities of a man who appeared
actually to be in want of nothing.

Sir Edward was again amongst those he loved, and his hospitable board was
once more surrounded with the faces of his friends and neighbors. The
good-natured Mr. Haughton was always a welcome guest at the hall, and met,
soon after their return, the collected family of the baronet, at a dinner
given by the latter to his children and one or two of his most intimate
neighbors--

"My Lady Pendennyss," cried Mr. Haughton, in the course of the afternoon,
"I have news from the earl, which I know it will do your heart good to
hear."

Emily smiled at the prospect of hearing in any manner of her husband,
although she internally questioned the probability of Mr. Haughton's
knowing anything of his movements, of which her daily letters did not
apprise her.

"Will you favor me with the particulars of your intelligence, sir?" said
the countess.

"He has arrived safe with his regiment near Brussels; heard it from a
neighbor's son who saw him enter the house occupied by Wellington, while
he was standing in the crowd without, waiting to get a peep at the duke."

"Oh!" said Mrs. Wilson with a laugh, "Emily knew that ten days ago. Could
your friend tell us anything of Bonaparte? We are much interested in his
movements just now."

Mr. Haughton, a good deal mortified to find his news stale, mused a
moment, as if in doubt to proceed or not; but liking of all things to act
the part of a newspaper, he continued--

"Nothing more than you see in the prints; but I suppose your ladyship has
heard about Captain Jarvis too?"

"Why, no," said Emily, laughing; "the movements of Captain Jarvis are not
quite as interesting to me as those of Lord Pendennyss--has the duke made
him an aide-de-camp?"

"Oh! no," cried the other, exulting at his having something new: "as soon
as he heard of the return of Boney, he threw up his commission and got
married."

"Married!" cried John; "not to Miss Harris, surely."

"No; to a silly girl he met in Cornwall, who was fool enough to be caught
with his gold lace. He married one day, and the next told his disconsolate
wife and panic-stricken mother that the honor of the Jarvises must sleep
until the supporters of the name became sufficiently numerous to risk them
in the field of battle."

"And how did Mrs. Jarvis and Sir Timo's lady relish the news?" inquired
John, expecting something ridiculous.

"Not at all," rejoined Mr. Haughton; "the former sobbed, and said she had
only married him for his bravery and red coat, and the _lady_ exclaimed
against the destruction of his budding honors."

"How did it terminate?" asked Mrs. Wilson.

"Why, it seems while they were quarrelling about it, the War-Office cut
the matter short by accepting his resignation, I suppose the
commander-in-chief had learned his character; but the matter was warmly
contested: they even drove the captain to a declaration of his
principles."

"And what kind of ones might they have been, Haughton?" said Sir Edward,
drily.

"Republican."

"Republican!" exclaimed two or three in surprise.

"Yes, liberty and equality, he contended, were his idols, and he could not
find it in his heart to fight against Bonaparte."

"A somewhat singular conclusion," said Mr. Benfield, musing. "I remember
when I sat in the House, there was a party who were fond of the cry of
this said liberty; but when they got the power they did not seem to me to
suffer people to go more at large than they went before; but I suppose
they were diffident of telling the world their minds after they were put
in such responsible stations, for fear of the effect of example."

"Most people like liberty as servants but not as masters, uncle," cried
John, with a sneer.

"Captain Jarvis, it seems, liked it as a preservative against danger,"
continued Mr. Haughton; "to avoid ridicule in his new neighborhood, he has
consented to his father's wishes, and turned merchant in the city again."

"Where I sincerely hope he will remain," cried John, who since the
accident of the arbor, could not tolerate the unfortunate youth.

"Amen!" said Emily, in an under tone, heard only by her brother.

"But Sir Timo--what has become of Sir Timo--the good, honest merchant?"
asked John.

"He has dropt the title, insists on being called plain Mr. Jarvis, and
lives entirely in Cornwall. His hopeful son-in-law has gone with his
regiment to Flanders; and Lady Egerton, being unable to live without her
father's assistance, is obliged to hide her consequence in the west also."

The subject became now disagreeable to Lady Moseley, and it was changed.
Such conversations made Jane more reserved and dissatisfied than ever. She
had no one respectable excuse to offer for her partiality to her former
lover, and when her conscience told her the mortifying fact, was apt to
think that others remembered it too.

