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´╗┐Title: Bungay Castle: A Novel. v. 1-2
Author: Bonhote, Elizabeth
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bungay Castle: A Novel. v. 1-2" ***

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State University



Transcriber's Note:

This is a faithful transcription of the original 1796 printing
of this novel. All archaic words, alternative spellings, and
inconsistencies of grammatical form and fashion, have been
preserved.

   *     *     *     *     *



BUNGAY CASTLE:

A NOVEL.

BY MRS. BONHOTE.

Author of the Parental Monitor, &c.


_In Two Volumes_


  Astonished at the voice he stood amaz'd,
  And all around with inward horror gaz'd.

                                          ADDISON.

VOL. I.


LONDON:
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM LANE,
AT THE
Minerva Press
LEADENHALL-STREET.
M.DCC.XCVI.



FRONTISPIECE

[Illustration: Drawing of Bungay Castle]



BUNGAY CASTLE



TO
THE MOST NOBLE
CHARLES DUKE OF NORFOLK,
WHOSE URBANITY AND PHILANTHROPY
MUST EVER REFLECT
ADDITIONAL HONOURS
ON THE NAME OF
HOWARD;
BY WHOSE NOBLE FAMILY
BUNGAY CASTLE
WAS POSSESSED FOR MANY CENTURIES;
THE FOLLOWING PAGES
ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
BY HIS GRACE'S MOST OBEDIENT,
AND VERY HUMBLE SERVANT,
ELIZ. BONHOTE.

Bungay, 1797.



INTRODUCTION.


Castle-Building appears to have been the passion of all ages; while
some have been raising their fabrics on the most solid and lasting
foundations, others have been forming them in the air, where the
structure has been erected with infinitely less trouble, as their own
invention led them to wish, and very pleasant, no doubt, was the
delusion of the moment.

It is now the prevailing taste to read wonderful tales of wonderful
castles; to recall them from the [* Missing words here ]
ages, and represent them as the novelist finds most suitable to the
circumstances of his tale. In times like these, every book that serves
to amuse the mind, and withdraw the attention from scenes of real
distress, without inflaming the passions, or corrupting the heart,
must surely be as acceptable to the reader as it may have been found
pleasant to the writer, and should exempt the latter from the severity
of criticism. Under the influence of this opinion, the Author of the
following sheets has been tempted to send them into the world. She
might, indeed, to evade the danger of having her work condemned,
pretend to have found it in some recess of her favourite ruins, or
to have discovered it artfully concealed in the bottom of an old
chest, in so defaced and mutilated a condition, as to have rendered
it a very difficult and laborious task to collect the fragments and
modernize the language: but the writer of these pages has not been
so fortunate; and, had she attempted to assert so marvellous a
circumstance, she could not have expected any miss of fifteen would
have been credulous enough to believe her.

The thought of publishing a novel, under the title given to these
volumes, has long been her intention,--a thought which originated
from her living within the distance of twenty yards from those
venerable ruins, which still attract the attention of the stranger
and the curious. Often in early youth had she climbed their loftiest
summits, and listened with pleased and captivated attention to the
unaccountable tales related by the old and superstitious, and
considered as real by herself and her inexperienced companions.--In
one place, it was said the ghost of an ancient warrior, clad in armour,
took his nightly round to reconnoitre scenes endeared by many a tender
claim. In another, a lovely female form had been seen to glide along,
and was supposed to disappear on the very spot where it was imagined
her lover had fallen a victim to the contentions of the times.

    "Her face was like an April sky
     Dimm'd by a scatt'ring cloud;
     Her clay-cold lily hand, knee-high,
     Held up her sable shroud."

All these circumstances added strength to a romantic turn of mind,
which acquired additional force from a love of reading the old
romances, and this propensity for the marvellous was for some time
indulged in the midst of scenes which afforded ample scope for the
creative excursions of fancy. After having left her paternal dwelling
many years, she is again replaced in it by some of those changes
which so frequently occur in the progress of human life; and has
purchased the little spot of ground on which stands the principal part
of all that now remains of Bungay Castle, and which, though a mere
heap of unconnected ruins, are still so venerable as to excite, in
the feeling and thoughtful mind, a sympathetic regret at the
instability of human grandeur and the weakness of human strength.

Among these ruins, once the property, and, in all probability, the
temporary residence, of the noble house of Norfolk, cottages are now
built, and inhabited by many poor families, and those very walls,
which perhaps sheltered royalty, are now the supporters of miserable
hovels. Such are the awful effects of time, and the unaccountable
revolutions it produces!

But, were it in the Author's power as much as it is her inclination,
she would adorn their venerable remains with all the flowers of spring,
and the tempting treasures of autumn should surround them. The
jessamine and honey-suckle should clasp them in their embraces, and
the tendrils of the vine and the fig-tree should encircle and decorate
them with their luscious sweets. She would, on the loftiest corner of
their remains, build herself a little hut, in which she could sit and
contemplate the variegated scenes around. She would reverse the order
of things, and render them as lovely and beautiful in age, as they
were grand and magnificent before time had robbed them of those
envied and valuable properties which it cannot restore.

Being again in the habit of spending many leisure hours in this
favourite spot, endeared to her for bringing to remembrance the
enlivening scenes of youth, and, having opportunities to pursue her
sedentary amusements, she determined to accomplish her design, seeing
no reason why Bungay Castle should not be as good a foundation for
the structure of a novel as any other edifice within or without the
kingdom. But, as so many ages are elapsed since this Castle was reared,
and since time and death have swept away with ruthless hand almost
every vestige of what it once was, she has to lament, and so perhaps
may her readers, that she was furnished for this employment with no
other materials than the scanty portion her own imagination afforded.
She has borrowed some real names, and she hopes the characters she
has introduced will be found neither disgusting nor unnatural. But,
as Solomon so many centuries ago declared, there was nothing _new_
under the sun, she cannot surely be condemned for not producing new
characters, nor blamed if any contained in this work resemble those
of the present day; and, though in the reigns of our first sovereigns,
and many of their successors, the customs and manners of the people
were somewhat different, she is convinced the world was in many
instances just the same. The same virtues, vices, and passions,
degraded or ennobled human nature; and, though delicacy, sensibility,
and refinement might be less known, and not so frequently mentioned,
they no doubt retained as proper and powerful an influence over the
mind. Love too, that invincible and all-subduing passion, implanted
in the heart of man from the beginning of the world, was as generally
known and acknowledged by the king and the peasant, the hero and
the coward.

This painfully leads to an observation, which, while it is humiliating,
has too much truth for its foundation to admit of dispute, that,
though the same vices which disgrace the present times were practised
in the earliest ages, more pains were then taken to conceal them from
public observation, and the conduct, of which the modern fine gentleman
or avowed debauchee will now proudly boast, would then have been
considered as sufficient to stamp the character with indelible infamy.
By our unfashionable progenitors modesty was distinguished and admired
as the most becoming ornament of woman; adultery was punished, and
seduction held in contempt; the artful betrayer of unsuspecting
innocence was pointed at by the finger of derision, and the victim
of baseness compelled to conceal her shame either in the shades of
retirement or the seclusion of a nunnery. We may justly lament, if
we are not permitted to condemn, that in this respect the present age
is not quite so sensitive, and may shed the tear of regret at being
so often forced to look down with pity, when we meet, at almost every
corner of our streets, the unblushing front of degraded beauty, and
our ears are shocked with the execrations of profligacy from lips
that in early life had been taught to speak a language as pure as
their own uncontaminated hearts.

The author of these pages has not attempted to enter on the politics
of the past or present times. Had she ever cherished such a design,
the sentiments of one of the first* and most interesting writers this
age has produced, would instantly have determined her to decline her
intention, but she had ever thought that so heterogeneous a mixture
was not likely to please the taste of many readers, and that a novel
was never intended as a vehicle for politics, any farther than it
was necessary for the elucidation of the story. Firmly attached to
her King, perfectly satisfied with our laws and constitution, and
grateful to heaven for being permitted to live under so mild and just
a government. In a country where freedom and plenty have hitherto
taken their stations, and shed their most benign influence, she will
ever remain contented to leave politics and the affairs of state to
be settled by better, wiser, and more experienced heads.

[Footnote:* Mr. Cumberland]

Gentle reader, we will now enter upon a story, of whose origin you
are informed. If any, who sit down to read it with minds tortured by
mental or bodily diseases, should find a temporary relief from misery
or languor, the Author will consider it as a luxuriant reward for
her employment. If, on the contrary, they should be disappointed, or
dissatisfied, she sincerely wishes they may meet a more agreeable
entertainment from the next publication thrown in their way.

To the Reviewers she takes this opportunity of publicly making her
acknowledgements for the liberality and candour they have invariably
shewn to her former publications; and, though she has never had the
satisfaction of being personally known to any one of them, she has
for many years considered them as friends.



CHAP. I


During the bloody period of the Barons' wars, when civil discord threw
her fire-brands around, to lay waste and make desolate the fertile
plains and fruitful fields of this long envied country; when the widow
mourned the husband torn from her embraces, and the orphan wandered
friendless and unprotected; when brother waged war against brother,
and the parent raised his arm to destroy the son he had reared and
cherished; when every castle was kept in a state of the most guarded
defence, lest it should be wrested from its owner by the ambition
and enmity of his neighbour:--then it was that _Bungay Castle_ reared
its proud towers and battlements aloft; while its massy walls stood
in gloomy and majestic grandeur, as if they could bid defiance to
every design formed against them by man, and to the more certain
influence of all-conquering time; so perfectly stupendous and strong
was this once-spacious edifice, it was not only an object of desire
to the proud and aspiring barons, but, it has been said, even to
contending kings.

The noble and loyal lord of this castle, being called upon to fill
some important office in the service of the state, appointed Sir
Philip de Morney to be governor during his absence, and never had he
shewn the goodness of his heart and the excellence of his judgment
more than in the delegation of his power and authority over so
numerous a train of vassals and dependents to this his bosom friend.

Sir Philip de Morney was a bold and hardy veteran: he was grown
grey in the service of his king and country; brave in the field,
just, merciful, and benevolent, in his dealings with all his
fellow-creatures,--possessed of an abundant fortune, he accepted this
important trust to oblige his friend, and promote the happiness of
those to whom he knew he was attached;--fond of an active and useful
life, he wished not to sink into indolence or obscurity, till the
infirmities of age should render him incapable of taking his share
in the busy scenes of that important period, in which, though the
pernicious doctrine of equality did not influence the minds of the
vulgar against their lawful sovereign, or the rights of the subject,
the ambition of the nobility, and the feuds and distraction of the
contending parties, produced scenes of misery equally distressing,
but happily not so extensive in their effects.

Into Bungay Castle he removed with his whole family, and there for
some years found that happiness he had vainly sought in more
enlivening scenes; and there he tasted those serene and contented
pleasures he had been unable to procure in the world; though formed
to make a brilliant figure on its great stage, he had every endowment
of the mind for the true enjoyment of domestic life, uniting with
the most unshaken courage the gentlest philanthropy. He had married
at the age of thirty-five a lady much younger than himself, by whom
he had several children, and looked forward with the hope of being
the parent of a more numerous offspring, while, like the patriarchs
of old, he lived respected and revered in the bosom of his family.
Ah! little did he suspect the revolution ambition would one day make
in his mind.

Lady de Morney was yet in the pride of life; her beauty unfaded, her
spirits lively, and her mind in its full vigour; her person was
lovely, her disposition amiable: sweetness, modesty, truth, and
fortitude, were the inmates of her bosom, and gave additional graces
to the ease and elegance of her manners; strictly exemplary in
performing the important duties of wife and mother, no complaints
were heard where she presided; no looks of discontent were seen on
the countenance of her dependents; time was neither abused nor found
a burden; her whole study and attention were employed to promote the
happiness of her husband, and to superintend the education of her
children; for the latter employment no one was more adequate than
herself,--her own example serving more than precept to enforce the
lessons of truth on the ductile mind of youth; her own gentleness
made them happy, while her conduct convinced them of the value and
dignity of virtue.

She considered youth and innocence as the most valuable of earthly
treasures, and she was not more anxious to preserve the one in all
its native purity, than to teach them how to enjoy the other with
cheerfulness and gratitude: Having stored their minds with virtuous
precepts, best calculated to chain the attention, and which she
hoped would lay the most solid foundation for securing their future
happiness, she lived with her children in habits of the most
soothing and perfect friendship, and very seldom was under the
unpleasant necessity of assuming the stern authority of a
dictatorial parent.

But, as no character on earth can be found without having some of
the weakness and frailty of erring mortality annexed to it, the
author does not mean to present Lady de Morney to their view as a
being entirely faultless. She was vain of her high birth, being allied
to nobility; and so partial to her eldest son, that she could scarcely
suffer him to be out of her sight; yet her partiality originated from
a circumstance so interesting and affecting to all who knew it, that,
though it might by some be considered as a weakness, it was by none
but herself condemned as a fault. When her son was in his infancy,
she was seized with a fever of so malignant a nature, as deprived
her for some weeks of her senses: during this distressing period of
her delirium, and in the absence of her nurse, she one day snatched
the infant from the arms of a young woman, his attendant, and, before
any one was aware of her design, ran out of the house, and with almost
incredible swiftness down a long gravel walk to the bottom of the
garden, and threw him into a lake, by which it was bounded. By the
fortunate and timely assistance of an old and faithful servant, who
was luckily at work near the spot, and who had hastened to it on
seeing his lady so unexpectedly make her appearance, the family were
alarmed, and the child providentially, but with difficulty, saved.

This incident, of which she was unguardedly informed, made so forcible
an impression on the mind of this susceptible and affectionate parent,
as she could not shake off: it created an additional claim upon her
heart for every tender indulgence, and gave to every juvenile action
and good quality redoubled value. He had in a manner been raised from
death, rescued from a watery grave, into which her own, a mother's,
hand had hurled him; and yet he loved her, as her fond and plaintive
partiality led her often to imagine, better than the rest of her
children. She would sometimes embrace this darling son, and, with
all the enthusiasm of maternal tenderness, tremble at the horrid
remembrance of having so nearly deprived him of an existence that
added so much to the happiness of her own. To all her children Lady
de Morney was an indulgent parent; but for Edwin she felt that
indescribable fondness which not only threw a veil over his failings,
but robbed her of that fortitude and energy with which she acted on
all other occasions. So far from attempting to deny any request he
made, it was her study to prevent his wishes. She would at times
apologize to the rest of her children for the extreme affection
nature had implanted, and which she could not help cherishing for
their brother, but which she regretted as a weakness she was unable
to conquer. This conduct served to reconcile the young people to a
partiality which originated from so singular and awful an incident,
and, so far from shewing either envy or regret, it seemed to endear
their mother's favourite to their youthful and guileless hearts.
Another circumstance, which equally helped to reconcile them, was
the sweetness of Edwin's disposition, who as often availed himself
of his mother's indulgence to gratify and make them happy, as he did
to obtain any of her favours for himself.

In a situation from which thousands of her sex and age would have
shrunk disgusted and affrighted, Lady de Morney was cheerful and
contented. The rooms were Gothic and gloomy, but her husband and
children enlivened every place they inhabited. She was at times
surrounded by and exposed to dangers; but her beloved De Morney and
his faithful people were ever near to protect and guard her. She was
the wife of a noble soldier, and she had acquired a fortitude almost
equal to his from the knowledge of his unfailing courage, which
gained energy from danger, and redoubled ardour from difficulty.

The castle itself could boast few internal beauties, but her
children, whom she saw playful as youthful fawns, and happy as health,
innocence, and unbroken spirits, could make them, were treasures
inexhaustible: they beheld the rough implements of war without terror
or dismay, instructed by their father to consider them as the only
ornaments fitted for a soldier. The young De Morneys were taught the
use of arms as soon as they had learned to walk.

Seldom were the Gothic gates of the castle unbarred to admit the
social friend or gay companion to the festive board; seldom did the
voice of mirth and jollity echo through the lofty rooms and vaulted
passages; but a sweet serenity supplied their place, which, having
lost during the absence of her husband, at an early period of her
marriage, Lady de Morney now felt the full value of possessing; and,
though secluded from the gaudy pleasure of a court, she felt herself
a gainer by the exchange in the balance of happiness.--Lady de Morney
had a sister, who was placed by the Lady Gundreda as superior in the
nunnery of Bungay; with her she spent many of her leisure hours:
between them the tenderest friendship strengthened the endearing ties
in which they were united by nature.

The abbess was a pious, but yet she was a young and interesting
woman, of a benevolent and placid disposition; and, though she had
voluntarily secluded herself from the world, she was not so much
disgusted with its pleasures as she felt herself wounded by the
severity of its disappointments.--Early in life, death had deprived
her of a lover who had engaged her most animated and ardent affection,
and with whom she had indulged the fond hope of being united in the
indissoluble bands of Hymen; but adverse fate had ordained it
otherwise, and those virtues and good qualities which had made him
inexpressibly dear to her, rendered his loss the more exquisitely
painful. With him the world lost all its power to charm, and she
resolutely determined to fly that world for ever, and never to permit
another lover to displace the sainted Henry from her heart; she
therefore unreluctantly withdrew from the varying and busy scenes
of life,--not to avoid temptation, but to be able to indulge, in the
gloomy shades of a nunnery, the memory of a man, to whose worth and
constancy she deemed no sacrifice too great. Time served to convince
her of the wisdom of her choice; and, giving way to all the luxury
of a pure but romantic imagination, she encouraged the consoling
hope, that, if her regretted Henry were permitted to know what was
acting in this lower world, his spirit would be gratified by the
purity of her choice, and his heart convinced of the unabating
strength of her affection. She often flattered herself that her Henry
was deputed to watch her conduct, and would be the first to convey
her to the bright regions of immortality; yet, though thus severely
tried in the lessons of affliction, she troubled no one with a
repetion of her sorrows; and, though she often wept in all the
bitterness of anguish, her tears fell when no one observed them, and
only to the ear of her sympathizing sister did she venture to mention
a name so dear and so beloved.

Young Edwin de Morney, whom we have already mentioned, was at this
period in his seventeenth year, and, notwithstanding the unbounded
indulgence of his mother, he had made a rapid proficiency in every
part of his education. Nature had been equally liberal of her favours
to his mind and person: his temper was good,--his manners and
conversation those of the gentleman and the scholar, and, with all
the interesting gaiety and natural cheerfulness of youth, he united
a benevolent and susceptible heart.

His eldest sister, Roseline, was only one year younger than himself;
her form was small, but symmetry itself, every limb so nicely turned,
it would have been chosen by a statuary for the model of a Venus:
her face was beautiful in the extreme; her eyes expressive and
sparkling, and the smile which shewed itself was of that irresistible
kind as caught the attention and won the heart; and it would have
been difficult for a connoisseur in beauty to point out which feature
it was that had the greatest claim to admiration, while the unfading
and fascinating beauties of her polished mind, which was stored
with all the graces the best education could bestow, or the most
lively genius acquire, rendered her conversation as delightful as
her manners were captivating. She played on the lute, and warbled
her artless song in strains so sweet, as would have rivalled the
daughters of Italy. Her heart, unwounded by the barbed thorn of
affliction, and free from the entanglements of love, was like one
of the first days of infant-spring, which, enlivened by the bright
rays of an unclouded and all-cheering sun, serves not only to revive,
but to embellish the whole face of inanimate nature, just bursting
into life, and rendering all its sweetly modest beauties of redoubled
value to those who had lingered through a dreary winter, in eager
expectation of its approach. Lively as the birds which hovered round
the turrets of the castle, she entered gaily into all the youthful
sports of her brothers and sisters. To the little blooming Edeliza
she was particularly attached; and, though she saw her as beautiful
as herself, felt neither envy nor regret in the reflection. No modish
complaints filled her with imaginary terrors, and, as she had known
no sorrows, she thought it not only incumbent on her to shew her
gratitude to heaven and her parents, but to soften, by every
benevolent attention in her power, the miseries and misfortunes
of others.

In those days, the education of young women was completed at a more
early period than in the present; and, if the manners were not
altogether so highly finished, or the mind so profusely decorated,
or rather fettered, with innumerable, and, to too many, useless
accomplishments, the time was undoubtedly more rationally employed,
and the fair sex less exposed to the allurements of flattery and the
dangers of temptation: though more retired in their habits, and
reserved in their manners, they were neither less susceptible of the
tender passions, nor less fervent or sincere in their attachments.

Roseline had formed an early friendship with a young lady educated
in the Bungay nunnery, of which her aunt, fortunately for the young
people, was the superior. This sweet victim of ambition was designed
by a proud and haughty father for the monastic life, in order to
enable him to provide more liberally for the rest of the children.
She had not yet however entered on the year of her novitiate; but
it was soon to commence, and, at its awful close, she was to bid a
final adieu to that world, to which her heart had of late become too
tenderly and anxiously attached. As it approached, time seemed to
wing his flight with redoubled rapidity, and she felt a trembling
dread that her fortitude, like a false friend, would forsake her in
the hour of trial, and a trembling presentiment that the moment,
which shut her from the society at the castle, would exclude her
from every prospect of happiness; yet this repugnance to obey the
will of her parents was new to her mind:--she dared not investigate
the cause too nicely, lest she should find a subject for
self-condemnation. She found, with painful regret, a troublesome
guest was admitted to her bosom, and she was afraid, in attempting
to become more intimately acquainted with its prevailing influence,
she should permit the stranger to gain greater ascendancy.

The youthful Madeline, on her first entrance into the nunnery, had
neither felt nor shewn any discontent: she had assumed the formal
and unbecoming habit without a sigh, and yielded to the rigid rules
prescribed with uncomplaining resignation; but, as time crept on
with solemn and leaden pace, unrelieved by any of the innocent
amusements of social life, only to repeat and bring forward the same
dull round of gloomy and mortifying scenes, not only repugnant to
the feelings of nature, but disgusting to the senses, she began to
think and to complain to the bosom of friendship, that those fetters,
put on by the rigid will of unfeeling parents, to be finally closed
by the iron laws of bigotry and superstition, were unjust and galling,
and the free-born soul of innocence and virtue drooped and pined
beneath the sacred walls by which it was inclosed;--how cruel to make
religion a pretext for such persecution and misery, and to counteract
the designs of the Creator, who never formed his creatures for
seclusion from that world in which he had profusely strewn so many
blessings for the enjoyment of rational and social beings!

Roseline, by the urgency of her entreaties, frequently obtained
leave of the abbess for Madeline de Glanville to visit at the castle.
This favour was the more readily granted, from her having observed
with real regret that some secret grief preyed on the mind of her
young charge, which, though she could not help commiserating, she
did not choose to mention. Those days, which the fair Madeline spent
at the castle, were the happiest she had ever known; while there,
she was gay and cheerful as the youthful companions who studied to
amuse and entertain her. The song, the dance, the lute, drove from
her remembrance the gloomy nunnery in which she was condemned to
waste and linger out her future life.

Sir Philip and Lady de Morney treated her with the tenderness and
indulgence of parents; the friendship and affection between her and
Roseline was mutual and sincere; for Edwin she felt, as she innocently
supposed, the fond regard of a sister. All the younger branches of
the De Morney family rejoiced to see her, and gladly assisted in
rendering her happy; and when the hour arrived for the unfortunate
Madeline to return to the nunnery, whilst she observed with secret
gratitude the gloom it threw on the countenances of her friends, it
gave additional pangs to the feelings of her own heart; her spirits
instantly deserted her, and tears of unfeigned regret marked the sad
moment of departure. When she re-entered her solitary cell, she would
sink into a despondency which the austere rules of the order was not
likely to conquer.

The inhabitants of the castle and its environs were in themselves a
little commonwealth, which contained a vast variety of characters.
Men of different nations were met together, and, by the unaccountable
effects of accident, ambition, or necessity, brought into the same
habits, and lived cordially together, serving one master; and, united
by one cause and interest, the utmost harmony prevailed among them;
for Sir Philip de Morney was a just and active governor; gentle as
the lamb and forgiving as mercy to the virtuous or injured,--but a
terror and a stern master to the traitor or oppressor, whether friend
or foe: he knew the importance of his situation, and how much the
happiness of others depended on the careful and faithful discharge
of those duties belonging to his high station, and intrusted to him
by his noble friend the Earl of Norfolk; he therefore wisely and
justly determined not to be biassed nor misled, either by the
partiality or designs of other men, nor to suffer any prejudice to
gain ascendancy over his mind in the rewards he bestowed, or the
punishments which guilt would sometimes compel him to inflict.



CHAP. II


In the middle of a cold and inclement winter's night, when the wind
blew with uncontrolable force, and the snow, rain, and hail beat with
fury against the window, every instant breaking some of the few panes
which admitted a scanty light into the interior apartments, and
threatened to demolish those of the state-rooms, while nature
appeared to shudder at this unusual warring of the elements, the
centinels on guard were alarmed by a loud rapping at the western
gate, and the rumbling of a carriage, with the clattering of horses'
hoofs was distinctly heard. For some moments the people stood
irresolute; at length one of the soldiers roughly inquired who it
was wanted admittance at so unseasonable an hour, when only treason
or treachery could be suspected.

A voice replied, "We are no traitors; we come with no hostile
intentions, but have brought dispatches of the utmost importance
to the governor, and must beg to be immediately admitted, as we are
in danger of perishing from fatigue and the severity of the weather."
This answer caused a general bustle; the governor was summoned, and
the troops, lodged within the interior parts of the castle, ordered
to arms before the gate was thrown open; nor were the strangers
permitted to enter till their number was ascertained, and the
soldiers prepared to oppose them should they have any bad designs
to accomplish by this strange and suspicious visit; but the alarm
soon subsided, and the soldiers almost tempted to laugh at their own
fears, when they saw a carriage draw up to the gate, guarded by about
twenty men, out of which they took a person who appeared quite
passive, and was so muffled up, that, in the hurry which was made
use of to convey him into the governor's apartment, it was impossible
to discover either his age or person. The governor, after reading
the dispatches, withdrew with the prisoner and two of the people,
who appeared to have the command and direction of this mysterious
expedition.--

Refreshments were ordered for the travellers, and beds made up for
them in the barracks; but the governor had a long conference with
the gentlemen before they separated. In the middle of the following
night they departed from the castle with as much secrecy, and as
little ceremony, as they had entered it, no one appearing desirous
to develop the cause which brought them, or daring to ask any
questions of the governor, in whose power alone it rested to satisfy
their inquiries, as at this time civil commotions and private feuds
between the contending nobles were continually arising to disturb
the peace of society, and involve the nation in accumulating
distresses; this strange visit was not only silently observed, but
in a few weeks scarcely recollected, even by those who had witnessed
it; and the guards, with only silent shrugs and significant looks,
thought it fastest, wisest, and best, to perform with exact attention
the discharge of their respective duties.

At this period of our tale, the joyous festival of Christmas was
approaching--a festival which our old-fashioned forefathers welcomed
with every mark of grateful and benevolent hospitality; and its
arrival was beheld with as much complacent and cordial hilarity by
the rich and great, as it was with delight and impatience by the poor
and needy. While the holly and mistletoe decorated the kitchens, and
the innocent joke went round, as the blushing maidens received the
compliments and good wishes of the season, the loaded tables served
still more to exhilirate their spirits, and even the stranger and
the beggar were invited to taste the good things they enjoyed.

The youthful inhabitants of the castle began to reckon with eager
and high-raised expectation the days, the hours, and even the minutes,
which must pass away before the lovely Madeline, who had obtained
permission of the abbess to spend the Christmas holidays at the
castle, could join their party. Various plans of pleasure were
formed, which they hoped would be productive of such amusements as
would amply gratify their own wishes, and those of their expected
visitors; for Agnes de Clifford, who was a boarder in the nunnery,
was to accompany Madeline, by whom and Roseline she was much beloved.
She was a lively interesting girl, about Miss de Morney's age, and,
next Madeline, held the highest place in her regard.

In realty, the young people at the castle were as much confined as
those in the nunnery from any intercourse with the world, Sir Philip
de Morney having a decided aversion to the introducing young people
early into life; but by the urgent entreaties of his lady, he was
now prevailed upon to relax from the strictness he had observed
respecting his elder children, four of whom felt a wish for a more
enlarged society; and, as their father had no design of placing any
of them in a religious retirement, it began to be time for them to
know something of that world in which, in all probability, they must
take an active part.

The holidays were spent in the utmost harmony; the festivity which
reigned in every part of the castle seemed to have banished sorrow
from its walls. The surgeon, captains, and lieutenants, were all of
their parties, and the evenings generally concluded with a dance:
their dependents were sometimes permitted to join the set, and the
good priest, Father Anselm, who attended the castle, would gladly
have been a partaker in their innocent amusements, had not the rigid
rules of his sacred order forbidden such relaxations.

A few days before the young ladies were to return to the nunnery,
Madeline was taken ill, and her disorder increased so rapidly, it
was not only thought dangerous, but found impracticable to remove
her with safety. For some weeks her life was despaired of, and, when
immediate danger was over, she was left in so weak and languid a
state, that air and exercise were pronounced absolutely necessary
to effect a perfect recovery. This sentence was heard with secret
delight by the suffering Madeline, as she was certain it would
procure leave for her longer continuance at the castle, and the
permission, when obtained, had more efficacy in restoring her, than
all the medicines she had taken during her illness. Edwin and
Roseline, much as they had suffered from the alarming indisposition
of their loved companion, rejoiced that it had been productive of
an indulgence they had almost despaired of gaining.

As the progress of her recovery was slow and precarious, many
symptoms of a decline being visible, every one was eager and anxious
to amuse the fair invalid, and none appeared more earnest in their
endeavours than Hubert de Willows, captain of the guard, a young man,
whose wit, vivacity, and unceasing good humour, had so strongly
recommended him to the favour and protection of the governor, as had
obtained him a constant invitation to his table. With a lively
imagination, he had a turn for satire, so pointed, that, while it
rendered him a most entertaining companion, kept many of his enemies
in awe, and he had the merit of never shewing his talents at the
expence of a friend, nor any worthy character; but he considered
vice and folly as fair game, against which he levelled his attacks.