The letters from the continent now teemed with preparations for the
approaching contest; and the apprehensions of our heroine and her friends
increased, in proportion to the nearness of the struggle, on which hung
not only the fates of thousands of individuals, but of adverse princes and
mighty empires. In this confusion of interests, and of jarring of
passions, there were offered prayers almost hourly for the safety of
Pendennyss, which were as pure and ardent as the love which prompted them.



Chapter XLVIII.



Napoleon had commenced those daring and rapid movements, which for a time
threw the peace of the world into the scale of fortune, and which nothing
but the interposition of a ruling Providence could avert from their
threatened success. As the the ----th dragoons wheeled into a field
already deluged with English blood, on the heights of Quatre Bras, the eye
of its gallant colonel saw a friendly battalion falling beneath the sabres
of the enemy's cuirassiers. The word was passed, the column opens, the
sounds of the quivering bugle were heard for a moment above the roar of
the cannon and the shouts of the combatants; the charge, sweeping like a
whirlwind, fell heavily on those treacherous Frenchmen, who to-day had
sworn fidelity to Louis, and to-morrow intended lifting their hands in
allegiance to his rival.

"Spare my life in mercy," cried an officer, already dreadfully wounded,
who stood shrinking from the impending blow of an enraged Frenchman. An
English dragoon dashed at the cuirassier, and with one blow severed his
arm from his body.

"Thank God," sighed the wounded officer, sinking beneath the horse's feet.

His rescuer threw himself from the saddle, and raising the fallen man
inquired into his wounds. It was Pendennyss, and it was Egerton. The
wounded man groaned aloud, as he saw the face of him who had averted the
fatal blow; but it was not the hour for explanations or confessions, other
than those with which the dying soldiers endeavored to make their tardy
peace with their God.

Sir Henry was given in charge to two slightly wounded British soldiers,
and the earl remounted: the scattered troops were rallied at the sound of
the trumpet, and again and again, led by their dauntless colonel, were
seen in the thickest of the fray, with sabres drenched in blood, and
voices hoarse with the shouts of victory.

The period between the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo was a trying
one to the discipline and courage of the British army. The discomfited
Prussians on their flank had been routed and compelled to retire, and in
their front was an enemy, brave, skilful, and victorious, led by the
greatest captain of the age. The prudent commander of the English forces
fell back with dignity and reluctance to the field of Waterloo; here the
mighty struggle was to terminate, and the eye of every experienced soldier
looked on those eminences as on the future graves for thousands.

During this solemn interval of comparative inactivity the mind of
Pendennyss dwelt on the affection, the innocence, the beauty and worth of
his Emily, until the curdling blood, as he thought on her lot should his
life be the purchase of the coming victory, warned him to quit the gloomy
subject, for the consolations of that religion which only could yield him
the solace his wounded feelings required. In his former campaigns the earl
had been sensible of the mighty changes of death, and had ever kept in
view the preparations necessary to meet it with hope and joy; but the
world clung around him now, in the best affections of his nature, and it
was only as he could picture the happy reunion with his Emily in a future
life, that he could look on a separation in this without despair.

The vicinity of the enemy admitted of no relaxation in the strictest
watchfulness in the British lines: and the comfortless night of the
seventeenth was passed by the earl, and his Lieutenant Colonel, George
Denbigh, on the same cloak, and under the open canopy of Heaven.

As the opening cannon of the enemy gave the signal for the commencing
conflict, Pendennyss mounted his charger with a last thought on his
distant wife. With a mighty struggle he tore her as it were from his
bosom, and gave the remainder of the day to duty.

Who has not heard of the events of that fearful hour, on which the fate of
Europe hung as it were suspended in the scale? On one side supported by
the efforts of desperate resolution, guided by the most consummate art;
and on the other defended by a discipline and enduring courage almost
without a parallel.

The indefatigable Blucher arrived, and the star of Napoleon sank.

Pendennyss threw himself from his horse, on the night of the eighteenth of
June, as he gave way by orders, in the pursuit, to the fresher battalions
of the Prussians, with the languor that fellows unusual excitement, and
mental thanksgivings that this bloody work was at length ended. The image
of his Emily again broke over the sterner feelings of the battle, like the
first glimmerings of light which succeed the awful darkness of the eclipse
of the sun: and he again breathed freely, in the consciousness of the
happiness which would await his speedy return.

"I am sent for the colonel of the ----th dragoons," said a courier in
broken English to a soldier, near where the earl lay on the ground,
waiting the preparations of his attendants "have I found the right
regiment, my friend?"

"To be sure you have," answered the man, without looking up from his toil
on his favorite animal, "you might have tracked us by the dead Frenchmen,
I should think. So you want my lord, my lad, do you? do we move again
to-night?" suspending his labor for a moment in expectation of a reply.

"Not to my knowledge," rejoined the courier; "my message is to your
colonel, from a dying man. Will you point out his station?"

The soldier complied, the message was soon delivered, and Pendennyss
prepared to obey its summons immediately. Preceded by the messenger as a
guide, and followed by Harmer, the earl retraced his steps over that
ground on which he had but a few hours before been engaged in the deadly
strife of man to man, hand to hand.

How different is the contemplation of a field of battle during and after
the conflict! The excitement, suspended success, shouts, uproar, and
confusion of the former, prevent any contemplation of the nicer parts of
this confused mass of movements, charges, and retreats; or if a brilliant
advance is made, a masterly retreat effected, the imagination is chained
by the splendor and glory of the act, without resting for a moment on the
sacrifice of individual happiness with which it is purchased. A
battle-ground from which the whirlwind of the combat has passed, presents
a different sight; it offers the very consummation of human misery.

There may occasionally be an individual, who from station, distempered
mind, or the encouragement of chimerical ideas of glory, quits the theatre
of life with at least the appearance of pleasure in his triumphs. If such
there be in reality, if this rapture of departing glory be anything more
than the deception of a distempered excitement, the subject of its
exhibition is to be greatly pitied. To the Christian, dying in peace with
both God and man, can it alone be ceded in the eye of reason, to pour out
his existence with a smile on his quivering lip.

And the warrior, who falls in the very arms of victory, after passing a
life devoted to the world; even, if he sees kingdoms hang suspended on his
success, may smile indeed, may utter sentiments full of loyalty and zeal,
may be the admiration of the world, and what is his reward? a deathless
name, and an existence of misery, which knows no termination.

Christianity alone can make us good soldiers in any cause, for he who
knows how to live, is always the least afraid to die.

Pendennyss and his companions pushed their way over the ground occupied
before the battle by the enemy; descended into and through that little
valley, in which yet lay, in undistinguished confusion, masses of the dead
and dying of either side; and again over the ridge, on which could be
marked the situation of those gallant squares which had so long resisted
the efforts of the horse and artillery by the groups of bodies, fallen
where they had bravely stood, until even the callous Harmer sickened with
the sight of a waste of life that he had but a few hours before exultingly
contributed to increase.

Appeals to their feelings as they rode through the field had been
frequent, and their progress was much retarded by attempts to contribute
to the ease of a wounded or a dying man; but as the courier constantly
urged speed, as the only means of securing the object of their ride, these
halts were reluctantly abandoned.

It was ten o'clock before they reached the farm-house, where, in the midst
of hundreds of his countrymen, lay the former lover of Jane.

As the subject of his confession must be anticipated by the reader, we
will give a short relation of his life, and of those acts which more
materially affect our history.

Henry Egerton had been turned early on the world, hundreds of his
countrymen, without any principle to counteract the arts of infidelity, or
resist the temptations of life. His father held a situation under
government, and was devoted to his rise in the diplomatic line. His mother
was a woman of fashion, who lived for effect and idle competition with her
sisters in weakness and folly. All he learnt in his father's house was
selfishness, from the example of one, and a love of high life and its
extravagance from the other.

He entered the army young, and from choice. The splendor and reputation of
the service caught his fancy; and, by pride and constitution, he was
indifferent to personal danger. Yet he loved London and its amusements
better than glory; and the money of his uncle, Sir Edgar, whose heir he
was reputed to be, raised him to the rank of lieutenant colonel, without
his spending an hour in the field.

Egerton had some abilities, and a good deal of ardor of temperament, by
nature. The former, from indulgence and example, degenerated into
acquiring the art to please in mixed society; and the latter, from want of
employment, expended itself at the card table.