Arthur de Clavering, the acting surgeon, was allowed both judgment
and humanity. The practice of physic and surgery was then but
obscurely known, compared with the more enlightened practioners of
these days. De Clavering, however, patched up many a broken
constitution. People lived as long, and had fewer diseases, than has
been the lot of succeeding generations, but, whether this is owing
to chance or folly, I leave wiser heads to determine.

Arthur de Clavering was rather an extraordinary character; his person
was neither tall nor short; of a thin habit; had a countenance so
pleasing, and eyes so penetrating, it was impossible not to be struck
with him, as something beyond the common race of mortals. He had been
abroad, had read much, was acquainted with both men and manners, had
a plain and rather awkward address, was singular in his expressions,
and formed his opinions with a justness and rapidity that astonished
those with whom he associated; told a number of good anecdotes with
a delicacy and humour peculiar to himself; public places and general
society he avoided so cautiously, that he was considered as a
misanthrope by those who did not know him intimately.

Lieutenant de Huntingfield was a Humourous bachelor of forty: he
professed himself an admirer of the ladies, and pretended to lament
that the state of his finances would not permit him to take a wife
to his bosom, and increase the ancient family of the De Huntingfields,
which, he apprehended, if fortune proved averse to his accomplishing,
would become extinct.

Among the rest of the officers was a Cambrian youth, who was a
general favourite in the castle. Hugh Camelford was gay, high
spirited, thoughtless, and extravagant; but with all so generous and
good humoured, it was impossible not to be pleased even with his
eccentricities; he rode good horses, gave good dinners, and was
always in good spirits. De Clavering and Hugh Camelford were the best
friends in the world. The doctor, as he was generally called, had
once, during some indisposition, advised him to be bled; but the
fiery youth would neither follow his advice nor submit to his
entreaties: he was then threatened with death for his obstinacy.

"In Cot's cood time I am ready to die, (said the invalid;) but, if
ever I lose one drop of my Welch bloot, put in the service of my
country, may my coot name be plasted with the titles of poltroon
and coward!"--He saved his Welch blood, and recovered, and De
Clavering, though at first somewhat displeased, treated him as a
friend and brother ever afterwards.

There was a still more singular character in the castle than any yet
described,--Alexander Elwyn. He was placed there as a school for
improvement in tactics and all the relative duties of a soldier: he
had good connexions, and a genteel allowance; but was a miser at
twenty. This sordid humour made him the butt of the garrison, and
De Willows, with the rest of the officers, vowed to laugh him out
of a habit as disgusting as it was unnatural and unnecessary.

In a few weeks Madeline was so far recovered, as to be removed into
one of the state-apartments for the benefit of air; an adjoining room
was likewise fitted up for Roseline, to sleep near her friend during
her confinement. They generally parted from their attendants as soon
as the rest of the family retired. Being one night earnestly chatting
over some occurrence that had afforded them pleasure, they were
alarmed by footsteps under their apartment, and a low murmuring
sound of voices indistinctly reached their ears. Madeline was a good
deal frightened, but Roseline, who had great presence of mind, and
more courage, made, or rather appeared to make, very light of the
matter, telling her friend the rooms they occupied were, she knew,
connected with some passages and offices belonging to the castle,
and she doubted not but the noise proceeded from the people on duty.
This, in some degree, abated the fears of Madeline, till, after a
profound silence of half an hour, they heard a deep groan, followed
by the rattling of chains; at the same instant one of the windows
flew open with the greatest violence, and as instantly closed again,
which was followed by the bell at the corner of the room ringing
violently.

Madeline gave a faint scream; Roseline jumped out of bed, and ran
for some water, supposing she would have a fainting fit; but she
gently put it aside, and with wild affright inquired what was the
matter, and what could occasion the unaccountable noises they had
heard. "The wind, and the people in some of the lower apartments;
no doubt, (replied her friend;) therefore I beg you would not
discompose yourself; if you do, you will compel me to disturb the
family, and that I am afraid would displease my father; and, in all
probability, Edwin would ridicule our childish fears, and the rest
of the gentlemen would laugh at us."

This silenced Madeline, and Roseline continued: "I am totally
unacquainted with many parts of this castle. I have two of three
times wished to explore its secret passages, look at the dungeons,
and visit all its subterranean contrivances, but have been forbidden
by my father. Edwin did once promise to shew me how well we were
secured from outward danger by the immense strength of the
fortifications, and equally secure of a retreat, should the castle
be attacked; but he cautioned me not to give a hint of his design,
either to my father or mother, not to drop a word of his intentions
before my brothers or sisters. Eager as I was to have my curiosity
satisfied, your illness, my dear girl, and the pleasure we counted
of partaking during our visit, drove it from my mind; but I will take
the earliest opportunity of claiming my brother's promise."

"Agreed, (cried Roseline;) you and I, my dear Madeline, have yet seen
too little of life to be weary of it, and I trust our hearts are both
too guiltless to have any fears of those supernatural appearances, of
which superstition and ignorance give such improbable accounts."

"Yet I have heard strange tales of this castle being haunted, even
in the retired recess to which my adverse fate had in all
probability doomed me to spend my hapless days, and---"

"You are too much inclined to believe them, (interrupted her friend;)
but, my dear Madeline, be assured of this,--if we had nothing more
to fear from the living than we have to apprehend from the dead, we
should be perfectly secure, and our lives would pass away in a more
serene and placid manner than the turbulent wills of our
fellow-mortals will allow. Hark! I am sure I hear the soft and distant
sound of a lute. I never yet knew a ghost that had a taste for
Mortal harmony."

"I certainly hear music, (sighed Madeline;) from what place can it
proceed?--Surely it must be---"

"The amusement, no doubt, of some one either on the ramparts or in
the cells; for you have fluttered my spirits so much, I cannot
determine from what part of the castle the sound can reach us: let
us, however, rest satisfied, that no ghosts would trouble themselves
to play a midnight serenade in order to terrify those who could never
have injured them. Let us wait till you are quite recovered before
we mention a word of the occurrences of this night; for, were my
father to hear of our alarm, we should be instantly removed into
other apartments, and should not then be able to accomplish our
purpose of exploring the intricate recesses of this castle. Good
night, Madeline; I hope the musician will not cease his harmony till
he has lulled us to repose."

She then jumped into her own bed; but her spirits were not altogether
in that composed and courageous state she wished her friend to
imagine. She had heard strange stories of lights being seen, of
ghosts gliding along the ramparts, of noises being heard; but, as
she had not been told of a ghostly musician, she was inclined to hope
it would, by some means or other, be explained to her satisfaction.

Till the rising sun, however, peeped over the hills which bounded
the view from her windows, she could not rest; she then sunk into
repose, and slept so soundly, that it was with difficulty her sister,
Edeliza, could convince her that the family waited breakfast till she
should be in the humour to join them. Madeline took her's in bed.
Roseline hurried on her clothes, and Lady de Morney tenderly inquired
if indisposition had prevented her rising at her usual hour.
complaining of not having slept till late satisfied all parties, and,
after a gentle reproof from Sir Philip, and a joke from Edwin for
hugging her pillow so long, the subject was dropped.

The next day was fixed for Madeline to join the family at dinner, for
the first time since her long and alarming illness. De Clavering, De
Willows, and Hugh Camelford, were invited to be of the party on this
joyous occasion, and it was with the utmost difficulty that Edwin de
Morney could conceal the rapture he felt in his bosom at the thought
of seeing the fair nun once more among them. He had ventured, with
the consent of Roseline, to make her several stolen visits, and in
those moments of rapturous delight had discovered that Madeline de
Glanville reigned sole mistress of his heart. Too young for the
practice of deceit, too sanguine and inexperienced to think of the
consequence of loving one devoted to the service of her God, he
flattered himself the partial indulgence of his mother would enable
him to conquer any difficulties thrown in his way, wither by his
father, or the designs Madeline's parents had formed for her future
destination. He likewise cherished the sweet hope that Madeline would
not be averse to accept him as a lover. His own heart had taught him
to read the language of the eyes, and in her's he saw, or thought he
saw, joy sparkle at his approach, and a soft sadness overcloud them
at his departure.

The party met at dinner. Madeline entered the room, leaning on the
supporting arm of Edwin, and followed by Roseline. Never, in the
full bloom of youth and health, had the fair invalid looked so
inexpressibly lovely. A faint blush tinged her cheek upon receiving
the congratulations of the company on her recovery. The doctor
humourously declared he was entitled to their thanks for the
resurrection of their friend.

"A resurrection, methinks, it is in reality, (said de Willows;) 'for
the mortal seems to have put on immortality,' and to have brought
down from heaven the beauty and form of an angel."

"Hey day! (cried Sir Philip;) why, good people, you all seem to be
taking vast pains to make my sweet nun believe a language you
yourselves do not seem perfectly to understand. That we are all glad
to see her restored to us I hope and trust she believes; but our
congratulations must convince her, notwithstanding your high-flown
compliments, that she is a mere mortal, like the rest of her sex."

"Not exactly like some of them, (said the doctor;) for, if she were,
De Willows would not look at her as if he had a mind to seize the
precious morsel from mother-church."

This sally produced a hearty laugh from all but Edwin and Lady de
Morney, who, seeing the conversation was become distressing to her
young friend, summoned them to sit down to dinner.

"In Cot's name, (cried Camelford,) let us obey orders, for I feel
myself all mortal at sight of Sir-loin, who is as coot and
entertaining a knight as any on this side the Welch mountains."

"Excellent, faith! (exclaimed De Clavering;) and you look at him
with as much pleasure as a goat would at a field of young grass,
or as Edwin at his sister Roseline."

Edwin at this moment was gazing at Madeline with an earnestness
that struck the doctor, and he took this method of withdrawing his
attention from an object which he considered might prove dangerous
to the peace of his young friend, to whom he was most sincerely and
affectionately attached.

The day was spent with all that serene harmony which attends the
society of friends. Madeline's return to the social party was like
that of one having been so long absent, that little hope was
entertained of ever meeting again. She retired to her room at an
early hour, accompanied by Roseline; and the progress of her recovery,
though slow, was so visible, as in a few days to remove all anxious
fears from every heart but that of the impassioned Edwin, that no
further danger was to be apprehended from the effects of the fever.

For more than a week the young ladies heard nothing to disturb them.
They were lodged at a great distance from the rest of the family,
and Roseline, having informed her brother of Madeline's fears, he
had requested his mother to let him sleep in that wing of the castle,
lest Madeline should be taken ill in the night, and his sister under
the necessity of leaving her to call assistance. His request was
granted, at the same time he received his mother's commendations and
thanks for this prudent precaution.



CHAP. III


During the time that De Willows was cherishing an increasing affection
for Madeline, the youthful Edeliza, now in the sixteenth year, was in
a situation more distressing. She had long been accustomed to consider
De Willows in the light of a playfellow, and to be gratified by his
almost undivided attention, while to him her's was wholly confined.
With Camelford she would sometimes romp, if De Willows were absent,
but, as soon as he returned, she would fly to him, and complain of the
young lieutenant's having wearied her by playing too roughly.

Love even with the inexperienced is generally quick-fighted. Edeliza
had observed, with a kind of trembling apprehension, and a fear she
knew not how to account for, the attentions De Willows paid to
Madeline. She was angry,--she was shocked,--thought her not half so
handsome as she once had been, and wondered what the gentlemen could
see to admire in so ghostly a figure; her brother, De Clavering,
Hugh Camelford, and Elwyn, might make as much fuss as they pleased
about the beautiful nun, as they chose to call her, that De Willows
should be so blind, so provoking, she could not bear to recollect;
however, as she would soon be obliged to return to the nunnery, she
hoped De Willows would then forget she had ever left it, and recover
his senses.

Thus was the little blind god, who had been the delight and the
torment of all ages, beginning to play cross purposes at the castle,
and aiming his arrows at hearts too innocent to guard against or
repel their attacks. De Willows had ever admired Edeliza as a
beautiful and interesting child; he had been in the habit of seeing
her, from the time she was ten years old, every day; therefore her
progress towards womanhood had passed in a manner unperceived, and
he had indulged himself and his little favourite in the same fond
and playful endearments as had taken place from the first of their
meeting, and that without forming an idea of there being either
danger or impropriety in so doing. Had any one informed De Willows
that Edeliza was cherishing a growing affection for him, which, if
unreturned, would endanger her future peace, he would have treated
it as the idle chimera of their own whimsical brain; but, had he once
seriously supposed he was destroying her happiness, and planting the
thorn of anguish in her innocent bosom, his heart was so much the
seat of true honour, he would have stabbed in his own breast rather
than have acted unjustly by the daughter of his friend.

 It happened about this period that Sir Philip de Morney was obliged
to go to London in order to settle a law-suit which had been long
depending, and which had harassed his mind very much. De Huntingfield
was to take the command of the castle during his absence, being the
oldest officer in the place. De Willows, though of higher rank, was
too young to be entrusted with a charge of so much importance, and
gladly yielded the honour to one so much his superior in years. Sir
Philip departed with reluctance, took leave of his family with
tenderness, and promised to return the first moment after the affair
was settled.--Lady de Morney was reconciled to the temporary absence
of her husband by the important business which had called him away.

The young friends, having slept for several nights undisturbed, had
almost lost all remembrance of their fears before the departure of
Sir Philip, whose absence happened very opportunely to gratify their
curiosity in visiting every part of the castle, Edwin having promised
to procure the keys, and accompany them.

Two nights after Sir Philip's departure, having spent a cheerful
evening, they retired to rest in unusual good spirits, but were
awakened about midnight by a war of the elements, and what made the
scene more terrific, though it was in the depth of winter, the thunder
rolled in tremendous peals over their heads, the sturdy walls of the
castle appeared to shake from their centre to the battlements, and
the lightning flashed upon the walls, and gleamed along the vaulted
passages, as if to make horror visible. The young ladies dressed
themselves, and Edwin tapped at the door with a light, inviting
them to go down into one of the lower rooms, to which he would
accompany them.

Cheered and revived by the sound of his voice, they readily agreed
to his proposal, and in a few minutes opened the door to admit
their conductor. They made as little noise as possible, fearful of
disturbing Lady de Morney, if she was not already alarmed by the
tempest; and, to prevent the possibility of doing so, they agreed
to go down a winding staircase that led through one of the towers,
and which was seldom used by the family. They crept slowly along,
when, in one part of it, which was rather wider than the rest, they
passed four steps, which led to a door in the wall, and which
appeared so well secured by locks and bars, as if it never was
intended to be opened.

"For heaven's sake, (whispered Roseline,) to what room does that door
lead? I never saw it before."

"I entreat you (said the trembling Madeline) not to stop in this
horrid place to ask questions, (for the humid and unwholesome dews
of night and noxious vapours hung on the walls.) Though I am not
afraid now Edwin is with us, yet I may take cold by staying here."

Edwin pressed the hand which was resting on his arm to his throbbing
bosom, and hurried them into the room the family had left, and they
were all truly rejoiced to find an excellent fire still blazing on
the wide-extended hearth, round which they seated themselves, and
neither Madeline nor Edwin uttered a single complaint at having been
so unseasonably disturbed.

The tempest having spent it fury, subsided by degrees into a calm,
and the party, entering into conversation, almost forgot it had ever
been. Roseline however repeated her question respecting the door they
had seen in their way down the staircase. Edwin assured her he knew
no more than herself to what place it belonged: he had heard that
the restless ghost of some one had been bound in the apartments to
which it led, and that orders had been given for it never to be
opened. He had once made some inquiries of his father, but was
desired by him never to ask any questions till he came to years of
maturity, nor to explore any of the secret passages or entrances
to the castle.

"Then, surely, (said Madeline,) it would be extremely wrong to
disobey the commands of Sir Philip, merely to satisfy an idle and
perhaps blamable curiosity."

"At the moment (interrupted Edwin) that I admire the complying
sweetness of the gentle Madeline, I must beg pardon for retaining
my own resolution of seeing those parts of the castle from which I
have been so long secluded. I am now arrived at an age that surely
deserves to be trusted, or I must be unfit to live in a situation
like this. My father's reasons for the secresy he has observed so
long, I am unacquainted with; but I will most assuredly avail myself
of his absence to gratify my curiosity. I know where the keys are
deposited, and in a night or two will begin my nocturnal search. If
you and Roseline are in the humour to accompany me, it is well; if
not, I shall certainly go by myself."

"As that might be dangerous, (said Roseline, who rejoiced to find
him so resolute,) you must promise to take me along with you."

To this he assented, and Madeline agreed, with some little confusion,
to be of the party, concluding, Sir Philip must be wrong in not
granting his son's request. This matter settled, they retired for
the rest of the night, to forget, in the arms of sleep, not only the
castle and the nunnery, but the whole world.

The next night they were surprised by an unusual noise, that seemed
to be immediately under them. It appeared something like the rattling
of a carriage over stones. Groans too they thought they heard; and,
after dressing themselves, Roseline called her brother, to convince
him their alarms were not the effects of imagination. He heard the
same sounds, and, in looking round their apartment, and into an
adjoining closet, he discovered a trap-door, that was very curiously
concealed under a board, which slided over it. He attempted to lift
it up, but found it was secured by a lock which was hid in a small
projection of the wall.

Finding it impossible to obtain a passage, they determined to defer
their search till the succeeding night, when Edwin promised to secure
the keys. He stayed with them till daylight dissipated their fears;
they then retired to repose; but sleep deserted their pillows. A
thousand vague conjectures occupied their minds, and Madeline, for
the first time in her life, wished herself absent from the castle:
that there was something to discover appeared beyond a doubt; but,
whether the discovery would serve to relieve or increase their
anxiety, was as hazardous as it was uncertain; however, as Roseline
and Edwin were resolute to make the attempt, she determined not to
oppose them.

Edwin revolved in his mind how he might be able to find some clue to
guide him, and resolved to apply to an old soldier, whose whole life
had been spent in the castle, to give him some account respecting
it. He was fond of retracing past scenes, and, when once he began
talking, knew not when to stop. From him Edwin learned all he wanted
to be informed; by him he was told the use of the keys, and received
every necessary direction. The old man, considering himself honoured
by holding converse with the governor's son, told him every
circumstance he knew or could recollect. The next day was spent in
the same manner as usual. De Clavering was uncommonly facetious,
De Willows particularly cheerful, Hugh Camelford entertaining, and
De Huntingfield busy in the active duties of his important office.

The afternoon being remarkably clear, mild, and serene, the whole
party agreed to ascend to the top of the castle, and walk on the
ramparts, for the benefit of air and exercise. Edeliza would not quit
the arm of De Willows, therefore Madeline was left uninterrupted to
the care of Edwin.

The air was reviving, the prospect picturesque and interesting; for
notwithstanding the season, nature had still beauties to catch the
inquiring eye, and awaken the gratitude of innocent and cheerful
hearts. A few evergreens, scattered here and there among the leafless
trees afforded shelter to innumerable birds. The red breast warbled
his artless song, surrounded by a number of chirping sparrows, who
seemed gaily to flutter around, making a most uncommon bustle, which
was occasioned by a shower that had lately fallen.

"Confound these impertinent noisy little devils! (said De Clavering,)
I wish I had my gun, and I would most assuredly put an end to some
of this clatter."

"For shame, toctor, (cried Camelford;) what! would you testroy such
pretty harmless creatures as these? Rather save your ammunition for
the enemies of your king--that would be coot sport indeed!--then,
my man of mettle, we should be petter employed; but let the
sparrow-family lif, and enjoy their prating."

"I believe you are nearly allied to that same family, (replied the
doctor,) and therefore I do not wonder at your being anxious to
preserve your relations."

"Petter not provoke me, toctor. I am in a valiant humour just
now, and, as Cot shall pless me, I will not pocket an affront from
any one."

"Pack it up in your knapsack, (replied the doctor drily,) and say,
as our Saviour did, when tempted, "Get thee behind me, Satan!"--for
really Hugh, I often think the devil has jumped into your skull,
and, by kicking about your brains, has made you so hot headed."

"Then the best thing I can do (replied Camelford) would be to put
myself under your tirection to lay this same tevil, and by the time
you had trained me of all my Welch ploot, he would leave my lifeless
carcase to be poiled for your improvement; but avaunt, thou cataplasm
of cataplasms!--I defy thy incantations, plisters, and pleedings."

"I believe the young dog will live the longer, (cried the doctor,
addressing De Willows,) but who among us will deny or defy the sweet
influence of these lilies and roses that are now blooming around us."

"I do not pretend to any such philosophic apathy," replied De Willows.

"If you did, your looks would betray you, (retorted Edwin.) To deny
the united influence of love and beauty is not the province of
a soldier."

"Do all soldiers admire beauty, and fall in love?" inquired the
artless Edeliza, looking earnestly at De Willows.

"I believe so, my sweet little girl, (he answered;) love and death
are alike inevitable."

"But not equally dangerous, (said the laughing Roseline;) for I never
heard of any one dying of the wounds given by the little blind god,
though thousands fall victims to the more certain arrows sent from
the furnace of war."

"By the crate Cot, (said Camelford,) I had rather tie by the wounds
of a pair of pright eyes than by those of a cannon, loaded by the
hands of an ugly tog, who like a putcher delights in ploot."

"More fool you, (replied De Clavering;) the death in the one case
would be glorious and instantaneous,--in the other, foolish and
lingering,----"

"Unless I applied to a toctor to put me out of my misery, and then
I should get rid of it in a trice."

"A truce with your compliments, good folks, (said Roseline;) suppose
we endeavour to reconcile ourselves to the world, and all its strange
vagaries, by a dance in the great hall. This proposal met with
general approbation; to the great hall they descended, and, surrounded
by the rusty armour of their hardy forefathers, they enjoyed in the
mazy windings of the lively dance, a pleasure as innocent as it was
amusing, Lady de Morney herself being a gratified spectator of
the scene.

This hall was decorated, if we may use the term, with a vast number
of suits of armour, belonging to the family of Norfolk. One, more
light and higher finished than the rest, appeared to have belonged
to a youth of Edwin's size. He was prevailed on to fit it; and, armed
cap-a-pie, strutted about in bold defiance, and threw down his
gauntlet, daring any one to single combat who should deny the palm
of beauty being due to the lady he should name.

"Suppose I threw down my glove," said de Willows."

"You would soon take it up again, (replied Edwin, somewhat
scornfully,) as I fancy our taste in beauty to be the same."

De Willows coloured,--Madeline appeared uneasy,--and Edeliza declared
armour was the most frightful dress she ever saw, while the younger
part of the family jumped round their brother, and with eagerness
made many inquiries concerning the use of every part of his dress,
and requested their mother to let them wear some of the nodding
plumes which hung in lofty state around them.

In the course of the evening, Edwin gave Madeline a hint to retire
early to her chamber, having obtained possession of the keys, and
gained such directions as could not fail to satisfy their curiosity
and guide them in their researches. Madeline silently acquiesced,
and imparted, with trembling impatience, the tidings to her friend.
She was thoughtful and absent the rest of the evening, and availed
herself of the earliest opportunity of withdrawing to her chamber.
Roseline very soon followed her, and, as soon as the family had
retired to rest, Edwin stole gently to their apartment. They had
anxiously expected his arrival, and therefore gave him immediate
admittance.

Roseline rejoiced at seeing her brother, and eagerly inquired if he
was sure that he had the keys that would enable them to proceed. He
then produced a most enormous bunch, with a dark lantern, which was
to guide them through the intricate labyrinths of the castle, and
advised Madeline and his sister to guard against the damps of the
passages they had to go through, and to arm themselves with their
whole stock of resolution, lest their terror should betray him.

Roseline assured him her fears were conquered by her strong desire
to explore the secrets of their habitation, and Madeline promised
not to let her apprehensions impede their progress. Edwin lighted
his candle, and with some difficulty unfastened the trap-door he had
discovered in their closet; but, on opening it, a kind of noxious
vapour ascended, that almost tempted them to give up their design.
A flight of broken brick steps, of amazing depth, carried them into
a narrow winding passage, in which it was impossible for more than one
person to move forward at once.

Madeline caught hold of Edwin's coat, and Roseline followed her
with a lighted candle in her hand. For some time they groped along,
frequently stumbling over the stones which had fallen from the
mouldering walls, and trembling lest this passage should lead them
into danger. Edwin frequently stopped to encourage them to go on,
assuring them they had nothing to apprehend. By degrees the path
widened, and, on suddenly turning, they entered a kind of square,
round which were several doors, but so low, they did not seem made
to admit men but dwarfs. Going up to one of them, Edwin pushed it
open with his foot, and he was convinced they were the dungeons in
which prisoners of war were confined. Some contained only bedsteads,
iron rings, and fetters; in one of them they saw a human skull; in
another was a coffin, which appeared to have stood there for ages,
and with its silent inhabitant was falling to decay.

They proceeded till they came to a door which was so thickly studded
over with nails, bolts, bars, and locks, this it impeded their
farther progress. Edwin would fain have attempted to open it, but
was prevented by his shivering and terrified companions.

"Brother, (cried Roseline,) we have seen quite enough to satisfy us
for one night."

"Another time, Edwin, (added Madeline,) I shall feel less
repugnance to proceed. But how do you know that door does not lead
to some apartment where the restless spirit of another discontented
ghost may be confined, by some potent spell, till released by the
intrusion of beings who now wander amid the gloomy scenes of life
as he once did?"

"No such thing, (replied the intrepid and resolute Edwin;) that door
is an entrance to a subterraneous passage, which leads from this
castle to Mettingham, merely to give entrance to troops in any case
of emergency, or to cover the retreat of others that may want
to escape."

"But, as it has not been used, either for the one purpose or the
other, since my father resided here, (said Roseline,) it may now be
a shelter for thieves and traitors; therefore, for heaven's sake,
let us now return to our apartment."

Edwin, whose disposition was as amiable as his manners and person
were captivating, no longer contended with their wishes, but led
the way for them as he had done before, and, as he was a fine tall
youth, was obliged to stoop as he went along.

Just as they came near the foot of the steps which led to their
apartment, they saw, or thought they saw, a faint light gleam across
a passage which led to another part of these gloomy habitations, and
they imagined they perceived the figure of some one disappear at
their approach. This alarmed the whole group, and they hurried up
the stairs as hastily as their fears would let them. Having cautiously
fastened the trap-door, they sat down to recover themselves, and
recollected with a degree of horror and disgust the gloomy scenes
they had visited; but the light, and the figure they had all caught
a transient view of, dwelt most forcibly on their minds. Madeline
declared she should never have sufficient resolution to re-visit
these abodes of terror, contrived by the stern hands of despotism
and ambition.

"When we think, as we surely may, (said she,) with some degree of
certainty, how many poor souls have languished out a life of misery
in these gloomy cells, can we wonder if they are haunted by all they
have entombed? Shut out not only from the world, but from every
comfort, nature too recoils and shudders at the cruelties that may
have been practised on the poor victims thus buried in the bowels
of the earth."

"All this may be very true, my sweet Madeline, (interrupted Edwin,)
but I am determined to re-visit them. Perhaps some poor sufferers
may still remain in the castle; if so, it would be delightful to
soften the rigours of their fate."

"True, my dear brother, (cried Roseline, her eyes illumined with the
soft beams of genuine benevolence and philanthropy,) I will certainly
attend you."

"To quiet the fears of our lovely friend, (said Edwin,) I will
request old Bertrand, who has lived in this castle from the time we
came into it, to accompany and direct us in our search after misery.
I am told too, (he added,) there is a passage which leads from this
castle into the chapel of your nunnery. If I can find it out, I shall
certainly pay you a visit, and steal you from your cell; for, my dear
Madeline, whatever may be the truth and the virtues of our holy
religion, it is doubtless one of its abuses to shut from the world
those lovely works of the creation best calculated to enliven and
adorn it. Can it be deemed a greater crime to doom a worthless, or,
suppose I say, and innocent, man, to languish in a dungeon, that it
is to compel an unfortunate female to waste her days in the austere
walls of a nunnery,--kneel to the unfeeling image of a saint,--watch
the midnight lamp,--seclude herself from all social enjoyments,--and
linger through life in solitary sadness without a friend, or a lover,
to cheer her on her way?"

"Hush, for heaven's sake! (said the frightened Madeline;) if Father
Anselm heard you talk thus lightly and profanely of our holy religion,
I should be for ever debarred seeing you and Roseline again, for life
shut out from the world, and compelled to take the veil."

"Never, by heaven! (cried Edwin, thrown entirely off his guard by
the tender confusion and agitation of Madeline:) you shall take no
vows but such as love and nature dictate. I would perish a thousand
times,--lose a thousand lives to preserve you from a fate that would
not only make you wretched, but me for ever miserable.--Roseline has
long known that you are dear to my heart. Say,--ease me of the
torturing suspense I this moment feel,--do you not find an advocate
in your bosom that will plead my cause?"

Madeline trembled violently; her eyes were bent to the ground: She
would have fallen, had not Roseline flown to support her. She
attempted to speak, but the words died away inarticulately.

"I see how it is, (cried Edwin impassionately;) the happy De Willows
has gained by his attentions what I have lost by disgusting you with
mine: you hate, you despise me. I will solicit my father to let me
join the army: I will for ever remove this detested object from your
sight, and pray that the portion of happiness I have lost may be
redoubled to you."

Madeline, alarmed by the energy of this speech, was instantly roused
from the languor into which she had sunk.

"I hate no one, (said she softly;) but Edwin, you forget it would
be a crime in me to love. If, indeed, that had not been the case,--if
I were at liberty----"

"You would bless the happy De Willows with your hand."