The association between the vices is intimate. There really appears to be
a kind of modesty in sin that makes it ashamed of good company. If we are
unable to reconcile a favorite propensity to our principles, we are apt to
abandon the unpleasant restraint on our actions, rather than admit the
incongruous mixture. Freed entirely from the fetters of our morals, what
is there that our vices will not prompt us to commit? Egerton, like
thousands of others, went on from step to step, until he found himself in
the world; free to follow all his inclinations, so he violated none of the
decencies of life.

When in Spain, in his only campaign, he was accidentally, as has been
mentioned, thrown in the way of the Donna Julia, and brought her off the
ground under the influence of natural sympathy and national feeling; a
kind of merit that makes vice only more dangerous, by making it sometimes
amiable. He had not seen his dependant long before her beauty, situation,
and his passions decided, him to effect her ruin.

This was an occupation that his figure, manners, and propensities had made
him an adept in, and nothing was further from his thoughts than the
commission of any other than the crime that, according to his code, a
gentleman, might be guilty of with impunity.

It is, however, the misfortune of sin, that from being our slave it
becomes a tyrant; and Egerton attempted what in other countries, and where
the laws ruled, might have cost him his life.

The conjecture of Pendennyss was true. He saw the face of the officer who
interposed between him and his villanous attempt, but was hid himself from
view. He aimed not at his life, but at his own escape. Happily his first
shot succeeded, for the earl would have been sacrificed to preserve the
character of a man of honor; though no one was more regardless of the
estimation he was held in by the virtuous than Colonel Egerton.

In pursuance of his plans on Mrs. Fitzgerald, the colonel had sedulously
avoided admitting any of his companions into the secret of his having a
female in his care.

When he left the army to return home, he remained until a movement of the
troops to a distant part of the country enabled him to effect his own
purposes, without incurring their ridicule; and when he found himself
obliged to abandon his vehicle for a refuge in the woods, the fear of
detection made him alter his course; and under the pretence of wishing to
be in a battle about to be fought, he secretly rejoined the army, and the
gallantry of Colonel Egerton was mentioned in the next despatches.

Sir Herbert Nicholson commanded the advanced guard, at which the earl
arrived with the Donna Julia; and like every other brave man (unless
guilty himself) was indignant at the villany of the fugitive. The
confusion and enormities daily practised in the theatre of the war
prevented any close inquiries into the subject, and circumstances had so
enveloped Egerton in mystery, that nothing but an interview with the lady
herself was likely to expose him.

With Sir Herbert Nicholson, he had been in habits of intimacy, and on that
gentleman's alluding in a conversation in the barracks at F---- to the
lady brought into his quarters before Lisbon, he accidentally emitted
mentioning the name of her rescuer. Egerton had never before heard the
transaction spoken of, and as he had of course never mentioned the subject
himself, was ignorant who had interfered between him and his views; also
of the fate of Donna Julia; indeed, he thought it probable that it had not
much improved by a change of guardians.

In coming into Northamptonshire he had several views; he wanted a
temporary retreat from his creditors. Jarvis had an infant fondness for
play, without an adequate skill, and the money of the young ladies, in his
necessities, was becoming of importance; but the daughters of Sir Edward
Moseley were of a description more suited to his taste, and their portions
were as ample as the others. He had become in some degree attached to
Jane; and as her imprudent parents, satisfied with his possessing the
exterior and requisite; recommendations of a gentleman admitted his visits
freely, he determined to make her his wife.

When he met Denbigh the first time, he saw that chance had thrown him in
the way of a man who might hold his character in his power. He had never
seen him as Pendennyss, and, it will be remembered, was ignorant of the
name of Julia's friend: he now learnt for the first time that it was
Denbigh. Uneasy at he knew not what, fearful of some exposure he knew not
how, when Sir Herbert alluded to the occurrence, with a view to rebut the
charge, if Denbigh should choose to make one, and with the
near-sightedness of guilt, he pretended to know the occurrence, and under
the promise of secresy, mentioned that the name of the officer was
Denbigh. He had noticed Denbigh avoiding Sir Herbert at the ball; and
judging others from himself, thought it was a wish to avoid any allusions
to the lady he had brought into the other's quarters that induced the
measure; for he was in hopes that if Denbigh was not as guilty as himself,
he was sufficiently so to wish to keep the transaction from the eyes of
Emily. He was, however, prepared for an explosion or an alliance with him,
when the sudden departure of Sir Herbert removed the danger of a
collision. Believing at last that they were to be brothers-in-law, and
mistaking the earl for his cousin, whose name he bore, Egerton became
reconciled to the association; while Pendennyss, having in his absence
heard, on inquiring, some of the vices of the colonel, was debating with
himself whether he should expose them to Sir Edward or not.

It was in their occasional interchange of civilities that Pendennyss
placed his pocket-book upon a table, while he exhibited the plants to the
colonel: the figure of Emily passing the window drew him from the room,
and Egerton having ended his examination, observing the book, put it in
his own pocket, to return it to its owner when they next met.

The situation, name, and history of Mrs. Fitzgerald were never mentioned
by the Moseleys in public; but Jane, in the confidence of her affections,
had told her lover who the inmate of the cottage was. The idea of her
being kept there by Denbigh immediately occurred to him, and although he
was surprised at the audacity of the thing, he was determined to profit by
the occasion.

To pay this visit, he stayed away from the excursion on the water, as
Pendennyss had done to avoid his friend, Lord Henry Stapleton. An excuse
of business, which served for his apology, kept the colonel from seeing
Denbigh to return the book, until after his visit to the cottage. His
rhapsody of love, and offers to desert his intended wife, were nothing but
the common-place talk of his purposes; and his presumption in alluding to
his situation with Miss Moseley, proceeded from his impressions as to
Julia's real character. In the struggle for the bell, the pocket-book of
Denbigh accidentally fell from his coat, and the retreat of the colonel
was too precipitate to enable him to recover it.

Mrs. Fitzgerald was too much alarmed to distinguish nicely, and Egerton
proceeded to the ball-room with the indifference of a hardened offender.
When the arrival of Miss Jarvis, to whom he had committed himself,
prompted him to a speedy declaration, and the unlucky conversation of Mr.
Holt brought about a probable detection of his gaming propensities, the
colonel determined to get rid of his awkward situation and his debts by a
coup-de-main. He accordingly eloped with Miss Jarvis.

What portion of the foregoing narrative made the dying confession of
Egerton to the man he had so lately discovered to be the Earl of
Pendennyss, the reader can easily imagine.



Chapter XLIX.



The harvest had been gathered, and the beautiful vales of Pendennyss were
shooting forth a second crop of verdure. The husbandman was turning his
prudent forethought to the promises of the coming year, while the castle
itself exhibited to the gaze of the wondering peasant a sight of
cheerfulness and animation which had not been seen in it since the days of
the good duke. Its numerous windows were opened to the light of the sun,
its halls teemed with the faces of its happy inmates. Servants in various
liveries were seen gliding through its magnificent apartments and
multiplied passages. Horses, grooms, and carriages, with varied costumes
and different armorial bearings, crowded its spacious stables and offices.
Everything spoke society, splendor, and activity without; everything
denoted order, propriety, and happiness within.

In a long range of spacious apartments were grouped in the pursuit of
their morning employments, or in arranging their duties and pleasures of
the day, the guests and owners of the princely abode.

In one room was John Moseley, carefully examining the properties of some
flints which were submitted to his examination by his attending servant;
while Grace, sitting at his side, playfully snatches the stones from his
hand, as she cries half reproachfully, half tenderly---

"You must not devote yourself to your gun so incessantly, Moseley; it is
cruel to kill inoffensive birds for your amusement only."

"Ask Emily's cook, and Mr. Haughton's appetite," said John, coolly
extending his hand towards her for the flint--"whether no one is
gratified but myself. I tell you, Grace, I seldom fire in vain."

"That only makes the matter worse; the slaughter you commit is dreadful."

"Oh!" cried John, with a laugh, "the ci-devant Captain Jarvis is a
sportsman to your mind. He would shoot a month without moving a feather;
he was a great friend to," throwing an arch look to his solitary sister,
who sat on a sofa at a distance perusing a book, "Jane's feathered
songsters."

"But now, Mosely," said Grace, yielding the flints, but gently retaining
the hand that took them, "Pendenyss and Chatterton intend driving their
wives, like good husbands, to see the beautiful waterfall in the
mountains; and what am I to do this long tedious morning?"

John stole an enquiring glance, to see if his wife was very anxious to
join the party--cast one look of regret on a beautiful agate that he had
selected, and inquired--

"Do you wish to go very much, Mrs. Mosely?"

"Indeed--indeed I do," said the other, eagerly, "if--"

"If what?"

"You will drive me?" continued she, with a cheek slightly tinged with
color.