"Never!--De Willows I regard as a friend: as any thing more I never
did,--never could think of him. I am you know banished from all
intercourse with the world;--my sentence has been long pronounced;
from that sentence there can be no appeal. Would to heaven I had
submitted to it, and never quitted the retreat to which parental
authority consigned me! At this painful moment my own feelings
inflict my punishment."

"Then you do not hate me? (cried Edwin, taking her hand.)--Only say
I am not quite indifferent to you, and I will endeavour to rest
satisfied, and ask no more; trusting that time may do much in my
favour; but, if you attempt to deprive me of all hope,--if you deny
me this innocent gratification, I will go to the wars."

"Ah! why will you press me to discover what it would be better to
conceal?--why will you tempt me to swerve from my duty to my God and
my parents, and make me a perjured, and unworthy sacrifice?--You
have, I fear, taught my heart a lesson it ought never to have learned:
but it must be the hard task of my future life to atone for the crime
I have committed in having suffered a mortal to rival that God, who
alone should have occupied all my thoughts and wishes."

Edwin threw himself at the feet of Madeline. His raptures were now
as unbounded as the conflict had been severe; and not till she sunk
fainting into the arms of her friend, could he be persuaded to quit
their apartment.

Happy was it for the party that Roseline had not only a greater
share of prudence and understanding that most of her sex, but
likewise more fortitude than is usually their portion. She soon
recovered, her friend soothed her into some degree of composure, and
endeavoured to inspire her with hopes that some plan might be adopted
which would remove those difficulties that threatened to divide two
hearts love had united, and which appeared formed by nature to make
each other happy. Roseline well knew her father would not only be
displeased, but shocked, if he discovered this unfortunate attachment,
and she blamed herself for having been the innocent cause of
involving two people so dear to her in such a hopeless scene of
complicated distress.

Notwithstanding the agonizing conflicts which had attended the
eclaircissement, the lovers felt a heavy burthen removed from their
hearts. Convinced of being mutually beloved, all other sorrows, all
other trials appeared light and trivial: they sunk into a more sweet
and peaceful slumber than they had long enjoyed,--dreamed of each
other, and arose the next morning with renovated spirits and
revived hopes.

Madeline wished the hour was arrived they were to renew their midnight
ramble, and thought, if she should meet a thousand ghosts, she should
not fear them, while Edwin, who loved her so tenderly and sincerely,
was near to guard her. She was eager too, but scarcely durst
acknowledge to herself she _wished_ the passage might be found which
led to the chapel in her nunnery.



CHAP. IV.


If there be any so fastidious and unfeeling as to condemn and
deprecate the romantic hopes and flattering visions cherished in
he buoyant bosom of nineteen, I am sorry for them, and here avow,
I wish never entirely to forget the fascinating pleasure of such
air-built hopes. Should they be sometimes attended with danger to the
weak and frail, they are likewise accompanied with their advantages
to the good and virtuous, and often enable us to encounter trials
with a resolution and fortitude, which, at a more advanced period
of our lives, when time has weakened our bodily frame, and experience
deprived us of those gay illusions, we find it difficult and painful
to acquire.--The philosophy of nineteen, though not abstruse, is
flattering and conclusive; so much the more valuable; for, after all
the researches of philosophy, what are we taught to know, but that
man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards?--that we are merely
the pilgrims and passengers of a day,--that our resting place must
be found in a better, an unknown world,--that we must encounter
innumerable trials on our journey, and at last die and be forgotten,
even by those for whom we have toiled, and to whom we are most tenderly
attached?--Surely then we may be allowed to snatch, or steal, a few
of those innocent enjoyments just thrown in our way, to encourage our
fortitude, and clear our path from some of the briars and thorns with
which it is so profusely planted.

Happy is it for those in the common walks of life, that all their
stock of philosophy is comprised in a few words, acquired without
study, and retained without taxing their time or burthening their
memory,--"it was my fate,--I could not run from it,--it was to be."
These trite sentences reconcile them to many distressing events, and
sometimes are their excuse for the frailties of their conduct.

When the parties met at breakfast the next morning, any careful
observer might have discovered, by the confusion visible on the
countenance of Madeline,--the constraint in her manner of addressing
Edwin,--his more than usual vivacity, and the pale cheeks and swelled
eyes of Roseline, that something had occurred to produce the change;
but, suspicion not being a frequent gust at the castle, no such
discovery was made: every one employed themselves as usual, and in a
few hours universal cheerfulness seemed to prevail.

The only observations made by Lady de Morney were, that her dear
Edwin looked remarkably well, was in charming spirits, and had dressed
himself better and more becomingly than usual. Madeline coloured, and
thought the same. Roseline smiled, and Edwin whispered something in the
ear of Madeline that prevented the roses fading on her cheek.

The dress of Madeline, though to her particularly becoming, would
to thousands have been totally the reverse. It was the dress of the
order of Benedictines, to which she belonged, consisting of a black
robe, with a scapulary of the same. Under the robe, nuns, when
professed, wore a tunic of white undyed wool, and, when they went
to the choir, they had a cowl like that worn by the monks; but the
boarders, who were in what we may call a state of probation, were
allowed to wear a tunic of muslin or cambrick, and covered their heads
with a white veil. This dress, little suited to please the whimsical
taste of the present time, was, strange as it may appear, simple and
becoming, and proved the truth of the poet's observation, that

                        ------Loveliness
    Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
    But is, when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.

Madeline, in the habit of her order, was so captivating a figure,
that no one ever thought any alteration or change in it could have
added a charm to those bestowed on her by the partial hand of
nature. She was tall, and elegantly formed; the expression of her
countenance, blended with softness and dignity, conveying an idea
of superior virtue being united to superior loveliness.

Just before dinner, the Doctor observed that Madeline looked pale:
having felt her pulse, he inquired what had given them cause to beat
so much out of time.

"I must examine into this matter, (said he archly.) They are gallopping
along at a strange rate; either the head or the heart must occasion
this revolution in the system of my patient's usual habit. If it be
the disease of the heart, I must resign my place to a more able
practitioner.--Do not blush, my fair nun, but tell me whom you would
have called in."

"I am perfectly satisfied with your advice, my good doctor, and at
this time believe I want a cook more than a physician, therefore
excuse me if I say you you entirely misunderstand my case."

"Don't be too positive (said De Clavering) of my ignorance. You may
safely trust me with all your complaints,--even with those of the
heart; for I feel myself extremely interested that you should not
return to the nunnery with any additional one added to those you so
unfortunately brought away."

"Ah! (said Madeline,) mentally, advice is now too late. I shall carry
back with me a more corroding, a more painful complaint than any I
ever knew before; yet, strange as it is, I would not be cured for
the world, as my being so would wound Edwin de Morney.

Only Camelford was present when this little badinage passed between
the Doctor and his patient. He advised the former to lay aside his
wig, and take up the cowl, as the most certain method of discovering
the truth; "for, though the laties, (he added,) will not tell all
they think to you or I, they will not attempt to teceive their Cot."

"If I thought putting on a cowl would transform me to a god, (said
De Clavering,) I would soon hazard the transformation, and then I
would place a shield before the heart of every fair daughter of
Britain, that should have the property of a talisman, to warn them
againsst the designs and insidious attention of young men, six feet
high, with black sparkling eyes, auburn hair, teeth of ivory, handsome
legs, and white hands."

Madeline knew the portrait, and, rising to conceal her blushes, ran
hastily out of the room.

Hugh Camelford burst into a violent fit of laughter, and told the
Doctor, "so far from being thought a Cot, the young laty certainly
took him for the tifel, having discovered his spells and clofen foot,
or perhaps for Tafy ap Jones, who, after tying for lof, was thrown
into the Red Sea, and had haunted all lof-sick maidens ever since,
poor discontented tifel!"

"And that will be your fate, Hugh, (retorted the Doctor,) unless you
send home the Welch lass whom you betrayed, and then left to starve
with your son, a fat chubby boy, very like his father."

"As I hope to escape the toctor and tamnation, (said the indignant
Hugh,) I never petrayed a lass in my whole life; therefore, you
cataplasm, you plister, you caustic of fire, pring no such scandals
on the coot name of Camelford, lest I take a little of your carnivorous
plood, and make you drink it!"

The Doctor stole off laughing, and Camelford soon recovered his
good humour.

A dance was proposed for the evening, and readily agreed to by the
young people, who determined to make the time pass as cheerfully as
possible during the absence of Sir Philip and the visit of Madeline.

In those days dancing was the favourite amusement of the youth of
both sexes: rich and poor, young and old, one with another, mixed
in the animating dance:--complaints of weariness and fatigue were
seldom heard. This exercise was not only favourable to health, but
the roses it produced on the glowing cheek of youth rendered all
application to the borrowed ones of art totally unnecessary. Rouge
was then unknown, and no _Warren_ existed to abolish old women, by
giving the furrowed features of age an unfading bloom. The plain
jacket, with a small quantity of ribbon bound round a cambric cap,
were then thought becoming, and few ornaments were worn but on very
important and particular occasions; yet beauty was equally admired:
the same homage was paid to it, and it held in bondage as many
captives, without the adventitious aid of deception and extravagance.

Another preservative of youth and health was their keeping better,
that is, earlier hours. Night was night, and dedicated to its original
purpose. Day was properly divided, and found of sufficient length for
all the useful employments of life. Few young ladies but had seen
the sun rise in all its glory, and found their hearts expanded by
the grand and awful sight; and, while they welcomed its reviving rays
from the portals of the east, it tended to raise their minds to that
God who made the sun, and who alone could number the stars by which
it was surrounded.

A fine moon-light evening seldom passed unnoticed by these aspiring
worthies, eager after knowledge; for, having happily fewer amusements,
they had more time to attend to the instructive beauties of nature,
the study of which affords an inexhaustible source of pleasure and
surprise. Fearless of their complexions, they not only rambled but
worked in their gardens. Each had a little spot of ground marked out,
and it soon produced the desired effect; every one was emulous to
outshine the other in its cultivation, and Sir Philip or Lady de Morney
were often called upon as arbitrators to decide the superior beauty
of a rose, the size of a carnation, or the snowy tints of a lily.

De Clavering had told them, that, under their feet, they often
trampled on plants, in the careful study of which might be found a
cure for every disease incident to the climate they inhabited, and
that in other climates the earth produced her treasures for the
same benevolent purpose; but the careless inattention of mankind
to this useful knowledge had rendered the profession of physic
absolutely necessary, and given men of learning and genius an
opportunity of displaying their talents in preserving the lives of
their fellow creatures.

In consequence of these hints, all kinds of herbs were planted, and
their virtues put to the test by being applied to relieve the diseases
of their poor neighbours; and never did a high-bred town belle, at
making a conquest, or a hero, after obtaining a signal victory, exult
more, or feel greater delight than the having effected a cure produced
in the minds of these young practitioners. De Clavering was gratified
in giving them all the intelligence they requested, very often
inquired when they went their rounds to visit their patients, and
offered them his physical wig to give them consequence.

In those days people lived much longer in the same number of years;
to rise between five and six o'clock, and breakfast at seven, was
their usual custom, the time of taking their meals differing as much
as their antique habits. Dinner was constantly on the table between
eleven and twelve, and supper regularly served at seven; tea was then
bu little used, Whether the introduction of that bewitching beverage
had been followed by the long catalogue of evils laid to its charge,
I am not able to determine; but, as I have known many weak
constitutions who have never felt any ill effects from taking it,
I am inclined to think it has not such dangerous properties as are
alledged against it by valetudinarians and their medical advisers.

But what would the antediluvian souls, who compose my dramatis personae
say to the innovations made upon time in these day of delicate and
fashionable refinement? They would suppose the world turned topsy-turvy,
and be puzzled to know why the afternoon should be discarded, and what
part of the twenty-four hours to call night.

The periodical times of taking refreshment are quite different to
what they formerly were, and contradictory to the practice of our
ancestors, who hoarded their time, and considered it as a treasure
of some value. We may now literally be said to turn day into night,
and night into day, while the want of time is the source of general
complaint. Our people of fashion, and many of no fashion at all,
breakfast at three in the afternoon, dine at seven, sip their tea
at eleven o'clock at night, and sup at four in the morning; whereas
Queen Elizabeth breakfasted at five or six in the morning, and dined
at eleven in the forenoon.--She and all her court went to bed with
the sun in summer, and at eight or nine o'clock in winter.

The parliament, in the reign of Charles the First, went to prayers
at five or six in the morning, and the king dined at twelve; nay,
in the licentious reign of that merry monarch, his son, dinner at two
was thought a very late hour; for all public diversions were at an
end by six in the evening, and the ladies, after seeing a play, went
in their carriages to Hyde-Park.

Whether it would not be greatly to the advantage of people in general
to revive some old customs, and return to the prudent habits of our
progenitors, will not admit of much dispute. Private families, in
these expensive times, would undoubtedly be benefited. Morning would
again become a theme for the poet, and poor day-light be brought into
fashion. Our parliament too would find more time to transact the
important business of the nation, on which they so eloquently
harangue. Possibly a good dinner would add weight to their arguments,
and the not being hungry would prevent their eagerness to adjourn.

But one of its greatest evils, after that above mentioned, is felt
by servants, particularly the unhappy cook. She seldom sees the face
of day,--never enjoys the enlivening rays of the sun, and can scarcely
find time even to change her clothes till the night is too far advanced
to render the change necessary. It was formerly the custom for people
to walk after tea, and by doing so acquire a redoubled relish for
the variegated beauties of nature; but now the table makes its
appearance at so unseasonable an hour, and fashionable etiquette,
with the love of good cheer, detains them so long, that in fact it
appears the chief business of life to study every art and contrivance
how to destroy and squander, not how to improve our time; and, instead
of people's eating that they may live, they now live only to eat and
drink, that the senses, I presume, may be disabled from torturing them
with reproaches.--But to return to our tale.

In the evening, as Edeliza was going down the dance, her eyes, with
those of Madeline, were attracted by the same object,--a plume of
white feathers, placed on a suit of armour, nodded, and the armour
moved. This had such an effect, Madeline screamed, and Edeliza,
throwing herself into the arms of De Willows, begged he would protect
her from the ghost. The dancing stopped, the whole party was alarmed,
and Lady de Morney very much surprised; but, on being informed what
had occasioned the bustle, Hugh Camelford flew to discover its cause,
and, jumping upon a long table, which was placed by the side of the
room for the accommodation of large parties on any particular
occasion, he without much ceremony caught hold of the haunted armour,
when, to the astonishment of the whole company there instantly
appeared,--gentle reader, be not alarmed!--not the ghost of a
murdered hero, nor forsaken maid,--but the youngest daughter of Sir
Philip de Morney, who skipping from her concealment upon the table,
and from thence to the floor, shook her head, decorated with a
profusion of flaxen hair, which curled in natural ringlets, and
laughed heartily at the fright she had occasioned.

"Of all the chosts I ever saw, (said the delighted Hugh, catching
her up in his arms,) this is by much the prettiest and most
entertaining. I should like to be haunted by such an one all the
tays of my life."

Lady de Morney called the little culprit, and, having severely
reproved her, ordered her to bed, to which she had been sent before
the party had began dancing, for some fault she had committed, but
had persuaded one of the servants to place her as before described,
that she might be a spectator, though she was not permitted to be a
partaker in the amusement. Lady de Morney reprimanded the servant;
and, had it not been for the general intercession of the company,
poor Birtha would have been a prisoner in her own apartment
some days.

This incident, simple in itself, happened very unfortunately for
the two ladies, who had agreed to accompany Edwin in his subterranean
tour. They lingered till the last moment, and then withdrew with
visible reluctance; but determined, as soon as they reached their
own room, not to say a word to Edwin of their fears, as they knew
it would expose them to ridicule, if not to censure, and there was
not in the catalogue of human ills or evils any circumstance
Madeline would so much have dreaded as being thought meanly of by
Edwin de Morney.

Within little more than an hour after the family had withdrawn, all
the servants retired to rest, they were joined by the sanguine and
spirited Edwin, accompanied by the ancient veteran, who, though
loaded with the heavy burthen of fourscore years, was still active
and hearty, his senses unimpaired, and his sturdy limbs still able
to carry with firmness their accustomed load. His grey locks hung
with silvered dignity upon his aged shoulders, and his eye retained
some of their former expression. He made a profound obeisance to
the ladies on his entrance, and was received with that condescending
affability which his years and long-tried faithfulness demanded.

Edwin's manner of introducing him, flattered the old man's remaining
stock of vanity, and revived, in full force, the remembrance of his
former exploits, which, though they had not procured him preferment,
secured him attention and respect.

"This is my friend Bertrand, (said Edwin, addressing Madeline
particularly on his entrance;) though you had some fears with only
such a stripling as myself for a leader, you can have none with so
experienced and brave a guide."

The old man listened with delighted attention to this eulogium from
the lips of his dear young master, whom he had so often dandled on
his knee, whom he had been so fortunate as to snatch from a watery
grave, and for whom he retained a stronger affection than for any
other being on earth. Sir Philip had long maintained him in ease and
comfort, and excused him from every employment, but such as tended
to the preservation of his health. Both ladies held out their hands,
which he respectfully kissed, and preyed that heaven might bless and
reward them for their kindness to their old but grateful servant.

"Now the ceremony of introducing you into the bed-chamber of these
fair ladies is over, 'tis time for us to think of proceeding, my
old friend, (said Edwin.) If you will assist me in unfastening the
trap-door, we will procure lights, and, putting ourselves under your
direction, follow wherever you are disposed to lead us.



CHAP. V.


It was the intention of Bertrand to open the door of the subterranean
passage, which communicated with Mettingham-castle; but, before they
proceeded par, something rushed past them several times: it was rapid,
and their candle threw so feeble a light on the walls which surrounded
them, that they could not discover what it was.

They hurried on till they came to the square leading to the dungeons,
when their attention was arrested, and their fears increased by the
barking of a dog. They hesitated, looked with astonishment at each
other, and stopped, as if irresolute whether to return or proceed.
In the mean while, the little animal made its appearance, jumped and
capered about, as it it rejoiced at seeing them in its dreary
habitation, attached itself particularly to Roseline, and seemed to
recognize an old and beloved friend.

Roseline took it up in her arms, kissed and caressed it; but how
to account for meeting with so beautiful, fond, and gentle a creature
was not only matter of surprise but wonder.

"Are you sure, sister, (said Edwin, slily glancing a look at the
pale face and trembling lips of the terrified Madeline,)--are you
sure it is a real dog?--May it not be one of the ghosts, who, in
such various shapes, are said to haunt these gloomy regions, and
disturb the peaceful slumbers of young maidens, born perhaps two
hundred years after they had left the world?"

This gentle reproof restored the roses to the fair cheek from which
fear had driven them, while Roseline declared it was really and truly
the prettiest dog she had ever seen. Bertrand had looked thoughtful,
agitated, and confused, from the moment it appeared.

"This dog must have a master, (said Edwin,) and that master must be
somewhere near these cells."

"Perhaps (said Bertrand) some daring villain may have found entrance
here, either with the hopes of plunder, or to accomplish designs
against the castle; let us therefore, for the present, give up
attempting to explore the passage; it might be dangerous to unfasten
a door which is now our security."

"Had we not better call for help?" said the again-terrified Madeline.

"Not for the world! (interrupted Edwin;)--how should we be able to
account to my mother for being in this place, without burthening her
mind with ten thousand suspicions? while, telling her our reasons
would most assuredly expose our venerable companion to the certain
displeasure of my father.--Do you (said he, addressing Bertrand)
know if there is any one a prisoner at this time?"

The old man hesitated.--"I know but little--I apprehend it may be
so,--but I--I hope you will excuse my talking on a subject
that--that--"

"It must assuredly be so, (said Roseline softly to her brother,) and
from that cause proceeded the noises which so repeatedly alarmed us."

Again every one stood for a moment irresolute. Edwin, however, fearful
of bringing his father's anger on Bertrand, and scorning to tempt
the old man to betray and trust reposed in him, or any secret belonging
to another, instantly formed his resolution to act with the utmost
caution. He proposed to his sister and Madeline to return to their
apartment as soon as Bertrand had pointed out the passage which led
to the nunnery.--On being shewn the door which might one day enable
him to meet his Madeline, and open to give him a gleam of happiness,
Roseline snatched up the little dog, pressed him to her bosom, and
vowed to release him from captivity.

As soon as they had reached their own apartment, Bertrand, after
promising eternal secrecy, took a respectful leave. Edwin accompanied
him to his room, then returned to his sister's and proposed instantly
renewing their search.

"This is doing nothing, (said he;) all is still left to conjecture
and uncertainty."

"If you mean to go again, (said Madeline,) why did you suffer Bertrand
to leave us?"

"From respect to my father and regard to the old man, (he replied;)
for should we, my dear Madeline, make any discovery of consequence,
with us the secret will rest secure, and, should we be found out, on
ourselves alone will fall the displeasure of Sir Philip; but, by
this procedure, we empower no one either to betray his secrets or
our own. We will, however, carry back with us this little stranger,
(continued he, pointing to the dog, who was sleeping on a cushion
which Roseline had placed for him before the fire,) and, when we
set him down, we will follow wherever he may choose to lead us: If
he be attached to any miserable being confined in one of the cells
or dungeons, we may depend upon his returning to his usual habitation."

Once more the trap-door was lifted up; once more the party descended
into regions like those of the grave, while the mouldering walls,
glittering with the dews of night, and rendered humid with the
unwholsome damps of the situation, hung loose and disjointed over
their heads, as if to threaten instant destruction.

Turning into a passage which led to a contrary direction to that
they had before entered, and which was somewhat wider and less dismal
than the other, Roseline sat down the dog, who ran nimbly away, as
if well acquainted with the path. They followed with the utmost
caution, observing a profound silence. The dog went before them the
whole length of the passage, then turned suddenly down a few steps,
at the bottom of which a door stood half-open: he rushed in, and
appeared to them to stop at some distance. Instantly they heard him
growl and bark, and this determined them to proceed.

They passed through two small apartments decently furnished, and,
just as they reached an inner door, at which the dog had demanded
admittance, they saw it slowly open, and a faint voice appeared to
chide the guiltless wanderer for his long, long absence, and then
to caress him with fondness.

Edwin, knowing, if he hesitated to proceed, the fears of his
companions would increase by the delay, gently tapped at the door.
For a minute all was silent; he then gave some louder raps. The same
person very soon opened the door, of whom they had caught a transient
glimpse when he had granted admittance to the dog. He was evidently
alarmed, and in tremulous and terrified accents inquired who was
there,--what was the matter,--and what errand brought them? at the
same time brandishing a sword, which he had hastily snatched from a
chair which stood near him.

"Whoever you are (continued he) that have found a way to this den
of misery, you may safely enter, unless you come to add farther
oppressions, and inflict additional woes on the head of an injured
and guiltless sufferer. If you come with such diabolical intentions,
be assured of this,--I will no longer be a passive or silent spectator
of such unheard of barbarity, but give up a life in his defence which
cruelty has rendered a worthless sacrifice. Forego then your designs,
and know he will not long be either a burthen or reproach to his
unnatural parent and sordid oppressors."

"We come with no design to injure or oppress, (said Edwin.) We inhabit
this castle, and were led by the curiosity incidental to youth into
these horrid regions.--Chance conducted us into these apartments,
without knowing they were inhabited.--We wish not to alarm or interrupt
any one, but of this be assured, if you will inform us how we can
serve you, or render your situation more comfortable, we will gladly
contribute all in our power to do so. Your countenance does not appear
stamped with guilt, and your determination to protect the injured
speaks a noble mind."

The sword was instantly laid down,--the door flew open,--and they
were requested to enter by one, who told them his life and courage
were only valuable so long as they would enable him to watch and
protect the best and most beloved of masters.

Reader, guess, if it be possible, the surprise and astonishment of
our trembling and compassionate adventurers, when they beheld and
elegant young man, whose countenance was as prepossessing as his
situation was interesting, wrapped in a striped-satin morning-gown,
which reached to his feet, with his hair hanging in graceful ringlets,
and nearly concealing a face pale as death, lying on a kind of couch,
and to all appearance in the last stage of a consumption.

On the entrance of Edwin, he took but little notice, but, on seeing
Roseline and her friend advance, he looked up, and attempted to rise,
but was not equal to the effort, and instantly sunk down in a state
of apparent insensibility. Roseline, more agitated and terrified by
the whole of this unaccountable and affecting scene than she would
have been at the sight of the ghost she had almost expected to meet,
flew to support him. She was assisted by Edwin and Madeline, and
their united endeavours soon restored the poor sufferer to life and
an imperfect sense of his situation.

Having now no longer any fears, he fixed his large blue eyes on the
strangers,--wondered from whence they came,--how all this could
happen,--and to what blessed chance it was owing the he saw himself
attended and consoled by two celestial beings, for as such he actually
considered them; while the pure drops of genuine and the gentlest
pity fell softly on his emaciated hand, he raised the precious gems
of compassion to his lips, sighed deeply, then, looking earnestly
in the face of Roseline, with a smile of doubt and anguish once more
sunk down in a state of insensibility, unable to bear the weight of
his own agitated and contending feelings.

The attendant, who had strictly observed the whole of this
extraordinary scene, now approached to assist in recovering his
master. Edwin hastened to his sister's apartment to procure proper
restoratives; they were applied with their usual success, and the
change they produced gave new life and spirits to all around,
particularly Roseline, who concluded they arrived merely to witness
his dying moments, and hear him breathe his last sigh.

She was still supporting his languid head on her knee; his hand
rested on her arm, his eyes were fixed upon her face, his lips moved,
and the words "kind, consoling angel: were all they could understand.

"What can this mean? (said Edwin;) who is your master?--who brought
him here? and of what crime has he been guilty that he is sentenced
to such a place as this?"--

"I am bound (replied the servant) by the most solemn oath to silence
and secresy. By complying with these conditions I obtained leave to
attend him. Were I at liberty to speak, I could a tale unfold would
tempt you to curse the world, and even detest those claims which bind
man to man. You would be ready to forego the ties of nature, and shun
society.--Time will, it must develop the whole of this mystery."

"But my father!" said Edwin.

"Your father, sir, like my dear unhappy master, is blameless and
innocent: he has been deceived like many others."

"But why (cried Roseline) are you thus shut out from the world, and
banished society?--why, if innocent, is not this poor sufferer placed
in a situation more likely to restore him to health?--why thus cruelly
deprived not only of liberty, light, and air, but of every other
necessary comfort?"

"A higher power has willed it should be so," said the stranger, whose
unreserved manner, superior language, honest and open countenance,
found an instant passport to their hearts, confirmed their belief,
and banished every suspicious doubt of his sincerity.

"Are you involved in the crimes of which this gentleman is suspected?"
inquired Madeline.

"No, madam; my only crime is my attachment to him. I am here by my
own voluntary choice, and were they to convey him a thousand fathoms
deeper in the earth, I would not, unless I were compelled, ever leave
him till his noble and guiltless soul was summoned to appear before
a more just and merciful tribunal than he has found on earth."

"A thousand blessings on you! (cried Roseline, a tear trembling in
each expressive eye,) for shewing this care and god-like compassion
to one so helpless and oppressed.--Brother, surely we may, without
deserving reproach, unite our endeavours with those of this friendly
stranger, to soften the pangs of misery and death, be they inflicted
by whom they may."

"You ought to do so, (cried the lovely Madeline, whose gentle spirit
was awakened into action by the scene before her.)--As fellow-creatures,
and the children of the same Almighty Parent, it is our duty to assist
each other; but we should do more, not remain coldly indifferent to
sufferings which, if we cannot entirely remove, we may in some measure
alleviate."

"And we will do so! (cried the generous and animated Edwin.)--You too,
my honest fellow, (turning to the servant,) shall share in our kind
offices. You deserve the thanks of every good Christian, and to be
immortalized for your faithful attachment to one so helpless and unable
to reward you.--But how is this?" observing the invalid had sunk into
a gentle and quiet sleep; like the peaceful slumber of an infant.

"This has been the case for some weeks. His spirits depressed by the
corroding anguish which preys upon his mind, his body has become a
victim to the conflict, and the soul of my master will soon, by
quitting this earthly tenement, escape the farther persecution of his
enemies. Much, much as I love him, I should rejoice at his release."

The words trembled on his tongue, and the tear of manly compassion
rolled down his cheek.

"Has he no one to attend him? (said Roseline, looking at him with
eyes that beamed with all the heavenly animation which at that moment
throbbed around her heart;) has he no advice?"

"Only such as I can give him, madam. Poor and ignorant as I am, he
has never been allowed any other physician, or better tutor than
myself; but I trust, if the Almighty would again restore him to
health, he would now meet with those who would assist in performing
a task for which I was never calculated."

"Has he no bed to sleep on?" cried Roseline, gently removing his
languid head upon a cushion that laid on a couch, without
awakening him.

"There is one in the inner apartment, but this being the most
comfortable and airy room, he will not leave it."

"I will fetch some pillows."

She did so; they were instantly placed under his head. Still he
slept as if her were never to awake again.

"In the morning, (said Roseline,) at the foot of the stairs, which
your will find by turning to the left, at the end of this passage,
I will leave some few trifles and comfortable cordials, which I hope
will be of service.

"And tomorrow night, at about this time, you may expect us again,
(said Edwin.) I hope your master will then have shaken off this
death-like slumber, and be able to converse with us."

"Perhaps he may, (replied Albert, the name of this faithful servant;)
but he never talks much. I had taught him to read, but they took
away our books, and since that time I am afraid he has lost the
remembrance of the little knowledge he had of reading. He has lately
learned to play a few simple tunes on the lute,--that sometimes
amuses him."

"We will bring you some books, (said Roseline,) and surely, Edwin,
you and I can assist Albert in the delightful task of restoring by
friendship what has been lost by cruelty."

Albert informed them they were regularly served with their meals,
but never saw the person who brought them, all intercourse with any
one being forbidden, to prevent the possibility of discovery or escape;
but, he said, they had better food and more indulgences than had been
allowed them in their former prison, which consisted only of one room.

The party now retired with the utmost caution, lest they should
disturb the apparently-peaceful slumbers of the prisoner, and deprive
him of his only refuge from misery.

Before they parted, Roseline and her brother, actuated by the same
generous feelings in behalf of this unfortunate young man, and his
equally unfortunate companion, satisfied, should there be found any
thing in their conduct to condemn, (which they could not bring
themselves to think,) in their present situation there was much to
pity, resolved to unite in their endeavours of relieving their
miseries, and softening the rigours of a confinement, of which they
knew not the cause; but they were told, the object who had most excited
their compassion was innocent, and therefore they determined to think
him so till his own conduct, or an explanation from any other quarter,
proved him otherwise. It is true, they had nothing on which to found
their belief but the word of a stranger, and him they found in the
humble capacity of a servant; but, though a stranger, he had, by his
simple, modest, and unaffected language, given ample proofs in their
opinion of his sincerity.

They now left the cells, and retired instantly to bed,--dreamed of
the prisoner, and sometimes imagined they could distinguish his groans;
in fact, they thought and talked of him, and him only.

Early in the morning, Roseline carried every little nicety she could
procure, and left them at the foot of the stairs,--then hurried back
to her room, not daring to stop and make inquiries, lest the person
who supplied the object of her pity with his daily food should discover
and betray her benevolent designs.

Madeline was now making a rapid progress in her recovery, and was
every hour in fear of receiving a summons from the abbess to return
to the nunnery. Edwin participated in all her fears, and lamented,
in the language of tender affection, the cruel necessity which
compelled her to leave the castle, protesting neither walls nor vows
should long divide them, and swearing to release her from a situation,
which, though sanctioned by religion, only bigotry, superstition, and
priestcraft, could justify; which he knew would not only destroy
all his prospects of happiness, but, as he could not disbelieve the
fascinating hopes he had not absolutely been forbidden to cherish,
the happiness also of a beloved object, dearer to him than life,
without whom fortune, honour, prosperity, and youth, would be robbed
of all their value.

The next day, accompanied by Bertrand, Edwin stole by another entrance
into the lower recesses of the castle, not mentioning a word of the
prisoner, and carefully avoiding that quarter in which he was confined.
They first explored the subterraneous passage, leading to the nunnery,
and found fewer impediments in their way than they expected. They
easily gained an entrance into the chapel, having fixed upon an hour
when they knew all the fathers and nuns would be engaged in their
cells. They found the opening under the organ, and in that part of the
chapel appropriated to the use of the nuns, the door being concealed
from observation by a very curious tomb, belonging to the ancient
family of De G--.

They entered next the passage leading to Mettingham-castle, and
determined to see the whole of it. Here they met with many
difficulties: in some places huge stones had fallen from the
walls,--in others the arch-way was so low they were almost obliged
to crawl,--while toads, snakes, and various kinds of reptiles impeded
their progress; when, at length, they reached the end of this
wonderful labyrinth, the production of labour and art, they found
themselves close to the ballium of Mettingham-castle, and under a
strong machiolated and embattled gate.

They now discovered another short passage, which was terminated by
a door that opened to the outer ballium, and through which the cavalry
could sally in any case of emergency. They ventured cautiously to look
around them. Edwin's mind, however, was chiefly occupied by one dear
object, and he secretly rejoiced at having found the means of escaping
with Madeline, should the obstinacy of her parents, or the ambition of
his own, leave him no other resource.

He likewise, in the course of the day, but unaccompanied by any one,
opened the door on the stair-case leading to the South tower. He felt
a kind of repugnance at taking this step, but determined, as matters
were now circumstanced, to go through the whole of this unpleasant
business at once, that nothing might be left to conjecture. He also
recollected that it would not only put an end to that restless
curiosity which had long dwelt upon his mind, but enable him to judge
whether it would be possible to remove the dying prisoner into a more
airy and convenient room, without the hazard of a discovery.

This wind of the castle he knew was totally unoccupied, as in his
boyish days he had frequently, and at all times gone that way to
the ramparts to lodge his playthings in a secret apartment in one
of the highest towers, and never in his peregrination had met with
a human being.

On attempting first to open the door, he was a good deal startled
at the noise it occasioned, and was almost buried beneath the heap
of cobwebs and dirt which fell and enveloped him in a cloud of
dust.--Some birds too, that had here found a sage asylum, flew in
terror around him. Not willing to disturb them more than was necessary,
he unfastened a narrow casement, to give those opportunity of
escaping who wished to obtain their liberty. He then stole softly
and cautiously across the room to an opposite door, which opened
without any difficulty, and he entered a second apartment, much larger
and more commodious than the first. It was hung with ancient
tapestry, on which time and moth had made many depredations; but,
in some parts of it, the full-length figures remained perfect, and
the colours retained some of their beautiful shades. He soon discovered
that it represented the most striking and interesting scenes in the
well-known history of Hero and Leander, from his first seeing her,
in the temple of Venus, at Seftos, in Thrace, till the last closing
scene of their unfortunate loves.

The figures of the lovers were fine, and in excellent preservation,
and the tapestry was of so superior a kind, that it gave as full
force and expression to the faces and drapery as the finest painting
could have conveyed. The temple, the palace, the turret, and the
Hellespont, upon whose waves the rising and setting sun were
alternately reflected, with the downy swan, in snowy dignity, which
was seen laving on its bosom were admirably depicted.

The nurse, or attendant of the faithful Hero stood at full length
on the edge of the water, which gently undulated near the walls of
the palace, pointing to the waves, and as if in the act of telling
her fond, impatient mistress her lover was coming, while she, with
modest sweetness, seemed fearful of stealing a look at the element
which contained a treasure dearer to her soul that the whole of her
ambitious father's dominions.

In another part, he saw the lifeless body of Leander, and the
despairing Hero in the act of throwing herself into the Hellespont,
which had unfortunately proved the grave of her lover.

Edwin stood a long time, silently admiring this pathetic tale: it
had an instantaneous effect upon his feelings; it served to remind
him of the difficulties he should have to encounter in his attachment
to Madeline, and he could have kissed the senseless portrait of the
old Egyptian woman for her kind and faithful attentions to the
persecuted lovers.

In the middle of the room stood a square table, on which were
carelessly spread a number of papers. Four massy silver candlesticks
were likewise placed upon it, each of which contained a wax-candle,
that had never been lighted, and an old writing, to which was annexed
a vast many seals, laid folded up under them.

This he concluded was the mystic bond which held in captivity the
restless spirit it was supposed to confine. Edwin opened and attempted
to read it. In some parts the writing was defaced, and the whole of
the language so unintelligible, he very soon replaced it in its former
situation, imagining that, if the ghost was not to regain its liberty
till the bond could be read, it would rest in peace for ever, and
suffer others to do the same.

In the chimney stood an antique grate, that had once been bright,
and still shewed some of its brilliant features through the rust by
which it was enveloped. A few chairs were standing here and there,
but they were falling to decay. He then opened another door, which
led him into a vaulted chamber, in which were placed the tattered
remains of a bed, that had been handsome, and could be repaired. A
book of devotion was lying upon it. The windows were high and narrow,
admitting but little light, notwithstanding which they were secured
by iron bars of immense thickness, so strongly, that, had they been
lower, it would have been impossible for the arm of the strongest
man to remove or shake them.

This led him to conclude it was originally designed for the security
of prisoners of rank, its distance from the ground precluding any
communication with the people on guard; and he shuddered as he
recollected how many, like the poor prisoner in the cells, might
have lingered away their wretched existence in this very apartment,
in the hopeless expectation of meeting with a release.

He next carefully searched in every part of the room, to discover
if there was not a more secret entrance, but found none.--He put the
key into his pocket, as he had before done that of the trap-door,
and in the morning, unobserved by Bertrand, had the precaution not
to lock the door of the subterraneous passage, leaving it well
secured by the bolts and bars which were on the inside.

He now hastened to replace all the rest of the keys in the repository
from whence he had taken them, and was satisfied those he retained in
his own possession would not be missed by his father or any one else.

After this he returned to join the family, and said not a word of
what he had seen, nor the plans which floated in his own mind, in
consequence of the morning peregrinations he had taken.



CHAP. VI.


In the course of the day, Roseline asked a thousand questions, with
apparent indifference, of De Clavering, respecting the nature of
consumptive cases, their symptoms, progress, &c. and how people ought
to manage themselves in regard to diet, who were confined in damp
regions of a dungeon, or immured in the narrow precincts of a prison;
to all which she received such plain, direct, and experienced answers,
as she cherished hopes would enable her, with the approbation of
heaven, to be the humble means of restoring to health, or a more
promising degree of convalescence, the interesting object whose
secret sufferings hap stimulated her to make these unusual inquiries;
and what gave new life and added energy to her benevolent hopes was
the arrival of a letter from Sir Philip to Lady de Morney, in which
he was reluctantly obliged to inform her that his stay in London was
unfortunately prolonged, and he was sorry to find his absence from
the castle was likely to be protracted a considerable length of time
from the slow progress of the law, and the difficulties thrown in
the way by his opponents. This account would have given her paid a
few days before; it was now a source of pleasure, which produced the
most sanguine expectations of preserving, under Providence, the life
of a fellow-creature, or, at least, of rendering its closing scene
less hopeless and more comfortable.

A sensibility, like that which was lodged in the bosom of the artless
and innocent Roseline, I would wish all my sex to possess. So far
from tempting her to run from misery, it led her in search of it,
and, when found, it awakened every gentle passion of the mind into
immediate and resolute action; while the fictitious feeling, the
affected sensibility of a modern miss is confined to kicking,
fainting, or squalling at sight of a wretched object, and the little
they may really have will evaporate in the trouble of acting their
part so as to impose on the minds of others an unjust sense of their
own delicate and extreme compassion.

How much might men as well as women add to the dignity of nature by
never attempting to destroy her! In the formation of man, God lent
his own image; how would it astonish, how would it excite the
indignation of the almost unenlightened savage, if he met with any
one so foolish as to suppose they could improve that image by the
ridiculous distortions and grimaces of affectation! and how would he
be diverted, could he see the devoted slaves of fashion so disguise
the human form, that the head is frequently increased to twice its
original size,--the waist sometimes dwindled to a span, at others
entirely lost; then again restored with such protuberances as even to
render the character suspected;--and at times our modern beaux and
belles are seen so completely in masquerade, that it is a matter of
some difficulty to distinguish on sex from the other,--a circumstance
that might be attended with ludidicrous, if not dangerous, consequences.

As the spirits of Lady de Morney were much depressed by the receipt
of Sir Philip's letter, every one exerted themselves to amuse her.
They sung, they danced, and the tale went merrily round. De Willows
and De Clavering appeared unusually animated, and Hugh Camelford fared
the worse for their exertions. They roused the fiery blood of the brave
Cambrian, and then cooled it again by a well-turned compliment. They
likewise so powerfully assailed Elwyn to give a dinner he had long
promised them, that the following day was fixed for the treat, and his
apartments were prepared for the ladies, the gentlemen with one voice
agreeing not to go without them. They also entered into a confederacy
to drink till they had emptied the miser's last bottle, determining to
have one good frolic, as they despaired of ever obtaining a second
at his expence.

Madeline received a few line from Agnes de Clifford, to inform her,
that, by what she could learn from one of the old nuns, the abbess
expected her return to the nunnery the following week, as father
Anselm had signified his disapprobation of her longer absence. This
gave great concern to the young people, which did not pass unobserved
by Lady de Morney, who gently blamed them, adding, as they had been
so long indulged with the company of their friend, they ought to
submit to the will of the father without repining or reluctance.

After a day which appeared to Roseline the longest she had ever lived,
the hour arrived in which they were to revisit the dark abode of
misery and oppression. They found Albert impatiently waiting for
them in the passage, near the foot of the stairs, almost despairing
of their return. Every one carried something for the use and
gratification of the prisoner. Edwin was loaded with books; Madeline
with sweetmeats, wine, and cakes; Roseline with some white meats
and soup. She had likewise prepared a reviving mixture from a recipe
of De Clavering's extracted from a variety of healing herbs, admirably
calculated to restore health and spirits to the fragile frame of the
languid sufferer.

Albert informed them that his master considered the whole of what
had passed the preceding evening as a dream;--had repeatedly
mentioned the good and consoling angels, who had condescended to
visit the couch of a wretch who, almost from his birth, had been an
outcast from society; and, notwithstanding he assured him he would
see them again, he could obtain no credit to his assertion, not
divert his mind from the idea that it was a warning from heaven,
merely to prepare him for a summons before its awful tribunal.

"Hasten, my good friend, (said Roseline,) and undeceive him, by
letting him know we wait here to convince him, if he will receive
us, that we are mere mortals like himself."

Albert did not stop for a second command to execute a commission he
eagerly wished. They followed him; the little dog ran out, and greeted
their arrival with every testimony of joy it was in its nature to
express, and they were requested to walk in the moment they reached
the door of the apartment. They were not only surprised, but highly
gratified at observing the visible change for the better which a few
hours had made in the countenance of their new friend, whose dependence
on their good offices, for many of the necessary comforts of life,
and total seclusion from the world, made very forcible claims on
their hearts.

He arose on their entrance. Edwin flew to embrace him. Madeline held
out her hand, which he gently pressed between his; but, observing
that Roseline's was likewise extended, he dropped the hand of her
friend, and eagerly caught her's, as if he were afraid it should be
wrested from him.

"I would fain tell you what I feel at this moment, (said he,
faintly and fearfully;) but I do not know a language to make myself
understood.--This I know, that yesterday I washed to die, and be
forgotten even by Albert; but now I think, if I could have you always
with me, (stealing a look at Roseline,) hear you talk, and see you
smile, I could be content to live for ever, even in this sad place.
If all other women are like you, how charming must be the world, in
which Albert says there are a vast many! I have often told him, and
he knows why, that I never should like a woman; (here he smiled
expressively on Albert.) I thought they were all very cruel and very
ugly creatures, therefore I concluded, when I first saw you, that
you were angels, or kind and celestial spirits, who came down from
heaven to receive my soul, and carry it to a place of rest."

"Indeed, my good sir, (said Roseline,) you were never more mistaken.
We are like the generality of our sex, but much inferior to many. We
broke in upon you unexpectedly, and you judged merely from feelings
too highly raised, which originated from surprise, and were in part
confirmed by the effect they had on the susceptibility of your nature
and the seclusion of your situation.--I must now entreat you to take
a few spoonfuls of a mixture I have brought you. I am afraid it is not
very pleasant to the taste, but I hope and trust it will be conducive
to your recovery."

She poured some into a tea-cup, and presented it to him; he drank it
immediately. They then produced the more grateful treat they had
brought with them; he at a little cake, and some sweetmeats, with an
avidity and greediness that shocked them,--said they were very fine,
and much better than the liquor.

Edwin next gave him some books, which he opened with eagerness, seemed
vastly delighted with the prints, but shook his head on finding himself
unable to read their contents. He turned over a few of the leaves, and
seemed a good deal chagrined. Edwin explained their titles, and gave
him a few outlines of the works.

"Albert can read them," said he.

"I hope you will soon be able to read them yourself, (replied Edwin:)
we will join with Albert in instructing you."

"Ah! (cried he, shaking his head,) you will soon grow weary of one
so ignorant, so dull as I am; (his eye glanced at Roseline.)--I
belong to no one,--I have no friend but poor Albert; he will not
leave me to die alone in such a place as this."

"My dear sir, (said Albert,) talk not of dying the very first hour
you are beginning to live, I yet trust we shall see many happy years."

He looked melancholy, whispered something they could not perfectly
understand, and appeared wholly lost in his own painful reflections.
Edwin again addressed him.--At hearing his voice he started, and
gazed on him with a wild and vacant stare, as if he had never seen
him before, looked at his dress, then at his own,--seemed struck by
the contrast, and a faint smile came over his features, but it was
the smile of internal sadness.

It will not be thought superfluous, perhaps, if we stop a few moments,
in order to describe, as well as we are able, the face, person, and
dress, of this unfortunate young man. His complexion, from never having
been exposed to either air or sun, was whiter and more delicate that
that of Madeline: his large blue eyes were shaded by deeply-fringed
eye-lashes, and arched with eye-brows which the nicest pencil of the
painter could not have improved. His face was oval, his nose aquiline,
and his mouth so exquisitely formed, as to give grace and expression
to all the other features: he was much thinner, but some inches taller
than Edwin; yet the whole of his appearance shewed that confinement
and ill health had stolen, in their thievish and destroying progress,
many of the natural graces from his face and person: his hair waved
in careless ringlet over his forehead, and hung down  some length on
his shoulders; he was still wrapped in a loose morning gown, wore
slippers, and his linen was of the finest texture.

With some difficulty, but not without the assistance of Albert, they
drew him by degrees into something like conversation; but he did not
appear perfectly to understand all they said; and, when they mentioned
the days beginning to lengthen, the increasing and reviving influence
of the fun, the beaut of the moon and stars, he sighed,--wished he
could see and admire them as other men did, and inquired if they thought
any but himself and Albert were denied so many of the blessings which
he had been told God had given for the use and benefit of all his
creatures. Edwin replied, painful as it was to recollect, he had no
doubt but at that moment thousands of the fellow-mortals sustained
even greater hardships and deprivations than himself.

"Must you and these sweet creatures ever do the same?"

He hoped not, but fortune was so fickle in the favours she bestowed,
and every thing so uncertain, it was impossible to tell what might
or might not happen in the course of a few years.

"It is surely very strange, (said the prisoner,) and I think those
people, whose hard hearts and hands contrived and made prisons, are
the most proper, indeed the only persons who should be forced to
inhabit them."

This observation produced a general smile, which they hoped would
pass unnoticed, but it did not escape him, and he said, while a faint
colour flushed his cheek, he knew he was very ignorant; but he begged
they would not despise him for so great a misfortune. After this he
only ventured to ask a few questions, but at the moment of doing so
seemed to shrink into himself, and to be astonished at his own
temerity. This shyness and reserve they trusted would wear off, as
he became familiarized to their visits and conversation; they therefore
took no notice of his absence or timidity, but endeavoured by every
attention to draw him from his own painful and humiliating reflections,
and by a few well-timed praises strove to give him self-confidence.

After staying as long as time and the nature of their visit would
permit, and giving proper directions to Albert in regard to the
medicines and nourishing restoratives they had brought with them,
they reluctantly arose to depart. Observing their design, he held his
hands before his eyes, to prevent his seeing them go, and exclaimed,
"Don't, don't leave me!--I cannot bear it. I never never shall see
you again:--you will forget me, you will leave me for ever!"

His extreme agitation alarmed and affected them all. They knew not
how to go, and yet to stay longer might risk a discovery.

"Speak, Roseline, (said Edwin,) and if possible quiet these
distressing apprehensions."

Roseline, as soon as she could sufficiently command the tone of her
voice, took hold of his trembling hand, which was cold as death,
and gently intreated him to hear her with composure. He looked at
her with passive acquiescence, and she proceeded to assure him that
it was their united and determined intention to repeat their visits
as often as their own and his situation would permit: but that, for
his sake particularly, they were under the necessity of acting with
caution, and carefully guarding against the possibility of a
discovery.--If he were so much affected when they left him, they
must visit him less frequently than they wished.

"Ah! no, no;--do not think of me, or what I may feel: that is of no
consequence, only say you will come again and again."

"On my honour we will, and continue to do so while you remain an
involuntary resident in this castle."

"I am satisfied, (said he, sighing inwardly as he spoke; then,
fixing his eyes on Roseline,)--if you would come every day,--talk
to me, and look at me thus gently,--if you would continue to pity
my weakness and pardon my ignorance, I should not think this a
prison but a paradise, and could be content to end my useless days
in this dungeon."

This pathetic address Roseline could not acquire sufficient resolution
to answer, and, while her heart felt intolerably oppressed, the silent
rears, which stole softly down her cheek, explained the nature of her
feelings. Madeline, finding the scene was become too painful, rose,
and bade him god night. Roseline gently withdrew the hand which for
some moments had been clasped in his, and Edwin, seeing the necessity
of immediately retiring, tenderly bade him fare-well.--

Finding they were resolute to depart, he dropped on his knees by
the couch, and concealed his face in the pillow. They insisted on
Albert's not leaving his master, and hurried back to their own
apartment in a state of mind difficult to be described, carrying with
them a variety of feelings, which, though new and painful, they
wished should be retained in their remembrance.

As it was now two hours beyond their usual time of going to bed,
the great clock having struck the aweful hour of twelve, Edwin,
without stopping to make any comments on the scene that had so
recently occurred, instantly took his leave. Madeline put on her
night-clothes, and, after talking a few minutes, sunk into the
lethean arms of sleep. Not so her friend; sleep deserted her pillow:
in vain she sought and wished for its approach, to obliterate new
and uncomfortable sensations. It was extremely odd that the image
of the prisoner haunted her imagination with such persevering
obstinacy, that, notwithstanding she closed her eyes, she could not
exclude him from her mental sight; and, what was still more strange
and unaccountable, though she saw he was less polished than those
with whom she was accustomed to associate, without education, and
entirely ignorant of the world,--a prisoner for she knew not what,
yet still she thought, and was extremely angry with herself for so
doing, the he was the handsomest man, and had the most prepossessing
and elegant form she had ever seen. His manners too!--could any
thing be more captivating than the manners of this uninformed son of
nature, whom cruelty and injustice had immured in the dungeons of her
father's castle!

A few hours sleep might, and she trusted would, restore her to a more
just and rational way of thinking; if not, he who caused her judgement
to mislead her would perhaps be the means of its returning to its
proper function.

We will now therefore leave her to try an experiment, which has often
produced as powerful an effect, and, stealing the mind by a temporary
oblivion from the objects of its sudden partiality, has likewise
stolen, by the dawn of the succeeding morning, all recollection of
woes, which, in a moment of unguarded susceptibility, had found a
passage to the heart. Whether it had this convenient soporific, and
be-numbing property on the mind of Roseline, we are not now at liberty
to declare; but, if it should not, we hope some of our readers will
make allowance for the unfashionable taste of a young lady, who lived
so many ages before themselves; who was unhacknied in the devious
paths of life, with a mind unvitiated by pride or the pangs of envy,
and who had seen little or nothing of the world beyond the precincts
of the castle she inhabited.



CHAP. VII.


The next day every one prepared with high glee for Elwyn's promised
treat, and puzzled themselves with various conjectures as to what
kind of feast the miser would set before them. Bertha and Hugh Camelford
were very busy after something which those who saw them concluded would
be productive of mirth or mischief, no two dispositions being more
likely to succeed in a cause for which their humorous talents were
calculated; while poor Elwyn, in secret but unavailing regret, lamented
too late his yielding folly, in having been prevailed on to comply
with what he termed a very foolish and unreasonable request, viz. for
so many people to dine at his expence: but this he wisely kept to
himself, well knowing, if the part understood his sentiments, it would
expose him to their whole artillery of wit and ridicule; he therefore
made all the preparations for an excellent dinner, but his caution,
busy looks, anxiety, and distress, promised a much higher entertainment
than his repast could afford.

The company assembled at the proper time, and were seated in due form
and order, Lady de Morney at the head, and Elwyn at the bottom of
the table; when, having helped most of the party, Camelford requested
him to send him a slice of a large raised pie, which made a
distinguished figure.

Bertha cried out with well-affected terror, "Don't touch it; I am sure
'tis enchanted; I saw the crust move."

"Child, (cried Lady de Morney,) what do you mean?"

"What I say, madam, for indeed it was lifted up."

"Take care what you are apout, Elwyn, (said Camelford,) or, py Cot,
you may cut off the head of a conjurer, who has jumped into the pie
in honour of your feast."

"Suppose we let De Clavering dissect him, (said De Willows;) he
is undoubtedly the best hand at cutting up his own species."

De Clavering, who suspected some joke, cautiously raised up one side
of the crust, when, to the astonishment of the party, out jumped a
squirrel. Happy in having regained its liberty, it sprang across the
table, and immediately made its way into Edeliza's pocket, where it
was accustomed to fun for shelter. She was shocked at the danger from
which her favourite had escaped, caressed the little stranger, and
rejoiced at seeing it unhurt.

Everyone was surprised and alarmed at the unexpected appearance of
poor Pug, while the terror of the master of the ceremonies was somewhat
increased, when he saw a dish of blanc mange, which one of the ladies
was beginning to help, fall, and a variety of the most beautiful
shapes dissolve into water. This produced a general and hearty laugh.

"Fine teceptions these! (said Camelford.)--I suppose we shall find in
the rest of the pies life cats and togs, and see little Pertha turned
into a pillar of salt." As to Pug, he declared by Cot, Tavy Jones, and
the tifel, he never saw a coat run swifter on this belofed Welch mountains,
and he would pet fife hundred kineas he would not be peat if put in
podily fear.

The dishes were removed, and those originally ordered now brought on
to fill their places, which, if not altogether productive of so much
mirth, served to gratify a more craving and imporunate sense.--Elwyn
however was highly provoked and mortified at the tricks which had been
played on him, and swore, if he could discover the perpetrator, he would
insist on an apology, or compel him to take a little cold iron.

"That (said De Clavering) would be rendering your hospitality too
profuse. It would not only produce matter for conversation, but in
all probability furnish me with a job that might puzzle or improve me
in the art of surgery; and, as nature had entailed so many diseases
on us poor mortals, methinks no reasonable man would wish to
increase them."

"But, were it not for the unreasonable, (said De Willows,) you gentlemen
of the lancet and gallipot would not find sufficient opportunities to
employ your genius, and give such proofs of your chirurgical skill
and abilities."

"On my poor poty (said Hugh Camelford) I hope their apilities never will
be tried. Petter to eat squirrels, as Elwyn would have tempted us to do,
than be cutting up one another for pies and pasties!"

De Huntingfield unfortunately whispered to Roseline that he never saw
her so unusually serious, adding, he supposed she was thinking of
matrimony, and advised her to begin her attacks against Elwyn, while
the generous and hospitable fit was upon him; for, if she permitted
it to evaporate, Plutus, in all probability would again render every
avenue to his heart inaccessible to the power of love.

This remark brought the roses into her cheeks. She however denied
having formed any designs on one whose predominant passion set every
other at defiance, and declared herself perfectly guiltless of all
such hostile intentions. The hint however was sufficient to put her
upon her guard, and she exerted herself to prevent any further
observations of the like sort.

Madeline, now satisfied that the heart of Edwin was as much the slave
of the tender passion as her own, and beat responsive to her every
wish, would have relished the cheerful scene, had she not, in the
very moment of enjoyment, recollected it was the last time, for
perhaps a long long tiresome period, that she should make one of
the happy party.

Edwin, who guessed the nature of her feelings, sympathized too much
with her to be more at ease. De Clavering, who observed them both,
gave a humorous dissertation on the powers of sympathy, and execrated
its effects. The day however passed pleasantly, and the evening
concluded with a dance, in which the lively Bertha was permitted to
join, and had her favourite Hugh Camelford for a partner.--Edwin
withdrew with the ladies at an early hour. The rest of the gentlemen
returned with Elwyn to his apartment, much against his inclination,
and did not leave him till they had literally fulfilled their agreement
of emptying the miser's last bottle; then, consigning him to the care
of his servant, with difficulty found their way to their own rooms.

Neither Edwin nor his sister however had forgotten their unfortunate
friends. The former had stolen an opportunity of conveying a few nice
things to the dungeon, had delivered them to Albert, and spent half
an hour with his master, promising to renew his visit in the evening,
accompanied by the ladies. This threw a gleam of joy over the
countenance of the prisoner, who assured him he would not again
distress them by shewing so much reluctance at parting.

Albert was pressed by Edwin to enforce the necessity of his master's
endeavouring to recover all that he had lost of his reading, and by
that means acquire a proper and useful knowledge of the customs and
manners of the world, which would be absolutely essential to the
rendering it pleasant, should he ever obtain his freedom, and become
an active member of society.

"I shall find but little trouble, sir, (replied this excellent servant,)
in doing that which my poor master has himself been so anxious to
accomplish ever since he saw you and the sweet ladies, who have made
our situation in comparison comfortable. Nature had kindly done much
for him, education scarcely any thing. Now I foresee all will be right;
he is roused from his lethargy of desponding misery, and laments his
own ignorance in language, that shew him truly sensible of it. He has
insisted on being better dressed against the evening, and the book has
not been five minutes out of his hand since you left him."

"I will give you all the assistance in my power, (said Edwin,) and
fortunately at this time my father's absence renders the design less
hazardous. I have likewise another plan in my head, which I hope will
not only greatly contribute to his comfort, but do much towards the
more perfect re-establishment of his health, which I now begin to
think is not quite in the hopeless state the alarming situation in
which I first saw him led me to imagine."

Edwin next inquired of Albert how his master's wardrobe was furnished.
"I recollect (said he) you mentioned his desire of changing his dress.
I can supply his with any thing he wants."

"In that respect, sir, my master has no occasion to tax your bounty.
Toys and fine clothes were never denied, and for a long time they
had their influence, and served to amuse him."

"Good God! (said Edwin,) that this mystery could be explained!"

Albert shook his head, and immediately withdrew.

In the evening, Edwin, his sister, and Madeline, visited the prisoner;
but, if they were surprised before at the happy alteration a few hours
had produced in his looks, how much more so were they now at observing
the still greater progress in the improvement both of his health and
spirits.--He was drest in the most fashionable stile of the times,
with an elegance and neatness that astonished them: every part of his
dress was such as was only worn by persons of the highest rank,--his
clothes richly trimmed, his stockings silk, and his shoes fastened
with gold clasps.

At the approach of Roseline and her friend, his eyes sparkled with
delight. In fact, he appeared like one raised from the grave by a
miracle,--new fashioned and created. It was visible to all the party
that his chief attention was directed to Roseline. He watched her
every look, and the language of his artless soul was easily read in
every expressive and animated feature.