"Well, then," answered John, with deliberation, and regarding his wife
with affection "I will go on one condition."

"Name it!" cried Grace, with still increasing color.

"That you will not expose your health again in going to the church on a
Sunday, if it rains."

"The carriage is so close, Mosely," answered Grace, with a paler cheek
than beforehand eyes fixed on the carpet, "it is impossible I can take
cold: you see the earl, and countess, and aunt Wilson never miss public
worship, when possibly within their power."

"The earl goes with his wife; but what becomes of poor me at such times!"
said John, taking her hand and pressing it kindly. "I like; to hear a good
sermon, but not in bad weather. You must consent to oblige me, who only
live in your presence."

Grace smiled faintly, as John, pursuing the point, said--"What do you say
to my condition?"

"Well then, if you wish," replied Graces without the look of gaiety her
hopes had first inspired, "I will not go if it rain."

John ordered his phaeton, and his wife went to her room to prepare for the
trip, and to regret her own resolution.

In, the recess of a window, in which bloomed a profusion of exotics, stood
the figure of Lady Marian Denbigh, playing with a half-blown rose of the
richest colors; and before her, leaning against the angle of the wall,
stood her kinsman the Duke of Derwent.

"You heard the plan at the breakfast table," said his Grace, "to visit the
little falls in the hills. But I suppose you have seen them too often to
undergo the fatigue?"

"Oh no! I love that ride dearly, and should wish to accompany the countess
in her first visit to it. I had half a mind to ask George to take me in
his phaeton."

"My curricle would be honored with the presence of Lady Marian Denbigh,"
cried the duke with animation, "if, she would accept me for her knight on
the occasion."

Marian bowed an assent, in evident satisfaction, as the duke proceeded--

"But if you take me as your knight I should wear your ladyship's colors;"
and he held out his hand towards the budding rose. Lady Marian hesitated a
moment--looked out at the prospeet--up at the wall--turned, and wondered
where her brother was; and still finding the hand of the duke extended,
while his eye rested on her in admiration, she gave him the boon with a
cheek that vied with the richest tints of the flower. They separated to
prepare, and it was on their return from the falls that the duke seemed
uncommonly gay and amusing, and the lady silent with her tongue, though
her eyes danced in every direction but towards her cousin.

"Really, my dear Lady Mosely," said the dowager, as, seated by the side of
her companion, her eyes roved over the magnificence within, and widely
extended domains without--"Emily is well established indeed--better
even than my Grace."

"Grace has an affectionate husband," replied the other, gravely, "and one
that I hope will make her happy."

"Oh! no doubt happy!" said Lady Chatterton, hastily: "but they say Emily
has a jointure of twelve thousand a year--by-the-by," she added, in a low
tone, though no one was near enough to hear what she said, "could not the
earl have settled Lumley: Castle on her instead of the deanery?"

"Upon my word I never think of such gloomy subjects as provisions for
widowhood," cried Lady Mosely: "you have been in Annerdale House--is it
not a princely mansion?"

"Princely, indeed," rejoined the dowager, sighing: "don't the earl intend
increasing the rents of this estate as the leases fall in? I am told they
are very low now!"

"I believe not," said the other. "He has enough, and is willing others,
should prosper. But there is Clara, with her little boy--is he not a
lovely child?" cried the grandmother, rising to take the infant in her
arms.

"Oh! excessively beautiful!" said the dowager, looking the other way, and
observing Catharine making a movement towards Lord Henry Stapleton, she
called to her. "Lady Herriefield--come this way, my dear--I wish to speak
to you."

Kate obeyed with a sullen pout of her pretty lip, and entered into some
idle discussion about a cap, though her eyes wandered round the rooms in
listless vacancy.

The dowager had the curse of bad impressions in youth to contend with, and
labored infinitely harder now to make her daughter act right, than
formerly she had ever done to make her act wrong.

"Here! uncle Benfield," cried Emily, with a face glowing with health and
animation, as she approached his seat with a glass in her hands. "Here is
the negus you wished; I have made it myself, and you will praise it of
course."

"Oh! my dear Lady Pendennyss," said the old gentleman, rising politely
from his seat to receive the beverage: "you are putting yourself to a
great deal of trouble for an old bachelor like me; too much indeed, too
much."