They were now tolerably cheerful. His fear, reserve, and timidity,
began gradually to wear off. He even ventured to address a question
to Madeline, and to gaze with tender earnestness on her friend. Edwin,
with an arch smile, reminded them it would be time to retire, when
Roseline had given proper directions respecting her patient, from whose
rapid recovery he foretold she would reap such honours as would firmly
establish her reputation, as the first female physician in the world.

"And as the best, the most gentle of her sex," added the prisoner,
blushing deeply as he ventured to express his gratitude.--"I owe
her more than life,--more than--"

"A truce with your thanks, my good friend, (cried Roseline, now
blushing in her turn.) and prove, you value our endeavours to render
you more comfortable by taking the utmost care of yourself, and by
not permitting you mind to swell on any circumstance likely to agitate
and distress you."

He promised to be directed by his friends, and to follow strictly
all their injunctions. Again they could not prevail on themselves
to leave him, till the night was pretty far advanced. On receiving a
promise from Edwin to visit him again the next morning, and one from
the ladies to be with him in the evening, he saw them depart without
any violent agitation; yet a visible gloom and reluctance pervaded
his features, not to be concealed by one who never had formed an idea
that it was either necessary or possible to disguise the feelings,
or disavow the sentiments of the heart.

Happy state of unspotted unsuspecting integrity! when no pangs of
guilt harass and corrode the mind with unceasing anguish! We can
scarcely prevail upon ourselves (when we recollect it incorruptible
advantages) to think such an enviable portion of internal peace
dearly purchased even with the loss of liberty; for, amidst all his
sufferings, out hapless prisoner could not recall on action that hung
heavy on his mind, or that awakened the scorpion sting of a reproaching
conscience. His life might justly be compared to the spotless pages
of a book, whose leaves no blot had yet defiled, but which remained
properly prepared to receive the fairest and most lasting impressions.

The expected summons for Madeline's return to the nunnery arrived.
However reluctant to obey so unwelcome a mandate, she was obliged
to comply. The parting between the lovers was attended with many
uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings.--Melancholy presentiments
were encouraged, which increased the distresses of the moment. She
could not leave the prisoner without shedding many tears. She even
envied his situation, and when she compared it with her own, it did
not appear so hopeless and solitary. He still retained on faithful
friend, and had lately met with others, who, if not so long known,
were equally attached to him: He would likewise see Edwin every day,
while she, immured in the hor d*val of a nunnery, as inimical to her
felicity as those by which he was surrounded had till then proved
to his, would be denied even the soothing influence of hope;--that
ignis fatuus of the mind had deserted its post, and left it open to
the sad encroachments of fruitless and unavailing regret.--Most severely
did she now condemn herself for every having quitted the holy asylum,
in which, if she had not found happiness, she had never felt such
conflicts as those she now endured.

Lady de Morney and Roseline accompanied her to the nunnery, and
delivered her up to the maternal care of the abbess, and the protection
of father Anselm. They both appeared pleased and satisfied with her
ready compliance with their commands, and rejoiced to see her look so
well. They had suffered great anxiety on her account, and the father,
who had visited her frequently during her indisposition, and had
cherished bu few hopes of her recovery, now told her he trusted she
would not more wish to forsake their holy sanctuary, as he doubted
not her illness was a penance inflicted by Providence for leaving it
at a season so particularly appropriated to the sacred duties of
the church.

Roseline, before she left the nunnery, accompanied Madeline to her cell,
the abbess having granted her this indulgence. Here they unobserved gave
way to the sad luxury of tears. They wept on each other's bosom, and the
sobbing Madeline, deaf to the soothing consolations of her sympathizing
friend, requested her to present Edwin with her grateful acknowledgements
for his many kind attentions, and which in the moment of parting she was
unable to express. She hoped he would not forget her, and begged his
sister to assure him, that, if she were compelled to take the veil, she
should retain his image in her heart, though her life were dedicated to
the service of her God. She likewise cautioned Roseline to beware, and
guard against the fly and dangerous intrusions of love, which brought
with them innumerable sorrows, and never to encourage hopes, as she had
done, which she feared would end in disappointment and misery.

Roseline knew these hints alluded to the prisoner; the blush which
tinged her cheek convinced her friend she was perfectly understood.
Indeed, she had before ventured to tell her, that, in her attentions
to relieve the miseries she commiserated, she might become too tenderly
a sharer in them, and, in freeing the captive from his fetters, might
herself be enslaved. Roseline thanked her friend, but denied the caution
being necessary, and instantly tool her leave, in order to put an end
to a conversation which now became unpleasant, and gave her more pain
than she chose to acknowledge.

The evening, as may be supposed, passed slowly and heavily at the
castle. Roseline felt unfeigned regret at the departure of her friend,
and Edwin found in her absence the deprivation of happiness; yet, as
it was unavoidable, he determined as much as possible to conceal his
distress from the prying eye of suspicion, and to employ every hour
he could command, in the service of the unfortunate prisoner, to whom
he felt himself irresistibly and unaccountably attached; but Edwin,
amidst his family at the castle, was not less internally wretched
than poor Madeline, counting her beads in her silent and solitary cell.

At the usual time Roseline and her brother revisited the interesting
object of her compassion. He expressed such rapture at seeing them,
and made so many acknowledgements for their friendship, that their
minds became insensibly harmonized, and their attention engaged.

Edwin now for the first time proposed removing his friend from the
dungeon to the haunted chamber, which no one dared to approach, and
which we before mentioned as having an entrance from the South tower.
Roseline obtained permission of her mother to keep possession of the
apartment into which she had accompanied Madeline; therefore they
thought his removal could be easily accomplished without any risk of
a discovery. It was agreed that Albert should attend the cells in
order to take away the provision regularly carried there. All these
matters settled, the following evening was appointed for the
accomplishment of their purpose, at the same time Edwin cherished
the most sanguine hopes that, with the assistance of Albert, and by
means of the subterraneous passage, he might sometimes obtain a
stolen interview with Madeline.

The next night Edwin, his sister, and Albert, accompanied the prisoner
to his destined apartment; but to describe his gratitude and joy, at
finding himself in a situation so comfortable and airy, would be
impossible. Every thing was new and delightful, and in the morning,
when the light (which but dimly enlivened his chamber on his arrival)
broke in upon his astonished sight, his raptures were alarming, and
his faithful attendant, with the utmost difficulty, prevailed on him
to confine them within the bounds of moderation, and cautiously to
indulge himself in looking at objects so surprising, but to other
people so familiar, they they seldom could spare a moment to
contemplate them.

When he viewed the sun, from one of the windows of his room, rising
in its utmost splendor, had not Albert prevented him, he had fallen
on his knees, and worshipped the brilliant luminary.--He observed
the birds with ecstacy, as they lightly skimmed through the boundless
regions of the air, and listened with a kind of throbbing agitation
as the lark warbled forth her morning oraisons, and, not till he had
shed tears, could he reduce his feelings to any degree of composure.
He admired the trees; his eyes rested on some of the distant hills,
and he told Albert he did not think the world had been so large and
fine a place. He next amused himself with looking round his apartment,
and at every little interval gave way to the effusions of genuine
transport.

Can it be wondered that so helpless a being should feel, on
experiencing such a change, more than mere language could express!
Liberated from misery by the benevolence of strangers,--a thousand
comforts bestowed which he had despaired of ever tasting, his
gratitude was as unlimited as his joy, and I am sure all my readers
will pardon him for still continuing to think his benefactors more
than mortal; yet at times he could recollect, with a sigh of trembling
regret, the dangers to which they exposed themselves in order to make
him happy.--Their parents, too, might shut them in a dungeon for their
disobedience. These reflections fortunately abated the fervour of this
high wrought feelings, or in all probability he would have brought on
a return of those complaints which had so much interested his young
friends in his behalf.--In a few hours he became more composed, and
endeavoured to remark every thing around him with serenity. As he was
now situated, Edwin and his sister could see him several times a day
without inconvenience or danger, and, to guard against any surprise,
they had taken care to lock the door at the foot of the stairs, strongly
fastened it within-side, and concealed the key, that none of the family
might wander that way.

In the evening, a new scene presented itself to the fight of the
prisoner, The moon and stars were pointed out to him by Edwin. At
first he mistook the moon for another sun, less brilliant, but as
beautiful. The stars he called little suns, and attempted to count
their number; and, while his eyes were raised in silent rapture to
the spangled firmament, he inquired why so much more pains had been
taken to decorate the heavens for the night, when mortals slept, than
for the day, when all nature was awake to wonder and adore. So delighted
was he with the sombre beauties of this all astonishing scene, that
it was with the utmost difficulty, after Edwin left him, that Albert
could prevail upon him to think of retiring to rest. No sooner however
was he convinced that his faithful attendant had lost in the arms of
sleep all remembrance of those scenes which kept him waking, than
her softly stole to the window, where he remained till the dews of
night and the cold blasts of an easterly wind drove him again to
his bed.

The few necessary articles which had been allowed him in his former
abode were now removed to his present one, and such added as would
tend to his comfort and convevience. As his food in the dungeon had
been conveyed to him by means of a turning cupboard, his having vacated
it could not be known so long as Albert attended at the proper times
to receive it; and, Edwin having shewn him another secret way, which
led from under the stairs in the South tower to his old habitation,
he would be able to go as often as he pleased, without any danger
of being discovered.

It was now two months after the prisoner's removal before Sir Philip
de Morney was able to fix a time for his return. A letter than arrived,
in which he mentioned, that, by the end of another fortnight, he hoped
to reach the castle. He informed Lady de Morney that he should bring
a friend with him for whom he had the highest regard, and he trusted
she would make such necessary preparations for his reception, as would
serve not only to prove the sincerity of his attachment, but the high
respect and esteem in which he was held by the rest of the family;
telling her it was no less a personage than Baron Fitzosbourne,
whose friendship had done him much honour, and in whose society
he found pleasure.

Lady de Morney, who perfectly understood by her husband's letter,
how anxious he was that his friend should be received with the utmost
splendour and hospitality, gave such orders as she hoped would
please the one and gratify the other.

In the mean while, the prisoner made such rapid improvements, as
astonished and delighted his youthful instructors. He was indefatigable
in storing his mind with all the knowledge the best authors could
impart. With returning health his memory regained its former power,
and all the natural and brilliant faculties of his mind recovered
their usual strength, and proved he was endowed with more than common
capacity and genius. His elegant form, animated features,--the serene,
ensnaring gentleness of his manners, and the mild sweetness of his
disposition, unfolded themselves by degrees, and endeared him beyond
expression to his friends.

As a curious and rare plant, guarded by the active hand, and watched
by the careful eye of the gardener, raises or depresses his hopes at
first putting forth its tender blossoms, till a kind and congenial
season brings it to maturity, and its beauties, suddenly bursting
on the sight, prove an ample reward for his fostering care,--so did
the heart of Roseline expand and rejoice at every proof the prisoner
gave of the goodness of his disposition, and the superior excellence
of his understanding.

It was clearly visible to Edwin and to Albert that a mutual passion
united the prisoner and Roseline, while every fleeting hour served more
and more to endear them to each other. Edwin, already entangled in
the toils of hopeless love, and enduring all the pangs of despair and
apprehension, trembled for the fate of a sister for whom he felt an
uncommon degree of fraternal affection, but to whom he could not
prevail on himself to mention a subject so delicate and distressing. The
prisoner made no attempt to conceal his ardent love for Roseline:--it
was an effort as far beyond his comprehension as his power, and,
though, he made no formal declaration, every word, look, and action,
betrayed the situation of his heart. Of the world he was totally
ignorant; of marriage he had not even thought,--that being a subject on
which they had never conversed, and his own situation, desperate and
hopeless as it was, now seldom engaged his attention. Roseline, and
Roseline alone, engrossed his every idea: while he saw her smile, and
heard the sound of her voice, he was contented and happy, and, when
she was absent, the wish, of rendering himself more worthy and better
able to converse with her, stimulated him to pay unremitting attention
to his own improvement, and the instructions he received; but, had he
been assured he should see her no more, he would have sunk into the
same apathy and indifference for life and its enjoyments from which
her kindness had drawn him.

After Madeline had left the castle, and before the return of Sir Philip,
Edwin, at the utmost risk of discovery, which would have involved him
and the object of his regard in danger and difficulties, prevailed upon
her to grant him several interviews in the chapel of the nunnery. One
night, Albert, having agreed to accompany him through the subterranean
passage, the trembling nun met them at their entrance, and seated near
the tomb which concealed the door, listened to the vows of her
lover.--Equally reluctant to part, they sat longer than usual, and
heard footsteps in the chapel. Madelin rightly concluded it was one
of the friars come to say mass for the soul of a nun lately dead. When
the ceremony was ended he departed, and, as the door closed after him,
the resolution of Madeline revived. She knew if they had been discovered,
even the life of Edwin would not be secure, and that she should
instantly be compelled to take those vows from which there was no
release but death.

Her own imprudence, and the danger to which her lover was exposed,
struck so forcibly upon her mind, that after he left her she could
scarcely acquire courage to return to the nunnery; and, as she passed
the aweful and silent receptacles of the dead, she was almost led to
think she heard a friendly voice warn her never again to be guilty
of so sacrilegious a crime. She glided quickly by the grave of the
nun who had been interred but a few days, and even imagined she could
perceive the earth move.--She had no sooner reached the cell, (into
which she hurried without daring to look to the right or to the left,
lest she should see the frowning spirit of some departed sister,)
than she fell on her knees, and earnestly intreated forgiveness of
the holy virgin.  The next morning, far from finding her terrors abate,
they fained still greater ascendancy over her mind, by hearing that
father Anselm had been making inquiries about some footsteps he had
observed in the chapel when he went to early prayers. Recollecting
the unguarded warmth of Edwin's temper, and the eager tenderness with
which in an hour of yielding softness he prevailed upon her to indulge
him with these stolen interviews, she was fearful of acquainting him
that it was her determination to grant no more.--She wrote to her
friend Roseline, and entreated her to persuade her brother not to make
any attempts in future to see her in the chapel; but to them she left
the power of procuring as many opportunities as possible of meeting
without danger. She sincerely lamented being obliged to deprive herself
of the company of a lover to whom she was tenderly attached, and for
whose sake she was become an unwilling votary in the service of her God.

This letter was instantly communicated to Edwin by his sister. He could
not at first be easily reconciled to a measure so repugnant to his
feelings; but Roseline adding her intreaties to those of Madeline, and
pointing out the necessity of it, he became more willing to observe
the greatest caution, and to practise the most rigid present self-denial,
in order to secure his future happiness. She reminded him this it was
now four months before Madeline would enter on her year of probation,
previous to which something might happen favourable to their wishes;
observing, that their mother could at any time prevail upon the abbess
to grant Madeline leave for visiting the castle. These arguments had
so much effect, that Edwin promised his sister to make no farther
clandestine attempts to see her friend, till all other means were
rendered impracticable.

It happened about this time that Roseline was prevented, by a slight
indisposition, from visiting the prisoner for four or five days. At
first his alarm and distress were unspeakable. It was scarcely possible
to convince him that it was owing to ill health he did not see her,
and his restless impatience would have now betrayed the secret of his
heart, had it not before been discovered. He neither ate not slept;
all his spirits forsook him: the sun was no longer admired, the moon
and stars were deprived of their lustre. He wished to shun the light,
and, had all nature been lost in universal chaos, it had been a matter
of indifference now he saw not Roseline: he wondered what he could have
found to admire in any thing with which she was not connected.

Albert observed his master was very busy with his pen, and, in removing
a portfolio from his writing table, papers containing the following
sonnets dropped on the floor. He read and copied them, and gave them to
Edwin the next time he saw him.

Though they were written by one who had never drank at the Parnassian
fount, love had given such pathos to the language of taste and nature,
that he was charmed, and could not prevail on himself to with-hold
such a treasure from his sister, to whom in justice they belonged,
and who like another Iphigenia had in a manner raised a phoenix from
the same inanimate materials of which a Cymon had been formed.

Roseline, as she read the interesting proofs of genius and affection,
which she wanted not to convince her she was sincerely beloved, shrunk
from the agitated and trembling feeling of her own heart, which too
well informed her he had nothing to fear from not meeting an equal
return of regard. Absence had been as painful to her as it had proved
to the prisoner, whom love had taught a lesson equally charming and
delightful.

     -   -   -   -   -   -   -

        SONNETS TO ROSELINE.

     -   -   -   -   -   -   -

         SONNET THE FIRST.

    Ah! what to me are birds or flow'rs,
      The sun's most radiant light!
    I pine away the ling'ring hours,
      And sigh for endless night.
  Come, Roseline, sweet maid, on roses borne,
  Sweet as thyself,--unguarded by a thorn!

     -   -   -   -   -   -

         SONNET THE SECOND.

    Fair Roseline, why didst thou chase the gloom
      Which late envelop'd my benighted mind!
    Why didst thou snatch me from a living tomb
      To sigh my hopeless sorrows to the wind!
  Why was I caught in love's bewitching snare,--
  Believ'd thee gentle, tender, kind, and fair!

    Now thou art absent, my desponding soul
      Has lost its wonted pow'rs in sad despair;
    Reason no more mu passion can controul;
      Joy flies with thee, and nought remains but care.
  The blessings thou hast giv'n no more have charms
  And my rack'd mind is torn with wild alarms.

    With soothing words thou didst my cares beguile,
      Taught me the page of learning to explore,
    Banish'd despondence with a gentle smile,--
      Then left me solitary, sad, and poor.
  Would'st thou return, and to my pray'r incline,
  Methinks a dungeon's gloom would be divine!

    If I no more thy beauties must behold,
      Death soon will free me from this painful smart;
    If a proud rival win thee by his gold,
      Soon will despair and anguish break my heart.
  But, though all cares, all sorrows should be mine,
  Heaven shower its brightest gifts on Roseline!

     -   -   -   -   -   -

         SONNET THE THIRD

    No more for liberty I pine,
      No more for freedom crave;
    My heart, dear Roseline, is thine,--
      Thy fond, thy faithful slave.

    First taught by thee I own'd love's pow'r,
      And yielded to my chain;
    Sigh through each sad and cheerless hour,
      Yet bless the pleasing pain.

    Sweet Roseline, my heart is thine,
      It beats alone for thee;
    In pity to my vows incline,
      Or set the captive free.

    Like a poor bird, in his lone cage,
      I pine and flutter round,
    Sullen and sad, in fruitless rage,
      Yet still in fetters bound.



CHAP. VIII.


Thus stood matters at the castle, when Sir Philip de Morney
returned, accompanied by his friend, Baron Fitzosbourne, who was
highly gratified by the cordial and respectful reception he met with.
Every one vying with each other in their endeavours to amuse him,
he assumed the most conciliating manners, appeared pleased and good
humoured, paid the most flattering attention to the young ladies,
and bestowed the warmest encomiums on their beauty and accomplishments;
at the same time admiring, or pretending to admire, the maturer graces
of the mother, who had given to the world a race of women fairer than
the first daughters of creation, and, to render the gift complete,
had stored their minds with a fund of knowledge that could put
philosophy to the blush at its own ignorance.

Sir Philip assiduously courted the Baron, seemed to watch his looks,
and to make it his whole study to oblige him,--thought as he thought,
and, whatever he recommended, was sure to approve. Lady de Morney,
seeing her husband so anxious to please, followed his example, not
doubting but he had good and sufficient reasons for what he did. She
requested her children strictly to observe the same conduct, with
which request they all at first readily complied, and exerted
themselves to entertain their noble guest. Edwin was honoured with
particular marks of his favour and approbation: he promised his best
interest to obtain him promotion in the army, when he found that was
the profession for which he was designed.

The Baron was nearly as old as his friend Sir Philip. In fact, they
had received the first rudiments of their education at the same
school, and under the same makers; and, though their pursuits were
alike, they had been thrown into a very different situations, but
ever retained a pleased remembrance of their boyish friendship, and
took every opportunity of keeping it alive, and serving each other.
The Baron, though large and robust, was neither clumsy not forbidding
in his appearance. His eyes were penetrating; he looked the warrior,
and seemed formed to command and be obeyed. He was tall, and had an
air of grandeur about him that bespoke the man of fashion: his voice
was not unpleasing; but he was rigid and austere with his servants and
dependants; and, though upon the whole they found him a generous master,
as he had nothing conciliating in his manner to them, they took every
opportunity of abusing him; for, though they durst not venture to
speak before him, they made themselves amends when they joined their
companions in the kitchen, by giving such traits of his character,
as not only shocked them, but made them feel with redoubled gratitude
the happy difference of their own situation.

Roseline, while she was compelled to treat her father's visitor with
attention and respect, felt an invincible disgust whenever he addressed
her, and attempted to give specimens of his gallantry, which was often
the case; but, if he took hold of her hand, she shrunk from his touch
as she would from that of a snake, and trembled, she knew not why, if
she saw him looking earnestly at her face.

Edeliza laughed at and detested him. She slily compare him with
De Willows, and wondered how nature could have contrived to form two
creatures so different from each other. Bertha wished to pull off
his ugly great wig, and to have it stuck upon one of the towers,
observing, that, if his frightful face were seen from another, no
enemy would ever come near them. How were they all struck with sorrow
when they found he was to spend the whole summer at the castle.
Roseline, with more earnestness than usual, questioned her mother
as to the truth of this report, but received only an evasive answer,
that the length of the Baron's stay depended on a circumstance not
yet determined.

"I sincerely hope, my dear madam, whatever it may be, that it will
at least prove unfavourable to his continuance here. My father may,
and I dare say has, just reasons for esteeming him, though no one but
himself can discover them. Every one else dislikes him, and I shall
most truly rejoice when he takes himself away."

"My dear girl, (said Lady de Morney,) consider the Baron's rank, and
the dignity of his character."

"I do consider them (she replied) as the greatest misfortunes that
could happen to any one, unless accompanied with good humour and
humility; but I think it particularly hard that other must suffer
so many mortifications because the Baron is a great man."

Again she was requested by her mother, who could scarcely forbear
smiling at the seriousness of her manner, to recollect that men of
his consequence could not bring themselves to act as if they were
upon a level with their inferiors.

"The more is the pity, (said Roseline;) therefore, my good mother,
it would be unnecessary for me to consider any thing about the Baron's
importance, since he thinks so much and so highly of it himself: but
I do not see, for my part, why rank and fortune should tempt their
possessors to assume so much on merely accidental advantages; or why
people, distinguished as their favourites, should have a greater right
to think and act as they please than those less fortunate. We were
much happier and more cheerful before he came among us, and my father
more indulgent."

"Your father (said Lady de Morney, with the utmost earnestness) is,
I have no doubt, perfectly satisfied that he is acting right, and
therefore you, Roseline, must be blameable in the presuming to call
his conduct in question. I insist, as you value his and my favour,
that you never again address me on this subject; and let me advise
you, if you with to be happy, to shew no disgust to the Baron, but
receive his attentions with politeness and good humour."

On saying this, she withdrew, and left Roseline, struck dumb with
surprise, to form what conclusions she pleased. She knew not what to
think from this unusually strange and unpleasant conversation, and
could not comprehend either her father's or mother's reasons for being
so much attached to any one, whatever might be his ranks, who was so
little formed to excite any feelings but those of disgust in the
minds of those unfortunate people who whom he condescended to associate.
She saw and lamented that, since the Baron's arrival, neither
De Clavering, De Willows, nor Hugh Camelford, came without a formal
invitation from her father, while the reserve which prevailed in
their parties banished all that enlivening conversation that once
rendered them so pleasant. Her sisters too, the dear Edeliza, and
the sweet Bertha, were kept under so much restraint before this
great personage, they seemed almost afraid to speak.

Roseline, to shake off for a time these uncomfortable reflections,
stole into the prisoner's room, in which she seldom failed to find
her brother: there she lost all remembrance of the Baron; and, in
conversing with friends so dear to her heart, progressively recovered
that native cheerfulness which was one of the most engaging features
of her character.--The sonnets, which her brother had so recently
given her, not only served to raise her spirits, but had made an
indelible impression on her mind. She smiled with something more
than even her usual complacency on this love-taught poet. Of his
tenderness and sincerity she could cherish no doubt. His honour and
worth it was equally impossible to suspect. No one knew them better,--no
one estimated them so highly as herself. To suppose he could be less
amiable, less deserving of her attachment, would have appeared to
her a crime of the most enormous magnitude. Thus did the fond effusions
of love throw a veil over the eyes of their artless votary, in order
to give a fair colouring, and to reconcile her to a conduct which, in
another, her prudence would have taught her to condemn; but thus it
is with too many erring mortals: when once they become the hood-winked
slaves of any predominant passion, they are not only regardless of the
world's opinion, but insensible to the secret admonitions of that
silent monitor, which they carry in their bosom. Roseline as first
acted merely from the generous impulse of pity and universal benevolence;
but, in so doing, she admitted a guest to dispute with them a  place
in her breast, which neither time, reason, nor prudence, could banish
thence.

Our artless heroine was unfortunately the darling child of sensibility,
and her mind so susceptible of the miseries and misfortunes of others,
that, from the moment she discovered them, they became her own. What
then must be the poignancy of her feelings, when she reflected on the
dependent, helpless, and unprovided state of a lover, dearer to her
than life!--who dared not disclose even his name,--whose blameless
conduct proved to her partial judgement that he suffered unjustly, and
whose virtues could alone reconcile her to herself for having risked
so much on his account, and entrusted her heart to the keeping of one
whose situation precluded hope,--who had declared he belonged to no
one,--a prisoner, a stranger, without fortune or friends: yet, think
as she would, these cruel circumstances, after the strictest
investigation, acted as a talisman in favour of her lover.

The life, which she fancied, under Providence, she had been the
humble means of preserving, she concluded it was now her duty to
render happy; therefore, to deprive it of its value, by affecting an
indifference she did not feel, was as far from her power as her
inclination; yet there were moments when she recollected, with the
severest anguish, how much her brother, as well as herself, was acting
in opposition to the designs and will of her parent. To deceive such
parents was a thought which, in her most impassioned moments, she
could not dwell upon, but love and sensibility had woven their webs
so close around her heart, that she struggled in vain to disentangle
herself from the bewitching snare.

Sensibility I have long thought, nine times out of ten, proves a
source of misery to the generous and benevolent, and as often is
merely the boast of the ignorant, who pretend to be overstocked with
the milk of human kindness, and whose feelings are equally excited
by the death of a husband or a lap-dog. I am satisfied there is no
blessing more earnestly to be wished for than a calm and composed
resignation to the events of this life, and all its complicated
concerns.--It appears rather an Irishism, that to be happy we must
become indifferent,--but so it is.

Real sensibility is of all burthens the heaviest to bear. Long
experience and careful observation have convinced me too painfully
of this truth. A thousand and a thousand times I have shed torrents
of tears, and felt the most tormenting anxiety for those who would
have seen me with the most stoical apathy begging through the street
for bread. The pleasures attending high-raised sensibility are so
much over-balanced by the painful effects they produce, that I protest
I had rather be an oak, or a cabbage, than alive to such every-varying
and corrosive feelings, which act upon the human mind as slow poison
would upon the body.

When Roseline was going to bed, the servant who attended her, and
who, from having lived some years in the family, was indulged in
the habit of conversing familiarly with the young ladies, determined
to get rid of a kind of confidential secret, which had been entrusted
to her by one of her fellow-servants.

"Laws, Miss Roseline, (said she,) what think you that frightful old
Baron comed here for?--As I live I should not have dreamed of any
thing so ludicurst!"--

"Came for? (replied Roseline,)--why he came to see my father to be
sure;--what else could be his inducement for visiting this
stupid place?"

"Ha, ha! I thought I should poze you, miss, (cried Audrey, drawing
herself up, and giggling at her own consequence,)--why, as sure as
you be borned and christened, he comed here to pick up a wife, if
he can meet with one to please his own superannuated meagrims; and
his man, Pedro, thinks as how a person I could name would suit him
to a tee, but I thinks otherwise.--Such an old frumpish piece of crazy
furniture, says I, will not suit any of the ladies that belongs to
the noble genitors of Bungay Castle and its henvirons. 'You my be
mistaken, dame, said the saucy fellow;--if they suit my master, my
master may suit them sure, for he is as rich,--as rich as Crasus."

"For heaven's sake, (said Roseline,) what nonsense have you picked
up? You must not presume, Audrey, to speak of the Baron in so
disrespectful a manner. If my father and mother heard you, I am not
sure that you would be permitted to stay another night in the castle."

"It would be a good story, indeed, (resumed the talkative Abigail,)
to turn away a servant for such an offence! As I have a soul, which,
by the goodness of father Anselm, I hope to get saved, my heart bleeds
for you, miss, and I could claw out his ugly, staring eyes for to go
for to think that you, who be so sweet tempered, and kind, and affabel,
to your unfeerors, should have to nurse his crazy old carcase.--'Tis
vexing to--"

Roseline had started up in her bed as soon as she found herself so
strangely introduced with the Baron, and seeing that Audrey had taken
up the candle in order to leave the room, gently called her back,
and begged some explanation of what she had heard, which she declared
herself unable to comprehend.

"Mayhap you are;--so much the better, (said Audrey.)--Less said is
soonest mended, as I have gone to the end of my line;--I may be
turned away if I assume to speak of the beautiful old Baron;--things
will all come out in time;--I can be spectful to my betters:--they
that link an old husband let them have him;--'tis no bread and butter
of mine.--Good night, miss;--the Baron is a fine old Gracian, and
will make his lady marvelly happy."

Saying this, she left the room, and Roseline was too much displeased
to call her back a second time, but determined to question her still
farther the first opportunity. "The Baron came to the castle for a
wife!"--It was too ridiculous to be believed; but, if he did, he
could not possibly think of uniting himself with her! Servants were
ever prying into the secrets of their betters, or forming such stories
as only very ignorant people could think of inventing.