"Old bachelors are sometimes more esteemed than young one," cried the earl
gaily, joining them in time to hear this speech. "Here is my friend, Mr.
Peter Johnson; who knows when we may dance at his wedding?"

"My lord, and my lady, and my honored master," said Peter gravely, in
reply, bowing respectfully where he stood, waiting to take his master's
glass--"I am past the age to think of a wife: I am seventy-three coming
next 'lammas, counting by the old style."

"What do you intend to do with your three hundred a year," said Emily with
a smile, "unless you bestow it on some good woman, for making the evening
of your life comfortable?'

"My lady--hem--my lady," said the steward, blushing, "I had a little
thought, with your kind ladyship's consent, as I have no-relations, chick
or child in the world, what to do with it."

"I should be happy to hear your plan," said the countess, observing that
the steward was anxious to communicate something.

"Why, my lady, if my lord and my honored master's agreeable, I did think
of making another codicil to master's will in order to dispose of it."

"Your master's will," said the earl laughing; "why not to your own, good
Peter?"

"My honored lord," said the steward, with great humility, "it don't become
a poor serving-man like me to make a will."

"But how will you prove it?" said the earl, kindly, willing to convince
him of his error; "you must be both dead to prove it."

"Our wills," said Peter, gulping his words, "will be proved on the same
day."

His master looked round at him with great affection, and both the earl and
Emily were too much struck to say anything. Peter had, however, the
subject too much at heart to abandon it, just as he had broken the ice. He
anxiously wished for the countess's consent to the scheme, for he would
not affront her, even after he was dead.

"My lady--Miss Emmy," said Johnson, eagerly, "my plan is, if my honored
master's agreeable--to make a codicil, and give my mite to a little--Lady
Emily Denbigh."

"Oh! Peter, you and uncle Benfield are both too good," cried Emily,
laughing and blushing, as she hastened to Clara and her mother.

"Thank you, thank you," cried the delighted earl, following his wife with
his eyes, and shaking the steward cordially by the hand; "and, if no
better expedient be adopted by us, you have full permission to do as you
please with your money.

"Peter," said his master to him in a low tone, "you should never speak of
such things prematurely; now I remember when the Earl of Pendennyss, my
nephew, was first presented to me, I was struck with the delicacy and
propriety of his demeanor, and the Lady Pendennyss, my niece, too; you
never see any thing forward, or--Ah! Emmy, dear," said the old man,
tenderly interrupting himself, "you are too good to remember your old
uncle," taking one of the fine peaches she handed him from a plate.

"My lord," said Mr. Haughton to the earl, "Mrs. Ives and myself have had a
contest about the comforts of matrimony; she insists she may be quite as
happy at Bolton Parsonage as in this noble castle, and with this rich
prospect in view."

"I hope," said Francis, "you are not teaching my wife to be discontented
with her humble lot--if so, both hers and your visit will be an unhappy
one."

"It would be no easy task, if our good friend intended any such thing by
his jests," said Clara, smiling. "I know my true interests, I trust, too
well, to wish to change my fortune."

"You are right," said Pendennyss; "it is wonderful how little our
happiness depends on a temporal condition. When here, or at Lumley Castle,
surrounded by my tenantry, there are, I confess, moments of weakness, in
which the loss of my wealth or rank would be missed greatly; but when on
service, subjected to great privations, and surrounded by men superior to
me in military rank, who say unto me--go, and I go--come, and I come--I
find my enjoyments intrinsically the same."

"That," said Francis, "may be owing to your Lordship's tempered feelings,
which have taught you to look beyond this world for pleasures and
consolation."

"It has, doubtless, an effect," said the earl, "but there is no truth of
which I am more fully persuaded, than that our happiness here does not
depend upon our lot in life, so we are not suffering for necessaries--even
changes bring less real misery than they are supposed to do."

"Doubtless," cried Mr. Haughton, "under the circumstances, I would not
wish to change even with your lordship--unless, indeed," he continued,
with a smile and bow to the countess, "it were the temptation of your
lovely wife."

"You are quite polite," said Emily laughing, "but I have no desire to
deprive Mrs. Haughton of a companion she has made out so well with these
twenty years past."

"_Thirty_, my lady, if you please."

"And thirty more, I hope," continued Emily, as a servant announced the
several carriages at the door. The younger part of the company now
hastened to their different engagements, and Chatterton handed Harriet;
John, Grace; and Pendennyss, Emily, into their respective carriages; the
duke and Lady Marian following, but at some little distance from the rest
of the party.