She now went to sleep, forgot the Baron, and dreamed of the prisoner,
whom her fancy represented as being released from confinement, and
eager, with the consent of Sir Philip, to lead her in triumph to the
altar of Hymen. To the delusive excursions of the soul we will for
the present consign her; but, before we take leave of the inhabitants
of the castle for the night, we will just take a peep into the kitchen,
where, around a blazing fire, spread on a hearth four yards wide, were
seated several of the domestics, earnestly engaged in talking over
the affairs of the family, each of them drawing the character of their
master or mistress, as the humour of the moment dictated, and giving
their opinions of actions, the motives of which they knew so little,
that they were just as able without a fair and candid examination.

Sir Philip, it was said, was become quite proud and penurious,--the
young ladies troublesome,--and Lady De Morney cross, whimsical, and
suspicious. Suddenly the door burst open, and a young man, who had
been for some time an assistant in the stables, tumbled into the
kitchen, and, with terror depicted on his countenance, exclaimed, "I
saw it,--I saw it!==I saw the light with my own eyes!--The ghost
followed me up to the door, and then vanished in a flash of fire!--Shut
the door, or it may get in!"

This in a moment alarmed the whole set; they all crowded round the
terrified man, and with one voice eagerly inquired what ghost, what
lights he meant? and when and where he had seen them? After drinking
a copious draught of ale, he became able to satisfy the curiosity he
had excited, and told them, as he was coming from the stables, just
as he passed the gate of the inner ballium, and was within forty yards
of the South tower, he saw a light as plain as ever he had seen one
in his life, through one of the grated windows, and, after it had
disappeared a few seconds, it appeared again at a much lower window,
flashed upon the wall, and smelt like sulphur. At the moment it
vanished the second time, he saw something all in white, which he
thought glided past him, but, on looking behind him, it was there
also, and it had actually followed him till he fell into the kitchen.

"Then, as sure as we are alive,(said one of the grooms,) Thomas has
seen the ghost of the lady who died for love of the young officer
that was put to death in the dungeons. I have heard my grandfather
say a thousand times he must have died innocent, for he was a bold
as a lion till his last gasp."

"Well, (said one of the women-servants,) I shall be afraid to stir out
after dark, if these confounded ghosts are again found taking their
nightly rambles, and prying into every thing that is going forwards."

"I always knew (said another) this castle was disturbed ever since
the great clock struck twelve twice in one night; for what on earth
could touch it at that time, if it had not been a spirit?"

"Ah! (said a third,) no doubt there have been sad doings in the castle."

"Not since we came to it, (replied an old grey-headed footman.) My
master has practised no deeds of darkness that would bring the dead
from their graves. As to what was done before our time, that can be
no business of ours, and I don't see how any ghost can have a right
to frighten and interrupt, either by day or night, those who were
never acquainted with it."

"Christ Jesus preserve us! (cried on of the maids,) I verily thinks
I saw something glide past that door! Surely father Anselm should be
sent for to give them absolution:--There! did you not hear that rustling?"

"I see and hear nothing, (said the before mentioned old servant,)
but what I wish neither to see not hear. You are all a parcel of
superstitious ignorant fools, and, if my master should once find
out what cowards you all are, he would soon compel you to give place
to a bolder set. Come, come, let us go to bed, and leave the ghosts
to do the same."

The old man led the way with a candle in his hand; the rest followed,
clinging to each other like a flight of bees, not one of them daring
to be left behind; and the groom, who had really seen a light from
the tower inhabited by the prisoner, was to convinced he had seen a
ghost, that neither father Anselm, nor all the fathers in Christendom,
could have persuaded him to think the contrary; and so much had it
alarmed him, that his terrified imagination had mistake his own shadow
for the ghost following close at his heels, and it was with some
difficulty he could be prevailed upon by his fellow-servants to go
to bed, lest he should see it again.

The next morning, when Audrey went to call her young lady, Roseline
requested she would forgive her for having spoken so angrily the
preceding evening, and with the most winning softness begged to be
informed what she meant by coupling her name with that of the Baron.

Audrey, who had never before seen Roseline so much out of humour,
and had neither forgotten nor forgiven the affront of being prevented
from disclosing a secret which she had for several days found very
troublesome to keep, replied, "I couples no one; matches are made
in heaven, or in the church, or at wakes; but I think, for my part,
some are made in a much worser place, and so she will think too who
is tacked in hollybands with the old Baron." "But who do you think,
my good Audrey, will ever be so unfortunate?" "Why will you ax me
miss? I must not speak my senterments: we poor servants never knows
nothing; but this I do know for certain, if ever I marries, it shall
be to a young man, a pretty-looking man,--good humoured ones I
loves,--something like Mr. Camelfor;--not to an old crab, sowrer
than vinegar, who would not suffer me to see with my own dear eyes,
nor believe with my own natural senses,--a crotched paced toad, who
would shut me up for life; mayhap, if I liked a better or a younger
man than himself,--an accident I think that might happen."

"But how should the Baron find out what you thought?"

"By going to a negromancer. Such old cattle are to the full as cunning
as their black master, and might strike one dumb."

"That, to be sure, (replied Roseline,) would be a heavy misfortune
to those who were fond of hearing the sound of their own voice in
preference to that of any other person."

"For my part, (said Audrey,) voice or no voice, I verily thinks
something mendusly bad after all will happen to this crazy castle,
for Thomas last night saw lights in the South tower, and the ghost
of a young woman followed him in such a hurry, that, if he had not ran
as fast as a hound, it would have stamped upon his heels. It went away
like a sky-rocket, and the smell of sulphur almost _sifficated_ the
poor fellow, who will certainly have a _parletic_ stroke."

Lady de Morney's bell now ringing, Audrey left the room, without
having said half so much as she intended to do about the ghost, or
unburthening her mind of a secret she heartily wished to reveal.



CHAP. IX.


When the family met at breakfast, the Baron appeared unusually affable,
and Sir Philip in high spirits. A walk was proposed to take a view
of the town, nunnery, and environs of the cattle. Roseline and her
sisters were requested to be of the party, and they were very soon
joined by De Clavering, De Willows, and Hugh Camelford. This little
promenade was so pleasant, that it seemed to harmonize every mind,
and to produce a redoubled and grateful relish for the early beauties
of the infant spring.

  "Already now the snow-drop dar'd appear,
   The first pale blossom of th'unripened year,
   As Flora's breath, by some transforming pow'r,
   Had chang'd an icicle into a flow'r.
   Its name and hue the scentless plant retains,
   And Winter lingers in its icy veins."

The Baron, who had politely offered the assistance of his arm to
Roseline, (which her father bade her accept,) whispered some very
fine things in her ear in praise of her shape, beauty, and
understanding,--told her it was a reproach on the taste and judgment
of his sex that so charming a female had not put on hymeneal
fetters;--it was a positive proof of the blindness of the god of love.

"Surely you forget, my lord, (replied the blushing Roseline,) that
I have scarcely left off my leading strings, and am but just liberated
from the confinement of the school."

Age, he told her, ought not to be reckoned by the number of years,
but by accomplishments and good qualities.

"That kind of calculation (said De Clavering) would make your age,
Miss de Morney, more upon a par with the Baron's."

"More upon a par, you mean, (added De Willows,) with our first
parent Adam."

"What Atam? (cried Hugh Camelford, skipping to the side of Roseline,
and eagerly handing her over a little run of water they were obliged
to cross,)--what were you saying about our crate crandfather Atam?
I have often wished to see the old poy, and trink a pottle of pure
water with him from the pond in the carten of Eden."

"Why so, sir?" said the stately and mortified Baron, who felt and
seemed to shrink from the contrast between the active and lively
gallantry of the giddy Cambrian and the slow and cautious efforts
of his own.

"Why?--why? pecause he must be a prave fellow to venture matrimony
with the first woman he saw."

"How the devil should he do otherwise than take the first, when there
was no other to choose!" said De Clavering.

"The tevil however was even with him after all, (replied the
unthinking Camelford;)--the old poy had petter have peen quiet."

"I do not see that, (said De Willows;) and, as the mischief was
productive of some good, surely we have no right to criticise with
severity that conduct which was forgiven by Being so much more
perfect than the creature he had created."

"That is as much as to say, (rejoined Camelford,) that, when we
choose to play the fool, cofet our neighbor's wife or taughter, we
have only to plame our own imperfect nature, repent, and be forcifen."

"That would be to trust our hopes of forgiveness upon a very sandy
foundation indeed, (said Sir Philip,) as determined guilt, or a
continuance in error, can have but little chance of immortal
happiness."

"And for our mortal share of that same commodity, (replied the lively
Hugh,) we must not trust to matrimony, I fear, as I never heard married
people found their happiness puilt upon a rock."

This speech produced a general laugh, but Sir Philip, who was by
no means pleased with the subject, said with a smile to the Baron,
"These young men think they know more than their forefathers."

"By which means, (replied he,) they will most assuredly entail upon
themselves the mortification of knowing less."

The conversation, during the rest of the walk, was confined to such
objects as occasionally presented themselves to observation. The
inhabitants of the town came to their doors to catch a look at the
party from the castle. To as many as were known by the governor he
spoke familiarly, as did the other gentlemen, and they concluded the
Baron must be some very great man, perhaps the king himself in
disguise, because he did not once condescend to address them.

Roseline chatted with some young girls who came out to make their
best curtesies, while the Baron thought all these attentions paid
to such plebeian souls wonderfully troublesome. At dinner he scarcely
spoke five words, and De Willows was do disgusted with his forbidding
haughtiness, that the next day he presented to De Clavering the
following satire on pride, saying it was a tribute justly due to the
Baron for his supreme excellency in the display of that detestable
feature in his character.


    Hell's first born exhalation sure is pride!
    Who, with its sister, envy, would divide
    The various blessings to poor mortals given.
    By the kind bounty of indulgent heaven.
    What at the last have kings to make them proud!
    A gilded coffin and a satin shroud.
    The lordly worm on these will quickly prey;
    For worms, like kings, in turn will have their day.
    What then is man who boasts his form and make?
    A reptile's meal,--a worm's high-flavour'd steak,
    The epicure, who caters like a slave,
    Is but a pamper'd morsel for the grave.

    Envy's a canker of such subtle power,
    It steals all pleasure from the gayest hour.
    It is the deadly nightshade of the mind;
    With secret poison all its arts refin'd;
    And, when attended by it vile relation,
    Would spread a plague destructive to a nation.
    Then send these hags back to their native hell,
    With fiends and evil spirits formed to dwell.

    No more on worth let man look down with scorn,
    And frown on those not quite so highly born;
    Nor, as the coaches rattle from his door,
    Boast, like proud Haman, of not being poor!
    Earth's doom'd to earth, all folly there must end,--
    Then read, and own the satirist a friend.


Madeline had been invited, and obtained permission of the abbess to
spend the following day at the castle. This gave additional vivacity
to the lively spirits of Edwin, who, with his sister, spent as much
time with the prisoner as they could steal, without exciting curiosity
of suspicion. Roseline gave them with some humour the ghost-story,
as imparted to her by Audrey, and cautioned Albert against having any
lights seen from the windows, lest it should be productive of such
inquiries as might lead to a discovery of the rooms being inhabited;
but, notwithstanding all her attempts to fly from herself, and conceal
from the observing eye of love her own internal conflicts, she was
almost tempted to throw aside the mask, and at once confess all
her apprehensions.

How were these apprehensions heightened, when, in the afternoon,
her father told her in a whisper he wished to see her in his study
before the family assembled at breakfast, having some intelligence
of the most agreeable nature to impart, which he hoped and believed
would make her one of the happiest, as it could not fail to render
her one of the most envied of her sex.

Roseline trembled, turned pale, and to the earliest opportunity of
withdrawing, not daring to trust Edwin with her fears, or risk
feeing the prisoner for some hours, lest her agitation should betray
suspicions of she knew not what, but in which her terrified imagination
confirmed all the hints her maid had given her.--Marry the Baron!--it
was a thought so unnatural, so repugnant to every wish, every feeling
of her heart,--so inimical to the ideas she had formed of happiness,
that it was not to be endured.--She wept, wrung her hands, recollected
herself, and again sunk into despondency; but at all events resolved
to acquire resolution to go through the interview with her father,
and give him such answers as should convince him an union with his
friend (if such was the painful subject he had to communicate) would
make her the veriest wretch on earth. Her heart was no longer in her
own possession, but that she must not dare to avow; all therefore that
she could determine was, to refuse the Baron, and to love the prisoner,
and him only, to the end of her life.

These important points settled for the present, gave to her perturbed
spirits momentary relief, and enabled her to join the family without
creating any suspicion that they were unusually depressed; when, however,
she followed her brother into the prisoner's room, it was with the
utmost difficulty she maintained any command over her feelings; but,
unwilling to alarm of distress her unfortunate lover, till necessity
compelled her to acquaint him with her sorrows, the only difference
her painful struggles produced was an addition of gentle tenderness
to her manner; and, though she had often thought her affection could
admit of no increase, yet, at this moment, he was, if possible, still
move beloved, still more endeared by the ten thousand uncommon ties
which had so wonderfully tended to unite hearts that appeared to be
under the directing will of Providence. The next morning, previously
to seeing her father, Roseline once more ventured to question Audrey,
and so earnestly begged she would explain all she meant by the hints
she had given respecting the Baron, that poor Audrey, softened almost
to tears by seeing her young lady really distressed, no longer
remembered her former petulance, but readily complied with her request,
though, in fact, all she knew amounted to little more than she had
already told;--namely, that the Baron came to look for a wife to carry
home, and shut up in his old castle;--that the Baron's servant had
informed her he was in love with her young lady;--that Sir Philip
liked him for a son-in-law, and they were soon to be married:--"But,
Christ Jesus, miss! he is such an infamy man, he would no more mind
ordering one of his vassals to be thrown into a fiery furnace than
my master would killing a pig; and Pedro says, he ought to have been
put into the spettacle court fifty and fifty times, for his entregens
and fornications; for, before his first wife died--"

"What then? (exclaimed Roseline,) has the Baron been married more
than once?"

"Bless your heart, miss, he has killed two wives already, and the
Lord in his mercy shorten his days, that a third my never fall into
the clutches of such a manufactor!--Miss, I would not fortify my word
even to gain a gentleman for a husband; and, as I have a Christian
soul, which I hope father Anselm will keep out of purgatory, I have
told the truth, and only the truth; you must demonstrate with your
father, but don't go for to get me turned out of my place for wishing
to preserve you from being led to the haltar by such an old
imperial task-master."

Roseline, too much alarmed to be as usual amused with the singular
oratory of her simple but well-meaning attendant, thanked her for
her good wishes, and promised never to mention the information she
had communicated.

"Well, then, bless your sweet face! I'll be crucified but I'll municate
to you all I can pick up. Pedro is marvelly keen and clever, yet he
appears as innocent as the babe unborn, and for all he gets pretty
gleanings and pickings out of his old master, he hates him as heartily
as I hates fast-days and confessions; for you see, miss, one does not
like to tell tales of oneself, and, in my opinion, some of monks and
father confessors don't find in their hearts any ejection to
us pretty girls."

Roseline, having dismissed her loquacious attendant, endeavoured to
acquire sufficient fortitude to meet her father with composure, and
to arm herself with resolution to withstand any attempts he might make
to compel her into measures from which every feeling of her heart
recoiled. She too well knew the warmth and obstinacy of her father's
temper, when he met with opposition in a favourite plan, not to dread
the contest. She now concluded, from many preceding circumstances,
that the Baron was brought to the castle for the horrid purpose of
becoming her husband, and unfortunately at this moment recollected
with redoubled tenderness the very great difference between him and
the man whom, by a chain of the most singular and interesting
circumstances, she had been led to regard with a degree of affection
she scarcely dared to investigate, and of which she knew not the full
force. Her brother, her dear Edwin, too, had formed an attachment
equally repugnant to the will and ambition of his father. The painful
recollection awakened her warmest sympathy, and increased her
own sorrows.

"Ah! (she exclaimed,) how darkly overclouded is the prospect which
a few months back seemed so bright! Well, let the tempest come, let
the thunder burst on my defenceless head, I will--"

Here she was interrupted by a summons to attend her father, which
she instantly arose to obey; but her trembling limbs were scarcely
able to support her, and she was obliged to rest several times before
she could sufficiently recover herself to appear in his presence,
without discovering the long and severe conflicts she had vainly
endeavoured to conquer.

Sir Philip, on her entering the room, eagerly arose to meet her, and
either did not, or, what is more probable, would not seem to notice
her confusion. He tenderly took her hand, and led her to a chair;
then, seating himself by her, observed with a smile, that he doubted
not her curiosity had been excited, and told her he would have a kiss
before he would disclose the secret; "for the business (he continued)
which I have to negotiate with my sweet girl demands secresy."

Roseline, afraid of trusting her voice, bowed in silence, but her
manner shewed she was all attention.

"My dear girl, (said Sir Philip,) why all this apparent tremor? I
hope you are, and ever have been convinced that my first, my most
anxious wishes are to see my children happy."--

(Then, thought Roseline, you will not surely so much mistake the road
to happiness as to propose your friend to me for a husband.)

"Baron Fitzosbourne has solicited me to intercede with you in his
behalf. Notwithstanding the greatness of his pretensions, he has even
condescended to entreat I would intercede with my dear Roseline, that
she will in due time permit him to lead her to the altar."

Roseline, extremely agitated, made an attempt to speak, which Sir
Philip observing, said, "Attend to me a few moments longer, my dear;
I will then give you leave to express your joyful surprise at the
good fortune which awaits you.--My noble friend, from the very first
moment of seeing you, loved, and wished to make you his own: he, like
a man of honour, inquired if your heart was disengaged; I assured him
it was, for I knew you too well, my dear girl, to suppose you would
ever dispose of it without a father's sanction. Eager to possess a
treasure which had never strayed from its own spotless mansion, he
then requested my permission to become a candidate for your favour.
I readily and freely gave it, and encouraged him to hope he would
meet neither with caprice nor opposition; at the same time I candidly
told him, that, though my fortune was upon the whole considerable,
yet, as my family was large and still might increase, my daughter's
portions could be but small,--so very small, that I feared it would
prove an impediment to your union. He generously overlooked this
objection, and wishes only to gain your heart and hand; while the
share you would be entitled to have of your father's property he
requests may be given among the rest of my family, and he will make
an equal settlement upon you, as if you brought him a large fortune.
Indeed, so noble and disinterested were his proposals, that they both
gratified and astonished me: they are such as no parent could receive
with indifference,--no young woman refuse. The Baron has not only a
princely fortune, but a princely spirit, and such unbounded interest,
that my Roseline will not only secure rank and splendor to herself,
but will prove the fortunate means of obtaining them for her brothers
and sisters, and of making the last closing scenes of her parents'
days happier and freer from care than they have ever been."

Ah! thought Roseline, and her own irretrievably wretched; for, among
all the treasures to be purchased by this unnatural union, happiness
is not included. She sighed deeply, and, without looking up,
remained silent.

Sir Philip, rather alarmed at the alteration in her countenance,
which changed from being extremely flushed to the most deadly paleness;
and, observing a tear stealing down her cheeks, still appeared
determined to think he should find no difficulty in over-ruling any
little objection she might venture to make. He put one hand into her's,
and the other round her waist, and again addressing her, said, "He
did not wonder that an offer so splendid and noble should affect and
overpower a spirit humble and unassuming as her's. I always knew the
inestimable value of the Baron's friendship, and am equally sensible
of the rich prize I possess in a daughter; but I never dared to
cherish the grateful hope that I should live to see two persons on
whom I depended for so large a portion of my happiness united, or
that a child of De Morney's was to repay the noble Baron for his
generosity to her father."

"For heaven's sake! my dear dear father, (cried the almost fainting
Roseline,) do not thus seem to misunderstand the nature of feelings
entitled to your tenderest pity.--I never, never can love the Baron!"

Sir Philip hastily arose; fury flashed from his eyes; every feature
was beginning to be convulsed with passion, but he struggled against
the rage he wished to subdue, while she continued,--"Consider my
extreme youth; contrast it with the age of your friend;--can I be
a fit or eligible wife for a man older than my father?--Would not
that be to punish most severely the man for whom, so far from loving,
I have ever felt an invincible dislike, which sometimes I have thought,
if he stayed much longer at the castle, would increase to aversion."

Sir Philip, who had neither expected to meet nor was prepared to
encounter an opposition so determined, was no longer able to keep
his passion within bounds.

"Roseline, (cried he, striking his clenched fist on the table, and
looking with the wildness of a maniac,) dare not presume to cherish,
or to avow, a dislike which will not only plunge a dagger into your
mother's heart, but rob you of a father. What business can a girl
of your age have to like or dislike but as your parents shall
direct?--Give them up for ever, or accept the Baron!--How will you
reconcile yourself to become an alien to your family?--how relish
spending your days in a nunnery, instead of enjoying liberty and every
pleasure in the gay sunshine of a court, glittering with diamonds,
surrounded by admirers, equal in rank and superior in fortune to many
of our most ancient nobility?--Consider well before you determine.
To enable you to conquer your diffidence, or caprice, on month I
will give you;--one month I will allow to the struggles of maiden
bashfulness, or the wayward humour of your sex. Yet hear at once my
final resolution. If, during that period, you either alarm or disgust
the Baron by your folly or ignorance, so as to make him repent the
noble overtures he had made to secure an alliance with my family,--or
if you attempt to damp the ardour of his passion by your coldness,--if
at the end of that period you do not, without any visible reluctance,
accept him as a lover, and promise to give him your hand, I will
instantly send you into a convent of the severest order, and compel
you to take the veil."

Roseline, overpowered by his manner, fell on the floor in a state
of insensibility.--Her father now saw he had gone too far; he was
alarmed; but, much as he felt himself distressed, he too well knew
what he was about, to call for assistance; he therefore, by the usual
methods, endeavoured to recover her as well as he could, and, as soon
as he saw her revive, soothed her hurried spirits with every fond
attention, addressed her by the tenderest appellations, and begged
her to have pity on him and on herself.

Roseline, too much terrified to contend farther at that time, heard
him with silent despondency, and hoped the cruel contest would be
ended by her death; for, as she never before had fainted she imagined
it was a prelude to her dissolution. Sir Phillip, to reconcile her,
if possible, to his ambitious views, argued the matter with that
sophistry and art which in all ages have been practised with too much
success; assured her of every flattering indulgence that a youthful
heart could desire desire,--painted her future prospects in colours
most likely to captivate the attention and ensnare the senses; and
even went so far as to promise, till the end of the month, he would
not mention the Baron's name to her again, but insisted on her
receiving his attentions with complacency, and desired her not to
make a confidant of any one in a matter of so much importance: he
likewise informed her, he had forbidden her mother's talking to her
on the subject, and concluded this painful interview with telling
her, he trusted her gentleness, duty, and affection, would determine
her to oblige and gratify her anxious and tender father in the first
and most prevailing wishes of his heart. He recommended her to retire
to her own room, and promised to find a proper excuse for her absence.
After leading her to the door of his apartment, he embraced and left her.

Sir Philip de Morney, though in many respects a kind father and a
good husband, was proud and aspiring. These passions, as he advanced
in years, gained additional ascendancy over his mind, and as he saw
his children approaching that period when it became necessary to
think of an establishment for them, he was more and more anxious to
see them placed among the great.

His lady, equally attached to the fascinating influence of birth
and splendor, had neither inclination nor power to counteract his
designs, nor to dispute with him on a point to which her own wishes
tended. She was too partial, too fond of her children not to think
they were calculated to shine in the most exalted situations, and
that they deserved every blessing, every indulgence which rank of
fortune could bestow. She had married a man much older than herself,
and was happy; therefore she saw no reasonable objection in the
difference of age between her daughter and the Baron, whose birth
carried an irresistible passport to her heart.

Sir Philip had talked the matter over with her, and, with that
prevailing influence he had ever retained, brought her not only to
consent to any measures he should find necessary to adopt in order
to carry his point, but obtained a solemn promise from her to conceal
from Edwin, and every one else, the sanguine establishment of their
daughter.--The fact was, Sir Philip had at different periods of his
life received many favours, and some of a pecuniary nature, from the
Baron, which had never been settled, and had it not been for the
assistance of the Baron's purse, he must have deeply mortgaged his
estates to carry on the law-suit, which, without the interest of his
friend, would at last have terminated against him. It was in
consequence of their unexpected meeting in town that he prevailed
upon him, with some difficulty, to return with him to the castle.

What ensued was so much beyond the most flattering expectations he
had ever dared to cherish, that the feelings of the parent were
sacrificed to ambition, and he instantly determined to carry his point,
let the consequence be what it would; and, though he had observed, in
the whole of Roseline's behaviour to his friend, convincing proofs
of that dislike which she had in her interview with him avowed, yet
he did not despair of gaining his purpose: he was aware that he might
find some little opposition to his wishes, and therefore to guard as
cautiously as possible against disappointments, he had more than once
represented to the Baron the youth, inexperience, and extreme timidity,
of his daughter, and the terror she would feel at being separated from
a mother from whom she had never been absent.

By such wary precautions as these he had prevailed upon his friend
to postpone making any proposals to Roseline, till he had paved the
way for a welcome reception. To such a plan a lover could not make
any reasonable objection, particularly one who wished to have as little
trouble as possible in the gratification of his desires.--Too proud,
haughty, and fastidious, to pay his court, or make any sacrifice to
the wayward humours of a young beauty, he secretly rejoiced that her
father would take the whole upon himself; and, knowing how agreeable
the offered alliance was to him, he had no fears but as soon as the
young lady's consent was asked, she would be happy to comply; he
therefore looked forwards with less impatience than he would have
done, had any doubts rested upon his mind.



CHAP. X.


No sooner had Roseline reached her own apartment, and fastened the
door, than she sunk on her knees, and having for some minutes given
way to the severity of her feelings by tears and lamentations, she
recovered sufficient resolution to supplicate her Maker to support
and direct her in this trying hour of distress. By degrees she became
more composed, and sat down to reflect on her situation with less
agitation and terror. Her father had promised her, and she knew his
promise would be held sacred, that she should indulged with one whole
month to determine whether she would or would not accept the Baron:
she was already determined, but she would avail herself of the few
weeks allowed her to struggle with her feelings, and preserve the
peace and tranquility of her family; besides, it was placing the
dreaded evil at some distance, and that to one so wretched was obtaining
a great deal. After the month was expired, (but to that dreadful moment
she had not yet acquired fortitude to look,) she should still persist
in her resolution; till then she would oblige her father all she could
by quietly receiving the Baron's attentions; but she was resolved not
to deceive him by appearing to receive them with pleasure.

Madeline came to spend the day as had been proposed. Edwin found many
opportunities of renewing his vows, and of making some tender reproaches
for her not seeing him so often as he wished by the subterranean
passage, for which she assigned such prudent reasons, as served in
some degree to quiet his apprehensions, which, however, were rather
increased than abated by observing the marked and particular attention
which was paid by De Willows, who, it was but too visible, cherished
a growing passion in his bosom, which equally tortured Edeliza, Edwin,
Madeline, and himself. Roseline generously determined not to interrupt
the few hours of happiness and tranquillity which her friends seemed
to enjoy, by giving them the most distant hint of her own
internal misery.

They took an opportunity of visiting the prisoner. Madeline was
received by him with the cordial affection of a brother, for she was
the adopted sister of his beloved Roseline,--the chosen friend of her
heart. With him they partook that soft intercourse of soul which gives
to the human mind its highest and  most perfect enjoyment. Without fear
or restraint they addressed each other in the pure and unadulterated
language of genuine tenderness, indulging in the innocent and fond
endearments which the sincerity of virtuous love will claim, and with
which its purest votaries might comply without a blush.

But how short and transitory appeared these fleeting moments (on
which she thought old time had bestowed an additional pair of wings)
to the agonized mind of the half-distracted Roseline! who,
notwithstanding her father's prohibition, determined in the course
of the month to inform her mother and brother of every circumstance
that had occurred. She dreaded, more than she would to stroke of
death, imparting to the unfortunate Walter (she had prevailed on Albert
to tell her his Christian name) that he ad a rival, who, authorised
by her father, would endeavour to separate them for ever; and more,
much more than for herself, she trembled for that hapless, persecuted,
unprotected lover, at whose bosom fate had already aimed some of its
most pointed arrows, whose life would be endangered, should her
partiality be discovered--that life on which her own seemed to depend:
his happiness, which was dearer to her than her own, rested with her
only to preserve; if they must be parted, the contest could not be
extended beyond the confines of the grave, and in the friendly grave
they should both find shelter.

The visible change, which appeared the next morning in the countenance
and manners of Roseline, was such as those only who determined not
to see could have avoided observing. Edwin, who met her as she was
going to enter the breakfast-parlour, eagerly cried out, "For heaven's
sake, my dear sister, what, in the name of ill-luck, has happened to
you?--how long have you been ill?"

With tender earnestness she begged him not to mention her altered
looks, promising to acquaint him with the cause the first convenient
opportunity. He agreed to comply with her request, and neither Sir
Philip nor Lady de Morney took any notice; and, when the Baron joined
the breakfast-party, every thing passed as usual. He was very attentive
to his fair enslaver, who, seeing her father's eye sternly fixed upon
her from the moment the Baron entered the room, dared not to repel
his odious gallantry with the coldness and contempt she knew not how
to suppress; but she thought it better to yield submissively to the
mortifications of the present hour, in order to secure to herself the
short respite from certain misery, which upon such painful conditions
had been allowed her.

As soon as breakfast was ended, the Baron and Sir Philip ordered
their horses, and rode out to spend the day at some distance from
the castle. Lady de Morney withdrew to give directions respecting
some domestic arrangements, and the younger part of the family retired
to go on with their usual employments. Edwin followed his sister to
her own apartment, and eagerly requested her instantly to relieve his
mind from the anxiety he could not help feeling on her account, as
he was certain something unpleasant must have happened.