As the earl drove from the door, the countess looked up to a window, at
which were standing her aunt and Doctor Ives. She kissed her hand to them,
with a face, in which glowed the mingled expression of innocence, love,
and joy.

Before leaving the Park, the party passed Sir Edward; with his wife
leaning on one arm and Jane on the other, pursuing their daily walk. The
baronet followed the carriages with his eyes, and exchanged looks of the
fondest love with his children, as they drove slowly and respectfully by
him; and if the glance which followed on Jane, did not speak equal
pleasure, it surely denoted its proper proportion of paternal love.

"You have much reason to congratulate yourself on the happy termination of
your labors," said the doctor, with a smile, to the widow; "Emily is
placed, so far as human foresight can judge, in the happiest of all
stations a female can be in: she is the pious wife of a pious husband,
beloved, and deserving of it."

"Yes," said Mrs. Wilson, drawing back from following the phaeton with her
eyes, "they are as happy as this world will admit, and, what is better,
they are well prepared to meet any reverse of fortune which may occur, as
well as to discharge the duties on which they have entered. I do not
think," continued she, musing, "that Pendennyss can ever doubt the
affections of such a woman as Emily."

"I should think not" said the doctor, "but what can excite such a thought
in your breast, and one so much to the prejudice of George?"

"The only unpleasant thing I have ever observed in him," said Mrs. Wilson
gravely, "is the suspicion which induced him to adopt the disguise in
which he entered our family."

"He did not adopt it, madam--- chance and circumstances drew it around him
accidentally; and when you consider the peculiar state of his mind from
the discovery of his mother's misconduct--his own great wealth and rank---
it is not so surprising that he should yield to a deception, rather
harmless than injurious."

"Dr. Ives," said Mrs. Wilson, "is not wont to defend deceit."

"Nor do I now, madam;" replied the doctor with a smile; "I acknowledge the
offence of George, myself, wife, and son. I remonstrated at the time upon
principle; I said the end would not justify the means; that a departure
from ordinary rules of propriety was at all times dangerous, and seldom
practised with impunity."

"And you failed to convince your hearers," cried Mrs. Wilson, gaily; "a
novelty in your case, my good rector."

"I thank you for the compliment," said the doctor; "I did convince them as
to the truth of the principle, but the earl contended that his case might
make an innocent exception. He had the vanity to think, I believe, that by
concealing his real name, he injured himself more than any one else, and
got rid of the charge in some such way. He is however, thoroughly
convinced of the truth of the position, by practice; his sufferings,
growing out of the mistake of his real character, and which could not have
happened had he appeared in proper person, having been greater than he is
ready to acknowledge."

"If they study the fate of the Donna Julia, and his own weakness," said
the widow, "they will have a salutary moral always at hand, to teach them
the importance of two cardinal virtues at least--obedience and truth."

"Julia has suffered much," replied the doctor; "and although she has
returned to her father, the consequences of her imprudence are likely to
continue. When once the bonds of mutual confidence and respect are broken,
they may be partially restored, it is true, but never with a warmth and
reliance such as existed previously. To return, however, to yourself, do
you not feel a sensation of delight at the prosperous end of your
exertions in behalf of Emily?"

"It is certainly pleasant to think we have discharged our duties, and the
task is much easier than we are apt to suppose," said Mrs. Wilson; "it is
only to commence the foundation, so that it will be able to support the
superstructure. I have endeavored to make Emily a Christian. I have
endeavored to form such a taste and principles in her, that she would not
be apt to admire an improper suitor and I have labored to prepare her to
discharge her continued duties through life, in such a manner and with
such a faith, as under the providence of God will result in happiness far
exceeding anything she now enjoys. In all these, by the blessing of
Heaven, I have succeeded, and had occasion offered, I would have assisted
her inexperience through the more delicate decisions of her sex, though in
no instance would I attempt to control them."

"You are right, my dear madam," said the doctor, taking her kindly by the
hand, "and had I a daughter, I would follow a similar course. Give her
delicacy, religion, and a proper taste, aided by the unseen influence of a
prudent parent's care, and the chances of a woman for happiness would be
much greater than they are; and I am entirely of your opinion--'That
prevention is at all times better than cure.'"


THE END.





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