Gratified by this proof of his tenderness and attention to her
happiness, Roseline, after a few painful struggles to suppress her
agitation, and having obtained a solemn promise from her brother,
that, however provoked, or whatever indignation he might feel when
he became acquainted with her internal and hopeless misery, he would
not betray by the most distant hint that she had disobeyed the
positive injuctions of her father, informed him, with many tears,
of the Baron's views in coming to the castle.

Edwin had long suspected something would arise from the frequent
conferences of the Baron and his father, and the unusual reserve of
his mother. He had likewise observed, with some degree of surprise,
the very flattering and uncommon attentions paid to their noble
visitor; he therefore was not so much astonished as his sister expected
he would have been. He carefully avoided filling her mind with
unnecessary alarms at the moment he felt a thousand fears on her account,
and could not restrain his indignation at hearing a tale confirmed
which appeared too absurd almost to be believed. He tenderly embraced,
and vowed to protect her from such cruelty and oppression, should his
father continue obstinately to insist on her giving her hand to a
man she disliked.

He had long known her extreme partiality for the prisoner, which,
though he could not approve, his own clandestine engagements with
Madeline prevented his attempting to condemn. They had innocently
and mutually assisted in bringing each other into situations which
threatened them with many sorrows; they must now in this trying moment
as resolutely determine to extricate themselves, and those they loved,
from distresses which otherwise would in all probability overwhelm
and destroy them.

Edwin, at Roseline's earnest request, was to inform Walter of the
dangers which encompassed them, and of the formidable rival who had
appeared to interrupt their happiness; but she insisted on his
concealing from him the name of that rival, begging him not to give
a hint of his fortune or consequence. Eager to save her lover from
feeling such pangs as she herself had endured, she entreated he would
soften the sad tidings he conveyed, by assuring him he had nothing
to fear from herself, as her affection was equally tender and sincere.

When Edwin had imparted the unwelcome news to the prisoner, though
he observed the strictest caution, and worded the heart-wounding
communication in language best calculated to sooth and quiet those
tormenting apprehensions, to which it would unavoidably give birth,
the effect it had on the unhappy sufferer was dreadful. His agonies
disclosed to the astonished Edwin the strength of an affection which,
while it alarmed him, demanded the utmost pity; and, at that moment,
had he possessed the power of disposing of the hand of his sister, he
would sooner have presented it to his unfortunate friend than to the
greatest monarch upon earth.

Roseline dared not venture to see him for several succeeding hours,
and no sooner were his watchful and inpatient eyes gratified by her
entrance into his solitary apartment, than he hastily arose; and,
throwing himself at her feet, almost inarticulately entreated her
to pronounce his doom.

"Tell me, (cried he,) if you, my only earthly treasure, must be
wrested from me for ever?--if I must not longer hear the soft sound of
that gentle voice, sweeter and more melodious than celestial music? I
can die without reproaching, but I cannot exist without seeing you;
and I will never, never live one hour after you have given your
hand to another.--Madness and torture are united in that
thought!--Let us fly,--let us leave this horrid castle!--The world
is all before us: love shall be our guide. Surely we can find one
little sacred spot that will shelter us from persecution and tyranny;
if not, we can wander, beg, and at last die, together."

"Have patience, my generous, my beloved Walter, (cried the weeping
Roseline;)--I yet trust we shall not be reduced to the hard, the
degrading necessity of taking such desperate and improper steps to
preserve our faith unbroken. Be assured of this, and endeavour to
rest satisfied with a promise I will ever hold sacred,--that, while
our continue the unrivalled possessor of my heart, only actual force
shall compel me to give my had to your rival; and I think I may venture
to say, if I know any thing of my father's disposition, unkind as it
appears at present, he will never go to such unwarrantable and unnatural
lengths to gratify an ambition I never suspected had found place
in his mind."

"Ah! (said the prisoner) you little know, you cannot suspect to what
lengths pride and ambition will carry unfeeling people. I am their
victim, and if I thought you were to suffer as I have done--"

"Attempt not to think about it," interrupted Roseline.

"Consent then to escape this very night. If we stop to deliberate
we are lost,--we are separated for ever! You know not what such love
as mine, when called into action, and blest with liberty, would
enable me to do, to preserve a treasure so dear and estimable. Albert
would go with us: with his direction and assistance, surely we could
procure sufficient from the bowels of the earth to support you in
ease and plenty, if not in affluence."

The entrance of Albert luckily put an end to a conversation which
was become too tender and painful for Roseline any longer to have
kept up that appearance of composure which was absolutely necessary
to quiet the tormenting apprehensions of her lover; she therefore
immediately availed herself of the opportunity to quit his apartment,
and retired to her own.

Within rather less than a week after Roseline's interview with her
father, the alteration which took place in her was such as could not
pass unobserved, but it was wholly imputed to indisposition. She
became much thinner; the rose of health was fled from a countenance
no longer marked with animation. She had no spirits, and was seldom
seen to smile; even the playful fondness of her sister Bertha ceased
to interest or entertain her.

Lady de Morney, who was a tender mother, became alarmed, and imparted
her fears to Sir Philip, who endeavoured to laugh her out of them.

"The poor child (said he) is only a little mother-sick. She is pining,
I suppose, at the thoughts of leaving mamma: you must therefore take
no notice, for I so well know that softness of your disposition, that
a few tears will mould you to her own wayward purposes, and deprive
you of all your resolution. The unfortunate girl will, to be sure,
be sadly hurt at becoming a baroness, and being placed in a situation
to which even the proudest ambition of her parents could not have
aspired. We, therefore, have only to remain silent spectators for a
time, and leave the natural vanity of her sex, united with the sanguine
wishes of youth, to operate for themselves. We will invite company to
the castle; I mean to give a ball in compliment to the Baron:--Roseline
will reign queen of the ceremony; assailed by flattery, softened by
music, exhilirated by exercise, she will forget to sigh in the midst
of gaiety, and cease to disapprove the Baron, when she begins to feel
that consequence which the being noticed by a man of his rank will
give to her."

"Let us then try the experiment as soon as possible, (replied Lady
de Morney;) for I cannot help thinking, unless some change takes
place for the better, our sweet Roseline, instead of bridal finery,
will want only a winding sheet, and that she will be removed from
the castle to her grave."

Sir Philip was displeased; he instantly left the room in order to
avoid returning an answer which he well knew would have been succeeded
by an altercation with his wife.--She saw he was angry, and therefore,
though she was extremely anxious on her daughter's account, she
determined for some time to remain a passive observer, let what would
be the consequence; but she did not experience that serenity of mind
at forming this resolution which she had done on some former occasions,
when she had sacrificed her own will to that of her husband; for,
aspiring as she was by nature, and much as she was always attached to
the gaudy trappings of grandeur and the alluring sounds of title, she
felt the life of her daughter, when put in competition with them, or
even the throne itself, was of infinitely more importance.

De Huntingfield was at this time absent from the castle. Elwyn very
seldom mixed with his brother officers; Elwyn very seldom mixed with
his brother officers; therefore De Clavering, De Willows, and Hugh
Camelford, were ofter left to mess by themselves, the Baron not
appearing to like being much in their society. They were too young
and too pleasing in his opinion, and, as he could not help sometimes
making comparisons not much to his own advantage, it was natural for
him to think the young ladies might do the same. As the three
gentlemen were returning from a walk, they saw the Baron, Sir Philip,
his son, and daughters, going out for one. Observing the apparent
reluctant step and pale countenance of Roseline, as she walked by
the side of her stately and venerable over, and having picked up
some hints which had been dropped at different times of the projected
alliance, De Clavering, with some little indignation, exclaimed, "It
will never do;--I see it will never do:--the girl's spirits are too
low, her uncorrupted mind too pure, and her stomach too weak, to
digest so much pride and acid as that old fellow had in his composition.
His love seems to have operated on her feelings as being so nearly
allied to misery, that she has already caught the infection, and I
wish in the end it may not prove an incurable disease. Upon my soul
I do not wonder at it, for he acts upon my nerves like a torpedo, or
rather as the Greek fire did upon our armies, exciting both fear
and indignation."

"By heaven! (said De Willows,) the folly and ambition of parents,
in respect to their children, are, in my opinion, the most unaccountable
of human absurdities. They form plans from their own passions and
feelings, and then expect that young people can adopt them at their
command, without making any allowance for the material difference
between the sentiments, opinions, and inclinations, of nineteen
and sixty."

"Suppose we all talk to the covernor, and toss the Paron into the
rifer. A coot tucking might trive all the flames and darts of luf
out of his pody, and restore the poor cirl from the crave, to which
the toctor is for sending her like a tog, without giving time for
Christian burial!"

"To argue, or contend with such characters (said De Clavering) would
be like opposing a fiddle against thunder, or a squirt against a
cataract in Switzerland."

"Then, on my soul, (replied Camelford,) you must take the Paron's
pody under your own tirection. With your regimen, and a few of tevilish
experiments, you will, Cot willing, soon dispatch him and his luf
into another world."

"That, indeed, Hugh, would prove an effectual cure; but, in respect
to the Baron, it would not be quite so easily accomplished; for I
look upon him still to possess a constitution that would set physic
and even the doctor himself at defiance.--He seems formed to wrestle
sturdily with death before he will be vanquished, or yield the contest."

"If you can once lay hold of him, and kif him some of your pills
and potions, he would soon be clad to gif up the coast."

"What, then, (said De Clavering) you think me more dangerous than
love?--That little, subtle, and revengeful god will one day bring
you upon your knees before his shrine for the affront put upon his
all subduing influence."

"He had petter let me alone, (replied the Cambrian,) I am not so
plind as his tivine highness, and will nefer worship any cot put the
crate Cot of heaven. Eteliza has taught you petter, De Willows: That
girl's tell-tale eyes petray that luf has been pusy with more than
one person."

De Clavering laughed at this unexpected attack upon his friend, who
felt a painful consciousness that Camelford had more reason for his
observation that he wished, the partiality of the artless Edeliza
being too visible to be longer mistaken. On his own part, he had,
from the first seeing Madeline, cherished an increasing affection
for her, while her uniform and unaffected coldness, with the preference
she had shewn to another, too well convinced him he had nothing to
hope; neither could he any longer affect to be blind to the mutual
attachment which subsisted between her and his friend Edwin, the
latter having made no attempt to deny it; but, being satisfied of
the honour of De Willows, had in part entrusted him with the wishes
he determined to encourage, notwithstanding the insurmountable,
obstacles that appeared to preclude the most distant ray of hope.

"That same love, of which you are thinking and talking, (said
De Clavering,) has so many devilifications in its train, I am
determined to have nothing to do with it, till it becomes more rational,
and can be reduced into a regular system, by which we poor short-sighted
mortals may find directions how to act, without exposing ourselves
to ridicule or disappointment. I am inclined to think I shall one
day or other be tempted to marry, but it shall be to a woman who
will take care to keep such ear-wig sort of fellows as you at a proper
distance.--You tell fine tales, are all smoothness and deceit,--like
a snail can give a gloss to the path you crawl over, and then leave
such traces of your deceptive and invidious progress as cannot be
concealed. Let the subject of your next satire, De Willows, be the
male flirt,--an animal more dangerous than a tyger."

"Why so?" asked De Willows, determined not to apply the hint which
he well knew was designed for him.

"Can there (said De Clavering) be found a character more deserving
satire?--a thing that borrows the form of man to disgrace the name,--an
adept in mean stratagems and mischievous deceives.--insensible to
the admonitions of conscience,--well versed in all the practices of
refined cruelty,--working like a mole in the dark, in order more
effectually to ensnare the youthful heart of unsuspecting innocence,
and that merely to gratify the vicious vanity of the moment; and,
after he had sacrificed the health, happiness, and perhaps the life,
of a young woman, who, by her tender nature, he has beguiled of peace,
he laughs at her credulous folly, and boldly declares he had never
any thought of making her his wife. That there are such men, who,
under the sacred semblance of honour, can act thus despicably, I have,
in the form of one once dear to me as life, unhappily experienced,
and from that moment I became the friend and champion of the sex,
and in bold defiance to all such deceivers, I throw down my gauntlet."

"How, in the name of Cot, came you to be so valiant, (cried Camelford,)
as to think of fighting tuels for other people's pranks?"

"Because many of the fair sex are too gentle to vindicate themselves,
too artless for suspicion, and too lovely to fall a sacrifice, without
arming the hand of courage to avenge their injuries; for I think the
man, who can trifle with the peace of a fellow-creature, may be justly
compared to one of the exhalations of hell, sent to destroy and lay
waste the small portion of happiness allotted to our mortal pilgrimage."

"You are warm, (said De Willows, confusedly;) perhaps I have
undesignedly given you pain, without knowing I interfered with the
wishes or pretensions of any one. On my honour, I never had any; but,
on a subject so important, I cannot speak coolly, or canvass it with
indifference. I will be frank, and own I admire Edeliza; and, were
her heart as much in my power as I fear it is in your's, no man with
impunity should wrest it from me."

"Well said, my prave toctor, (cried Camelford;) little tan Cupit
must next take care of himself, or your will be after tissecting his
cotship; and, though the poor cot is as plind as a peetle, you will
be for couching his eyes, till he can see as clear as yourself."

A servant came to invite them to sup with the governor and his party,
which luckily put an end to a conversation that was become unpleasant.
It made De Willows rather uncomfortable and small in his own opinion,
and compelled him to reflect more seriously on the subject than he
had ever done before. Of Madeline it was folly to think any longer.
If Edwin, who was beloved, dared not hope being blest with her hand,
without the interference of a miracle, what chance could there be of
his succeeding, for whom she felt only the coldest indifference? He
determined to take his heart severely to talk, and to--but it was
impossible for him at that moment to tell how he should dispose of
a heart which had received so many wounds, that it scarcely retained
any of its native mutilated form; but, on a more serious examination,
he found a something lurking in it that made him feel very reluctant
to give up his pleasant and interesting intercourse with the tender
and artless Edeliza, which long habit had rendered more necessary to
his happiness than he was aware of.



CHAP. XI.


The design of Sir Philip, in giving a ball, was this evening made
known, and the next day messages were sent out to invite the company
for that day week. Preparations were instantly begun, and new dresses
ordered. Madeline and Agnes de Clifford obtained leave to be of the
party, and several of the inhabitants of Bungay were highly pleased by
receiving invitations. Roseline, on whose account, as much as the
Baron's, it was given, was the least gratified. Any scene of
cheerfulness to her was become a scene of misery. Her spirits depressed
her mind, itself a chaos of contending passions, could not admit a
single ray of hope or comfort to chase away the gloom which there
prevailed. She no longer felt either pleasure or consolation in her
stolen interviews with her beloved Walter, which once afforded her such
indescribable satisfaction.

They now saw each other with a tender despondence, which served to
deprive them of that resolution which could alone support them in
those trials which no longer appeared at a distance, and Roseline,
sinking under the burthen of her own sorrows, felt herself totally
unable to share in those which equally overpowered her unfortunate
lover, from whose prison she never went, but he concluded it was the
last time he should be indulged with seeing her.

Walter heard of the ball, which was to be given in compliment to his
rival, with that kind of contempt and trembling indignation which a brave
officer feels at seeing some upstart stripling stepping over his head
to preferment, and, by dint of mere adventitious events, obtaining
authority to lead those whom he dared not have followed. It has always
been said that the sincerest love could not exist without hope. In this
instance, however, the assertion did not hold good; for, though hope was
lost, love maintained its empire, and, environed with despair, lost none
of that tender energy which had united two hearts under circumstances the
most alarming and distressing.

The conduct of Sir Philip de Morney surprised all those who were let
into the secret of the projected alliance. The Baron's pride appeared
to have infected him with a mania of the same kind; and the unpleasant
change it produced was not more inimical to the happiness of others than
he soon found it proved to his own. He was now seldom greeted with the
smile of affection: he saw looks of distress, and heard the sigh of
discontent vibrate on his ear; and, whilst he condemned the obstinacy
of others, determined resolutely to persevere in his own.

How much is it to be lamented, that, with all the knowledge he
acquires, man knows so little of himself! How astonishing that a
sudden and unexpected change in his prospects, or situation, should
instantaneously work so unaccountable a revolution in his feelings,
that he scarcely retains any recollection of his former
dispositions!--and, still more strange it appears, that, while
adversity serves to exalt the mind and purify the heart, prosperity
should harden and debase them.

About forty of those who had been invited to the ball returned
answers that they would do themselves the honour of accepting the
invitation. Roseline became so much changed in her looks, appearance,
and manner, that at length the alteration struck the Baron, and he
mentioned it to Sir Philip. This produced a second warm altercation
between him and Roseline, which ended as the former had done, namely,
in the want of resolution, strength, and spirits, on her part, to
contend longer on a subject so painful to her feelings, and so
inimical to all her hopes of happiness; for Sir Philip now insisted,
and that with a degree of unfeeling ferocity, that she should give
her hand to the Baron within ten days after the month was expired
which he had so foolishly allowed her perverse folly and caprice.

Of this interview Roseline said nothing to her brother or the
prisoner, but felt that her fortitude deserted her as time stole
away, and, with the deprivation of health and spirits, threatened to
leave her an uncontending and helpless victim to the authority she
began to doubt having power to resist. Still she determined, if
dragged by force to the altar, she would resolutely and openly,
before its sacred front, declare not only her unwillingness to become
the wife of the Baron, but her repugnance and aversion to the
monastic life.

At length the anxiously-expected, the long wished for evening
arrived, and produced an assemblage of as much elegance, grace, wit,
and beauty, as had ever been collected together in so confined a
circle.--From the social town of Bungay some very lovely young women
made their first appearance at the castle, decorated to the utmost
advantage, and justly entitled to dispute the palm of beauty with
many found in the higher ranks.

On this occasion, it is not to be doubted but they cherished hopes
that their charms would conquer some of the young officers appointed
to guard the fortress, on which the safety of themselves and the
town depended.

From the earliest ages of the world, the old adage prevailed,--"None
but the brave deserve the fair," while the military dress, shining
sword, and becoming cockade, were ever found useful auxiliaries in
assisting their wearer to find easy access to the female heart.

When dancing was ordered to begin, the Baron, arrayed most superbly,
took out Roseline, and led her to the upper end of the room. De Willows
followed, leading Edeliza, who was drest in the most becoming and
captivating stile, and looked so enchantingly beautiful, that he
wondered he had ever beheld her with indifference, or preferred another.
Her expressive eyes told a tale so correspondent to the feelings of his
own heart, as completed its conquest, and the captivity was found so
pleasing and easy, it never afterwards wished to regain its freedom.
Edwin danced with the gentle Madeline; Hugh Camelford with Bertha, and
the rest of the party disposed of themselves as their vanity or
inclination prompted.

The dancing was begun with avidity and spirit, which some very excellent
music served to heighten and keep up. The Baron not ungracefully
exhibited his well-dressed person, and this great personage had the
satisfaction of seeing that the eyes of the company were chiefly fixed
upon him who had procured them this unexpected indulgence,--a
circumstance unusual in an age when expensive pleasures were confined to
the higher ranks of life, and by that means less coveted by those in
inferior stations, which certainly tended to the good of society in
general, as it served to render all parties contented with their lot. We
now often see, with pity and regret, if young people are thrown by
chance into a walk of life some degrees higher than their habitual one,
they seldom know how to return to their former humble path without
discontent and regret, which will too often lead them to sacrifice
virtue, and every real good, for the frivolous nonsense of the dress and
the parade of ceremony, while, to obtain the enjoyment of pleasures
destructive to time and real happiness, they will give up their peace of
mind, not repent the poor bargain they have made so long as they can
live in stile.

Some few pitied, but a far greater number envied Roseline for having
made so important a conquest, and were surprised to see how little she
was animated amidst the exhilirating scene of gaiety and splendor,
wholly occupying the attention of one of the first barons in the
kingdom, whose smile by most people would be reckoned an honour, and
whose frown among many was destruction from which there was often no
appeal.

Every rarity that could be procured was set before the party.
Hospitality and festivity went hand in hand, and, to a careless and
uninterested spectator, it would have seemed that universal happiness
prevailed; but it was far otherwise. Happiness is seldom found amidst
a crowd. In the more retired scenes of serene unambitious enjoyment,
we have a much better change of finding that rara avis, and of
retaining it in our possession, if possible to be found.

Sir Philip de Morney was tormented with fears that the obstinacy of his
daughter would disappoint his ambition, while the tenderness of her
mother had so far subdued the influence of her pride, that, to see her
daughter restored to her former health and spirits, she would gladly
have yielded up the honour of an alliance with the Baron.

The artless unaspiring Roseline, before she was brought into notice by
the proud attentions of her noble admirer, was a far happier being than
she found herself at the moment she was looked up to as an object of
envy; but the simple dress she had been accustomed to wear was more
conformable to her own unadulterated taste than the splendid habiliments
with which she was now loaded, and which the pride, or design, of her
father had procured to throw a veil over her senses, and tempt her to
purchase those still more brilliant at the expence of her peace; yet,
notwithstanding all the fascinating allurements with which she saw
herself surrounded, the court, adulation, and respect, paid to her, the
eagerness of the company to obtain a share in her notice, her heart
remained with Walter, the unknown stranger, who belonged to no one,--who
was without fortune, and deprived of that freedom which is the birthright
of the poorest peasant; nevertheless Walter, in a gloomy and solitary
prison, was an object more captivating and far more valuable in her eyes
than the lordly Baron in a stately castle.

When they had danced about half an hour after supper, the Baron
apologized to Roseline for withdrawing to make some alteration in
his dress, which he found unpleasant. She felt herself gratified by
this temporary absence, and took the opportunity of chatting with
some of her young companions. Deeply engaged in conversation with
Madeline and Agnes de Clifford, she did not observe that her father
was suddenly called out of the room, and requested by the servant in
a whisper to hasten with the utmost speed to the apartment of his
friend.

Too much surprised to inquire the cause, he instantly obeyed the
summons. On his entrance, I will leave my readers to guess how much he
must have been alarmed and shocked at seeing that friend extended on
the floor, with every appearance of death on his countenance. After
trying various methods to recover him without effect, he ordered one
of his people to call De Clavering to his assistance, who, by some
powerful and proper applications, soon produced signs of life, but it
was near an hour before any of sense returned. He neither seemed to
know where he was, not why he saw so many people about him. At length,
however, he recovered his recollection,--said he had been very ill
but found himself better, and requested to be left a few minutes in
private with Sir Philip de Morney, whom be beckoned to sit down by the
side of the bed on which he was laid.

The room being cleared, and the door fastened, to prevent interruption,
the Baron grasped the hand of his friend, and in a hurried tone, at the
same time looking around him in terror, informed him that he had seen a
spirit. "It stood there!" pointing with his finger to a particular part
of the room. Sir Philip appeared incredulous, and his looks were not
misunderstood.

"Believe me, (continued the Baron,) it was no delusion of the senses.
I actually saw the ghost of my first wife as surely as I now see you,
and as perfectly as ever I saw her when alive. She glided out of the
apartment the moment I entered it to change my dress, which I found
too heavy for dancing. She looked displeased, frowned sternly upon
me, and shook her head as she disappeared. Her countenance was as
blooming, and retained the same beauty and expression as when I led
her in triumph to the altar twenty years ago."

"Surely, my lord, (said Sir Philip,) this supposed visionary appearance
must be the effects of the disorder which attacked you so violently,
that it led De Clavering, as well as myself, to tremble for your life."

"Say rather, (replied the Baron,) and then you will say right, the
disorder was occasioned by the terror, which, in that moment, indeed
deprived me of my senses.--If I see you at this time, I then beheld
the face, form, and features, of my once-loved Isabella, of whom I was
deprived by death in the infancy of my happiness, six months after she
had given birth to a son, of whom the same inexorable tyrant robbed me
in the fourth year of my second marriage."

Sir Philip found it was useless to contend with his friend on a subject
in which he so obstinately persevered; and, though he was satisfied
that the fright was merely the effect of disease, he though it wisest
to confine his disbelief to his own bosom, and drop the conversation as
soon as possible. He insisted on remaining with him the rest of the
night, and cherished hopes that by the morning this unaccountable
vagary would be forgotten, or only remembered as a sudden delirium,
occasioned perhaps by heat, and the unusual exercise in which he had
been engaged. His offer of sitting up was cordially accepted, and the
two gentlemen agreed it would be right and prudent to say as little
about the ghost as possible, Sir Philip secretly trembling left the
Baron's unfortunate whim should operate so powerfully upon his feelings
as to prevent his fulfilling at engagements with Roseline.

This strange circumstance occasioned so much confusion and hurry in the
castle, that the party separated much earlier than they wished, and every
one accounted, as their own humour dictated, for the sudden indisposition
of the Baron. One or two, mortified by their pleasure being so
unseasonably curtailed, said the old man had better have gone to bed at
eight o'clock, or not have attempted dancing in a ball-room when he was
dancing on the verge of the grave.

Sir Philip, with two servants, sat with the Baron during the night,
and in the morning De Clavering found him so much recovered, that he
advised him to get into the air, as that, with moderate exercise, he
ventured to pronounce would perfect his recovery, and he would have
nothing to fear from a relapse, if he kept himself composed; but
that same composure the Baron did not find quite so easy to acquire
as De Clavering imagined.

The awful appearance he had seen was not one moment from his
remembrance: it still flitted before his mental sight, and his tortured
mind presented only Isabella to his view. She had frowned upon him,
shaken her head, and vanished with a look of anger and contempt: with
this regretted and beloved wife he had passed by far the happiest
moments of his life. She was the first, and indeed the only, woman he
had really loved, notwithstanding the world had unjustly branded him
with being an unkind and morose husband. It had in the respect dealt by
him with the same injustice it had done by a thousand others. The
delicate frame of Isabella was wasting in a rapid decline, from the
moment she became a mother. He had adored her, and watched her as his
richest treasure during the few months she had lingered with him, after
presenting him with a son; she expired in his arms, and the severest
pang she felt was being torn from them for ever. Why she should rise
from the grave, why she should frown upon him, who had loved her so
sincerely, he could neither comprehend nor reconcile to his feelings.

With his second wife he had lived several years; but all the happiness
he had found in the course of them was not to be compared with that
which he had enjoyed with his gentle Isabella, in the short time he
had been indulged with the pleasure of calling her his own.

By the second lady, he had several children, and it was the death of an
only surviving son, at the age of sixteen, on whom she had doted with an
almost unpardonable fondness, which had occasioned her own.

Having been thus been deprived of two wives, and bereaved of his
childres, without having any near relations for whom he felt those
prevailing and powerful affections which could lead him to proctise
self-denial on their account, he justly considered himself at liberty
to endeavour to find happiness in the way to which his ideas of it were
annexed, and therefore made choice of the daughter of his friend, Sir
Philip, to share his fortune, and inherit such a part of it, as he
should find her worthy to possess, if she did not bring him those who
would have a more rightful claim to it.

He had no sooner recovered the shock and terror which he had so awfully
and unaccountable experienced, than he determined to persevere, and
accelerate all the necessary preparations for the completion of his
marriage.

He was now eager to quit Bungay-Castle, and to return with the most
convenient speed to his own, as he could not entirely divest himself of
apprehension, that he might receive another unpleasant visit from his
Isabella, whom, much as he had sincerely loved and admired when living,
he did not now wish should leave her grave to interrupt those pleasures
which he anticipated from the nature of his present engagements.

Sir Philip, who from the first had suspected the Baron's alarm and
subsequent terror to have originated from a more natural (however
unaccountable) cause than that to which he so obstinately imputed it,
made all the inquiries he dared risk, without giving his reasons for so
doing; but, notwithstanding his most artful endeavours, the mystery
remained unexplained, and he was obliged to leave it to time, or
chance, to develope.


END OF VOL. I.



     *     *     *     *     *



BUNGAY CASTLE:

A NOVEL.

BY MRS. BONHOTE.

Author of the Parental Monitor, &c.


_In Two Volumes_


  Astonished at the voice he stood amaz'd,
  And all around with inward horror gaz'd.

                                          ADDISON.

VOL. II.


LONDON:
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM LANE,
AT THE
Minerva Press
LEADENHALL-STREET.
M.DCC.XCVI.



CHAP.I


Though every means had been made use of to render the ball given at
the castle pleasant and agreeable to all the party, they did not
succeed so well as we could wish. There were several of the company,
as it is to this day found but too customary on all such important
and interesting occasions, distressed, mortified, and discontented,
who returned to their habitations with more cares than they had
carried out, more pangs than they well knew how to bear, or than the
pleasure, if unalloyed, could have repaid. One or two young ladies
had actually fainted at seeing others better dressed and more noticed
than themselves. Another was wretched, and out of humour at observing
the Adonis, for whom she had long cherished the most romantic
affection, pay his whole attention to the beautiful Edeliza, who was
rendered wild by the gaiety, novelty, and splendour of the scene,
while her little head was nearly turned by the fine things said to
her, and the admiration she excited.

Edwin secretly repined that, as soon as the evening closed, Madeline
would be again for an age, in the calculation of a lover's calendar,
secluded from his sight, and compelled to count her beads in the
cheerless and solitary cell of a nunnery, from which he knew not
whether it would be in the power of art or stratagem to deliver her,
and how dreadful would be the consequences both to himself and the
woman he loved far better than himself, should the project, which he
had long cherished in his enterprizing and enamoured heart, be
discovered! These distressing thoughts threw a cloud of despondency
over every surrounding scene, and in some degree deprived him of that
vivacity which had endeared him to his friends, and rendered his
society both pleasant and entertaining, while the cause of this
unaccountable revolution was suspected but by few.

De Willows had never before felt himself so forcibly struck with the
charms of the fond and artless Edeliza, which blazed upon him with
unusual lustre, from the stile and manner in which she had adorned and
heightened her modest beauties by the artillery of a dress admirably
chosen to captivate; and so well did she succeed, aided by the little
blind god, under whose banners she had ventured to en**t, that a change
took place in the heart of her favourite, against whom alone her
designs were levelled, as sudden as it was to himself surprising.

Madeline was almost forgotten, and as little regarded as his
grandmother would have been. Every thought, every wish now rested with
Edeliza,--the little girl whom he had so long considered and treated as
a mere playful child. He even felt himself angry with every gentleman
who paid her any attention, or appeared as well pleased with her as
himself, and his bosom actually throbbed with jealous indignation while
he observed her animated look and sparkling eye at the various
compliments addressed to her; but when she bestowed her smiles on
another it was agony.--Those enchanting smiles, those engaging looks,
till this ill-fated evening, had been wholly engrossed by himself, not,
till he knew the value of what he might lose, did he think he had
anything to fear;--the delusion was ended, and he felt himself engaged
in a new passion at the moment he was disengaged from an old one,
which, having never been cherished by hope, was the more easily subdued.

He observed (for love, though said to be blind, is at times amazingly
clear sighted) that De Clavering, the insensible, the fastidious De
Clavering, appeared like himself, particularly attentive to Edeliza,
condescended to say some civil things, hovered as near to her as
possible, and followed her with an approving eye, as she gracefully
exhibited her light and elegant figure in the dance, which, in his
opinion, by no means proved him so indifferent to her charms as he had
pretended to be in some of their unreserved and confidential
conversations.--He had declared to De Huntingfield, as she glided past
them, that she had a mine of harmony in her head, a troop of Cupids
lying in ambush round her eyes and mouth, and an army of virtues
encamped for life within her bosom.--De Willows heard him, and was
convinced De Clavering had designs against his peace, and was as much
in love as himself. The same charms which had so much influence on him
might have made a captive of his friend.

Thus, seriously in love, thus tortured by the sudden impulse of
jealousy, De Willows sullenly cursed the folly of giving balls,
execrated the misery of being obliged to mix with a crowd, and the
unpardonable levity of permitting young women of delicacy and fashion
to exhibit their beautiful persons and fine attitudes in the dance, to
amuse a parcel of unmeaning and designing fools, and wound those who
loved them,--while such robust amusements were only fit for Indian
girls or Hottentots. He almost determined never to go to another ball,
and to persuade Edeliza to form the same resolution.

Thus, with doubts, fears, and jealousies, was marked the beginning of a
passion in the mind of De Willows, which ended but with life, and which
every succeeding day, month, and year, served to strengthen and confirm.

The tragical tale of two lovers, who had been present at the ball, and
who seemed the happiest of the party, appeared to make a deep
impressions on all who heard it, and had so much influence on De
Willows, that he determined no part of his conduct should ever give a
moment's pain to the susceptible heart of Edeliza, if he should prove
so fortunate as to be entrusted with the precious deposit, and obtain
the consent of Sir Philip and Lady de Morney to bless him with the hand
of their lovely daughter. The tale we have alluded to, though
melancholy, being a real fact, we hope it will not be unacceptable to
our readers.


     *     *     *     *     *


Mr. and Mrs. Blandeville were the respectacle parents of a numerous
family, whom they educated from the produce of a well established and
profitable business. They had several daughters; the eldest, who was
both lively and handsome, was unfortunately admired by a young
gentleman of the name of Narford. The attachment had been cherished by
both parties from the time they went to school, and so marked were the
attentions which, even at that early age, they had shewn to each other,
that it had often excited the jokes and ridicule of their young
companions, who were in the habit of frequently addressing the timid
and blushing Lucy by the name of Mrs. Narford.

Her lover had the irreparable misfortune to lose both his parents
before any plan had been formed for his future establishment.--He was
likewise, unhappily for his interest, left to the care of inexperienced
and careless guardians, who permitted him, as his fortune was genteel,
to follow the bent of his own inclinations. His disposition being
lively in the extreme, led him into innumerable eccentricities, and his
juvenile indiscretions wasted a part of that fortune which should have
been kept for his maturer age.

When his clerkship was just expired, (for he was articled to an
attorney,) he made application to the parents of Lucy for leave to
address their daughter. Mr. Blandeville was no stranger to some part of
the vices and follies of which he had been guilty, but, as he likewise
knew that enough of his fortune still remained to secure his daughter
as comfortable an establishment as she had any right to expect, he
promised, if his future conduct was irreproachable, that, when he was
fixed in life, and able to provide for a family, he would give him the
hand of his daughter, and from that period he had permission to visit
Lucy as a lover, and was received at Mr. Blandeville's house as one of
the family.

Lovers, it is too well known, will say and promise any thing. This
observation was unhappily verified in the giddy and erring Narford,
who, though he sincerely loved the daughter of Mr. Blandeville, and
could not be ignorant that on his part he was equally beloved, very
soon broke his word, and ran into some glaring excesses, which could
not be long concealed from those whom it most materially concerned. The
gentle Lucy often ventured to reproach her lover, but his repentance
and promises of amendment very soon procured his forgiveness.--Not so
easily was the father to be softened. After repeatedly hearing of his
intemperance and consequent riots, he forbade him his house, and
prohibited his daughter from holding any further intercourse with one
so unworthy of her regard, who had given such frequent proofs of his
libertine disposition, had already wasted part of his property, and was
in a way to squander the whole.

Unfortunately the prudent prohibition of the father was disregarded by
the daughter, whose attachment to the unthinking Narford neither his
vices nor follies had been able to conquer. She lamented his failings,
but she could not subdue that attachment which had from so early a
period of her life been implanted in her heart. From him only she had
heard the tale of love, and he alone had obtained any interest in her
affections. Love had bound her in his silken fetters, and she had not
power to shake them off.

Many stolen interviews did the proscribed Narford obtain with his
believing and inexperienced mistress by means of that all-prevailing
traitor, gold, whose influence few of the needy children of dependence
can long withstand; nor could all the reproaches of a duteous and
uncorrupted heart prevent Lucy from listening to the beguiling flatterer.

At the time they met at the Castle they had not been able to see each
other for some weeks, and the pleasure was as great as it was
unexpected. Their present situation was past sorrows were forgotten in
their mutual joy, and the young lady easily prevailed upon to accept
the hand of her lover for the evening, as she still hoped it was the
hand destined to guide her through life.--Too happy in enjoying the
society for which she languished to recollect the causes which had
prevented their more frequent intercourse,--her spirits exhilirated by
the gay and cheerful party, and the enlivening sounds of music, she
listened to his vows with believing tenderness, and in a fond conceding
moment unreluctantly agreed to his proposal of a private marriage:--the
day was fixed, and the hour for escape appointed.

The plan once determined, they indulged themselves in all that innocent
fondness the prospect of being speedily united seemed to claim and
authorise, but their happiness was as unstable and visionary as their
plan. Some one that was present, either actuated by friendship to the
parents, or envious at seeing the exulting transports which sparkled in
the eyes of the lovers, and excited a suspicion of their design,
obtained sufficient intelligence from some broken sentences (conveyed
in rather loud whispers from the lips of Narford, who was too much
intoxicated with his unexpected success to be guarded by prudence) as
to betray their intention.

The next day a letter was sent to Mr. Blandeville, to inform him of the
plan, that he might take such steps as would prevent the threatening
mischief. In consequence of this unpleasing intelligence, the young
lady was so strictly confined and closely watched, that it was
impossible she could either receive or send any letters without being
discovered, and Mr. Blandeville was too much enraged at finding the
disobedient trick his daughter would have played him, to relax on
moment in his rigour or care to prevent her eloping.

Narford, in the mean time, not able either to see Lucy, or convey any
letter or message to her, became madly desperate, and ran into
innumerable excesses, which, in the opinion of the prudent and thinking
part of the world, justified the conduct of the lady's father, who
commanded her not to see him, nor attempt to leave her own apartment
till she could prevail upon herself to give him a solemn promise never
again to hold intercourse, by word or letter, with that base,
designing, and vile scoundrel, Narford.

The mother and sisters were equally offended with the unfortunate
lover, whose conduct, previous to the time he had been forbidden the
house of Mr. Blandeville, had in too may respects been highly
blameable; but, as is frequently the case, what in his behaviour was
worthy of praise had been concealed, while every deviation from
prudence and rectitude was basely and maliciously exaggerated, Narford
not having the happy art of concealing his frailties, or making himself
friends, by that bewitching softness of manners which, in our more
polished days, will recommend the most libertine characters, and
procure them a favourable and cordial reception in polite and even
virtuous circles.

After trying, by every art and stratagem to bribe, or elude, the
vigilance of Lucy's attendants, and making many attempts to soften the
displeasure of her parents, Narford, in a fit of despair and
intoxication, obtained by force an entrance into the house, and,
falling on his knees, in the most humiliating manner, and most
intelligible language he could command, begged they would permit him to
see and converse one hour with his beloved Lucy, who he had heard was
ill, and confined to her bed.

Though Mr. Blandeville fortunately was not at home, his request was
peremptorily denied; but Mrs. Blandeville, somewhat softened by his
agony, which, in spite of her anger, she could not help commiserating,
promised, that, as soon as her daughter was in a state of
convalescence, he should be indulged with seeing her in the presence of
herself and one of her daughter; at the same time she could not help
gently reproaching him for the inconsistency and unpardonable levity of
his conduct, which not only compelled Mr. Blandeville to adopt these
severe measures, but had involved her whole family in distress, as well
as the unfortunate girl he pretended to love, and had attempted to draw
aside from the paths of duty.

With great difficulty he was prevailed upon to leave the house, but not
before the sound of his voice had caught the ear of the unhappy Lucy.
She raised herself in the bed, and insisted on being informed what had
occurred to bring poor Narford, and why she had not seen him.--It was
now too late, (she added,) to run away; the danger of that was over;
therefore surely she might be allowed to speak peace to his mind, and
once more see him whom she had so long and so fondly loved, before the
hand of death should close her eyes for ever, and in that sad moment
shut out every bright ray of hope from his earthly prospects.

On being made acquainted with what had passed, and told the manner in
which her lover forced his way into the house, she burst into tears,
and exclaimed, she should never see him more in this world; "but he
will not survive me long, (she continued.) I know he cannot live in
peace when I am gone, and I hope a happier, world."

These conflicts brought on a return of fever, which a frame so
emaciated and weak as her's could not long sustain: it was succeeded by
a delirium. The grief she had long cherished had preyed upon a
constitution, always delicate, with so much violence as to render her
strength unequal to the contest. In a few days her life was pronounced
in the utmost danger, and hope was almost precluded.

No sooner was this sentence made known, that it was recommended to Mr.
Blandeville to send for the lover of his daughter. At length he yielded
somewhat reluctantly to the proposal. Narford came, and was admitted
into the darkened apartment of the dying Lucy, who laid totally
insensible of what passed around her. He heard her call upon his name,
yet could not prevail upon her either to look at of speak to him.--Her
eyes, glazed and obscured by the shades of death, and robbed of their
former lustre, were no longer able to distinguish the beloved object
for whom they shed so many tears, but, fixed on vacancy, seemed still
bent in search of something they wished to behold. Her lips moved, and
she appeared as if holding a conversation with some one her disordered
imagination fancied near her. The unhappy young man was so much
shocked, that it was with the utmost difficulty he could confine his
agonizing feelings from breaking forth into loud lamentations.--Somewhat
recovering from the first stroke of seeing the ruins which grief had made
on her with whom he had rested all his hopes, in whom were centered all
his wishes, he knelt by her bedside, and, tenderly clasping between is
own the burning hand of his almost dying mistress, he softly begged she
would once more speak to her distracted Narford.

The voice seemed to be understood; she suddenly turned her face towards
him, and feebly pressing his hand, in broken and hurried sentences said
something to him.--Only the words, "Dear Narford, we must part, and part
for ever!" were understood; and, after making a feeble effort to draw him
closer to her side, as if afraid he should leave her, she was seized with
convulsions, which obliged the terrified lover to quit the room. He
rushed out of the house in a state little less alarming than that in
which he had left the fair cause of his distress.

The whole night he wandered before the habitation of the dying
Lucy,--for that she was dying the horrid scene he had witnessed, the
countenances of those around her, and his own feelings, too well
informed him. During the long and gloomy night, in which he remained
exposed to and unsheltered from the wind and storm, he frequently
stopped to listened at the door. All within was silent and cheerless as
the grave, and in every sound that reached his ear from without, he
imagined he could distinguish groans and sighs. Every object he could
see brought to his tortured imagination the distressing, the convulsed
figure of the once-animated and lovely Lucy, whose distorted features
and painful struggles were ever before his mental sight, there to remain
fixed as long as his existence should endure; for was it possible he
could ever forget or wish to lose the remembrance of that persecuted and
innocent sufferer, who died for the unworthy, the unfortunate Narford?

At length the day broke. The sun arose with its usual splendor, but
appeared to him dark as Erebus. All nature wore one universal gloom, and
had all nature been at that moment annihilated, (as were his hopes,) the
change had been scarcely perceived; for Lucy, who gave to life its
brightest tints, and to all things animate or inanimate, grace, beauty,
and value, was seen no more!--No longer the soft tones of her voice
vibrated on his ear to lull his soul to peace, or, if seen, she had lost
all recollection of the poor forlorn wanderer, who now felt ten-fold
every pang she suffered.

Late in the morning Narford saw a female servant slowly open the door.
He ran, or rather flew, to make his trembling inquiries. She was in
tears, and totally unable to tell him that it was over,--that the
loveliest of women, the favourite child of nature, was no longer the
victim of pain and sorrow, and that her freed spirit now soared beyond
the reach of persecution, "the mortal having put on immortality;" but
her emphatical silence unfolded the sad tale.--A freezing chilness ran
thrilling to his heart, and with a groan of despair he sunk upon his
parent earth. In that happy state of insensibility he was conveyed to
his lodgings by some people who were passing by, where we will for the
present leave him to the care of his sympathizing friends.

This unfortunate young man, notwithstanding his unguarded conduct and
numerous eccentricities, was beloved by many for his generous
disposition, cheerfulness, and unceasing good humour.

In the house of Mr. and Mrs. Blandeville all was distraction, despair,
and self-reproach. The illness and subsequent death of a beloved and
amiable child laid heavy at their hearts, and overwhelmed them like the
sudden bursting of a torrent; for, though prudence forbade them to unite
their daughter to a man whose conduct threatened her with many sorrows,
at the moment they wished to put an end to so unpromising an union, they
had no idea that any fatal consequences would have attended the
separation, and they too late regretted not having granted Narford's
request of being permitted to see their daughter at a more early stage
of her illness.--Mr. Blandeville drooped under his own painful
reflections, his wife felt more than she either could or wished to
express, and the younger part of the family were for a time inconsolable.

The tale spread rapidly abroad, and in all its various shapes excited
the compassion of those who heard it. Lucy had been as generally beloved
as admired, and Narford, who had once appeared deserving of contempt,
was now the object of pity. Such are the rapid changes which take place
in the human mind.

Mrs. Blandeville, unknown to the rest of the family, sent several times
to make inquiries after the unhappy Narford. The accounts she received
were as various as the melancholy changes which succeeded each other. He
was sometimes in a state of actual distraction,--at others in a sad and
silent despondency the most determined and alarming, refusing to take
his food, or to hold conversation with any one.

At length the day for the interment of Lucy arrived. The procession, sad
and slow, was followed by almost every inhabitant of the town and
adjoining villages. A solemn dirge was sung as they went along, and a
number of young maidens joined in the chorus. Flowers were strewn into
and around the grave, as emblematical of the charming flower that like
themselves was untimely cut down, and doomed like them to wither and to
die.

The service began;--the coffin was carefully let down into the grave,
and, just as the earth was thrown upon it, and the priest pronounced
that awful and humiliating sentence,--"Earth to earth, ashes to ashes,
dust to dust," a figure, with dishevelled hair, and a face pale as that
of the victim just deposited in her last sad resting place, rushed past
them all, and quick as lightening, before any one could suspect of think
of preventing his design, threw himself with the utmost violence into
the grave, and, clinging with agonizing frenzy to the coffin, cried out,
"I have found her now, and no one shall ever again tear her from me, for
she was mine,--mine by her own consent! Proceed, (added he, in a shrill
and distracted tone, for the surprise and confusion that this scene
occasioned had prevented the service going on,)--be quick, and hide me
in the friendly earth!--I come to sleep with Lucy:--this is our bridal
bed!--Why do you hesitate?--here I shall find rest for ever:--this is my
home, and here shall be my heaven!"

The priest endeavoured to persuade him to quit the grave, and let the
ceremony be concluded, telling him, time and patience would, he hoped,
reconcile him to the will of heaven, and convince him that all things
were ordered for the best and the wisest purposes.

"Avaunt, deceiver! (cried the enraged maniac.)--I tell you that Lucy was
unfairly robbed of life,--stolen from my arms, and forced into this
place, where I will watch by her and protect her from farther
violence;--therefore say no more, lest my daring hand should attempt to
pluck the sun from his orbit, or call upon the stars to fall upon your
head, and mine for permitting a star more brilliant than themselves to
fall.--Go on, I say,--bury me deep and sure!--I wish to become a worm,
that I may crawl to the side of Lucy.--She will own her poor distracted
Narford, even in that most loathsome and degraded form."

It is impossible to describe the scene that followed. Many attempts were
made before the poor young man could be dragged from the grave of his
lamented mistress.--At length, he was forcibly taken out,--guarded, and
carried home by some of the weeping spectators.

It was many months before any hopes of his recovery could be cherished.
His reason was still more endangered, and, from that period to the end
of his unfortunate life, he was deranged at times, and by his conduct
appeared as much a lunatic in his intervals of reason. He very soon
squandered all that remained of his fortune, and became a wanderer upon
the earth, never having a settled home, and seldom going into a bed.

He was frequently absent so long, that his friends concluded he was no
more.--He would then return to those scenes which never failed to bring
on a renewal of his unfortunate malady, and would lay whole nights by
the side of Lucy's grave, talking to her with the fame ardour and
enthusiastic affection as if she had been living.

At length Mr. Blandeville, whom he would, as frequently as he saw him in
his fits of insanity, attack with the most pointed and virulent abuse,
took compassion on his sufferings, and settled a sum of money upon him,
to be paid quarterly, sufficiently competent to procure him the
necessaries and many of the comforts of life; placing him in a family
who had been long attached to him, and who continued to take the utmost
care of him to the end of his wretched existence, and by every tender
attention softened, as much as it was in human power, those sorrows
which could only terminate in death.



CHAP. II.


A tale so sad and interesting as that we have recited soon found its way
to the inhabitants of the castle, particularly as De Clavering had been
called in to the assistance of the dying Lucy.

The melancholy scene he witnessed, as we may imagine, made a lasting and
forcible impression upon a heart so tender and susceptible as his, and
he did not fail to make such comments upon it, as he hoped would have
some weight on the minds of those to whom they were addressed; but he
did not succeed in his design; for, whatever Sir Philip de Morney might
think, he chose, and took care to keep to himself, and the Baron not
even condescending to make any observations on a subject in which he did
not appear to feel the least interested, and which he considered as
being too romantic and childish to merit the attention of a person in
his high station.

Lady de Morney and the young people wept for the fate of Narford and
Lucy, while the latter wondered any parents could be so cruel as to
separate such fond and faithful lovers.

Notwithstanding the utmost pains had been taken to conceal the cause of
the Baron's sudden indisposition, it had in part transpired, owing, as
we may presume, to the irresistible propensity, and restless curiosity,
the Baron's servant felt to know all his master's secrets, and his great
eagerness to impart them when known. Some words, which had dropped from
the Baron to his friend Sir Philip, the evening of the alarm, just as
Pedro was ordered out of the room, unfortunately caught his ear, which
was instantaneously applied to the key-hole of the door to obtain
farther intelligence; and, though he could not so exactly understand the
story as to connect it with accuracy, he picked up enough of it to make
him desirous of knowing the whole; and, having heard the word ghost
uttered more than once with great emphasis, it gave him some suspicion
that his master's illness originated from a fright, and the more than
usual earnestness, with which he asserted the truth of what he had been
saying, confirmed Pedro in this opinion.

Thus the half-formed tale was whispered under the most solemn promises
of secresy from one to another, till every servant in the family had
gleaned up something, without any one of them knowing what it meant.

A few nights after, as Pedro was attending his master, when he was going
to bed, he determined to make one more effort to discover the whole
story, and try whether he could not prevail on the Baron to entrust him
with a secret he would have given some part of his wages to find out. He
opened this important business as follows.

"I shall be heartily glad, my lord, when we get from this castle, and
return to your own."

"Why so? (inquired his master:)--my friend, Sir Philip, is very
hospitable, and his family infinitely charming."

"Yes, yes, I dare say, my lord, in your opinion the young ladies are
charming creatures, and I fancy they are not a whit less pleased with
your lordship."

"Do you think so, Pedro? (said the Baron, in one of his most harmonious
tones, his pride and self-love being gratified by his servant's
observation.)--Why, indeed, I had never much reason to complain of the
ladies' coolness."

"It would certainly be surprising if you had, my lord. A man of your
rank, fortune, and figure, is not very likely to meet with coldness; it
is only such a poor ugly dog as I am that must expect to be frowned
upon by the women."

"Oh! then, Pedro, (said the Baron smiling,) a disappointment in love
makes you wish to quit this place."

"No, my lord. I complain of nothing in the day; _that_ generally passes
off very well; but, in the night, there are so many cursed ghosts
clattering about, with such confounded nosies at their heels, both
within and without doors, that a man can neither sleep nor move with
comfort or security."

"Psha! (replied the Baron,) let me hear of no such idle and improbable
tales.--I did not suppose you so great a fool or so dastardly a coward
as to mind the nonsense of women and children."

"As to that, (said Pedro, nettled by the contemptuous manner of the
Baron, and the epithet of coward,) I have as much courage as most men
among _men_; but, when I am forced to mix with ghosts and evil spirits,
I want a little spice of the courage with which your lordship is so
bountifully endowed. I dare say, my lord, you never saw a ghost, and
were never frightened either by the living or the dead."

"What should I be frightened at? (cried the Baron impatiently;) let me
hear no more such impertinent nonsense."

"I hope (muttered Pedro) the next time they come, they will pay you
another visit. It is an honour due to your dignity, and we servants can
very well dispense with their company;" but this was said in so low a
voice, as he shut the door, that it was impossible to be understood by
the imperious master to whom it was addressed. "As much a coward as I
am, (continued he, as he went along,) I was never frightened into a fit
as some folks have been with all their boasted courage and great
knowledge."

Notwithstanding the Baron was so much alarmed by the appearance of his
Isabella, that he could scarcely shake it from his mind a moment, and
remained in a state of anxiety and terror, yet it was impossible he
should be any longer blind to the dejection of Roseline, or insensible
of her cold indifference. If she met him with a smile, it was visibly
the smile of anguish. She sometimes appeared to avoid him, and more than
once had made an effort to leave him at the very instant he was
addressing her in one of his fondest and most impassioned speeches.--Sir
Philip was his friend; on him he had conferred many favours: it was both
his interest and inclination to bring about an union between him and his
daughter. It was possible he might have deceived him as to the real
situation of her heart;--the thought was too alarming to his feelings
and his pride to be easily got rid of. Roseline was often absent, and
that for several hours together: it looked suspicious. He would no
longer trust either the father or the daughter; but, with the assistance
of his man Pedro, who was a shrewd fellow at finding out a secret, he
would endeavour to discover whether he was not right in his conjecture
of having a rival. Sir Philip had certainly promised more for his
daughter than he supposed him authorised to do, or than the young lady
herself was able or willing to ratify: he determined therefore to get
rid of his doubts as soon as possible, and either obtain the prize he
had in view, or withdraw himself for ever from the castle.

Audrey, who had in the mean while picked up a vague unconnected account
of what had happened in respect to the ghost, was eager to tell the
wonderful tale to Roseline, who, though incredulous as she had ever
appeared to all the marvellous tales she had imparted to her, ought to
be informed of this, she thought, as it was so connected with the
history of her intended husband. She luckily met her young lady on the
stairs, put her finger on her lips to imposed silence, and, with much
solemnity in her look and manner, beckoned her to follow her into the
gallery, when, stepping into the first room she came to, she thus
eagerly began.

"Well, miss, it was as I said; the Baron is no better than he should be.
I have waited successfully these three days to tell you so; but you are
grown so preserved and so shy, a body can seldom catch a moment to speak
to you."

"What is the matter, my good Audrey?"

"Matter enough on my conscience, if one believes all one hears! Only
think, miss, of a ghost, that should have been minding its business at
the Baron's own castle, having taken the trouble of following him to
this upon some special business it had to municate. However, travelling
three or four hundred miles is nothing to a ghost, that can, as I have
heard, go at the rate of a thousand miles in a minute, either by land,
sea, or water, it matters not to them; but we could have expenced with
such visitors, God help us! for we have enow such that go with the
castle, and, 'tis said, must do so till the day of judgment."

Roseline, who paid but little attention to Audrey's tales, smiled at
this, and gave her a sly look of incredulity, which convinced her of her
unbelief. This was a kind of claim upon her to confirm it more strongly.

"Well, you may think as you please, Miss Roseline, the Baron was actilly
scared into a fit of arpaplexy at seeing his own wife, all in white, the
very moral of herself when alive; and, what is more, she held a knife
and a lighted a candle in her hand, and shewed him the wound in her
bosom which casioned her death; and she sneered at him, shaked her
ghostly head, grinned, and, as he was found upon the floor, 'tis
supposed she knocked him down, and then went away in a sky-rocket, or a
squib, or some such thing, as belong to those sort of hanimals; for the
noise she made at going off was so great and amendous, it broke the drum
of Pedro's ear, and left the Baron in a state of sensibility."

"I would advise you, Audrey, (said Roseline,) not to give credit to such
improbable tales, and never again to repeat this which you have been
telling me."

"'Tis genevin, miss, I assure you. I had it from Pedro's own mouth; so,
if you are determined to marry a man haunted by the ghost of another
wife, you must abide by the incision. She was certainly sent out of the
world unfairly, or why should she not rest in her grave as quietly as
other folks?"

Roseline, much as she disliked the Baron as a lover, had too much
respect for her father's friend to permit her servant to speak of him so
freely, and to lay so dreadful a crime to his charge, which she
concluded, like the story of the ghost, was merely the invention of
evil-minded people.--She therefore reproved Audrey with a seriousness
that alarmed her, and assured her, if she ever again presumed to mention
Baron Fitzosbourne in terms so disrespectful and degrading, she would
instantly request her father to send her from the castle.

The prating Abigail, finding her young lady really displeased, chose to
alter her tone.--To be sure she might have been wrong informed; the
world was a wicked place, and some people were sadly entreated in
it:--the Baron was a gentleman,--a powerful fine gentleman it was
successively hard to be belied;--no one could expence with that:--he was
a lord into the bargain, notwithstanding his methodicalness, had some
good qualities, and, for certain, was as fine a pice of 'tiquity as any
that hung up in the great hall, and looked as antic as the old walls
covered with ivory.--Roseline made no answer to this curious eulogium,
and Audrey very soon took herself away.

The Baron was not long in determining how to proceed. He became resolute
to satisfy his doubts respecting his having a rival. It was neither
improbable, nor unlikely, that some of the young officers, stationed in
or about the castle, might have designs inimical to his. The lady
herself might have favoured their pretences unknown to her father; and,
if so, he should run some risk in making her his wife.--The thought was
too painful and degrading to be supported, and the critical situation of
affairs would not admit of longer deliberation.

The month was on the very eve of terminating, at the expiration of which
Sir Philip had promised him the hand of his daughter; yet the young
lady was not more conciliating, or less coy and distant in her
behaviour to him, than she had been the first day of their meeting.
Pedro was summoned, and for some time was closeted with his master. He
was promised a liberal reward if he could get into the good graces of
the female servants, and make himself master of the young lady's
secrets; luckily for our heroine, she had not made a confidant of any
one of them.

This Pedro undertook, as he had already began to make love to Audrey,
who, in her moments of conceding tenderness, had told him all she knew,
making some additions of her own; but the whole amounted to but little
more than--her young lady was strangely altered: it might be, her love
for the Baron had produced this change; but, for her part, she could not
think it possible for any one to like such an old frampled figure.

The Baron next proposed that Pedro should accompany him, in taking a
ramble about the castle, after the family had retired to rest, to
reconnoitre the premises, and learn, if possible, from what quarter they
were most exposed to danger. He determined to explore all the secret
passages, for he could not help cherishing suspicions that lovers might
be admitted, and intrigues carried on, unknown to the most watchful and
careful parent; and to what but the prevailing influence of a favoured
rival could he impute the uncommon and increasing coldness of Roseline?

It was not to be wondered at that the Baron was alarmed, for the conduct
of his daughter had not escaped the eyes of Sir Philip, who, chiefly
displeased with what he termed her obstinacy and caprice, in order to
compel her to his purpose, had, notwithstanding he promised to drop the
subject for a month, found it necessary to caution her to be more guarded
and respectful in her behaviour, at the same time assuring her he would
not survive the disappointment of his hopes, in seeing her united to his
friend; adding another horrid threat, that, if she betrayed his design,
in that moment she would terminate her father's existence.

This dreadful sentence at once determined the fate of the unhappy
Roseline, and, having no alternative left, she instantly promised to give
her hand to the Baron, and sacrifice her own happiness to preserve the
life of her father, on which she knew that of her mother depended. Her
brothers and sisters too! how could she support the thought of depriving
them of a father's protection, and become herself a parricide!--Her own
sufferings would be but short;--their's might be continued through a long
and weary pilgrimage.

Her father, satisfied with her promise, retired, and left her to recover
herself. Then it was she recollected her engagement, and thought of the
prisoner. Her resolution faltered, and reason tottered on its throne.

The dreadful fate she was preparing for him,--the distress her loss and
inconstancy would inflict on the interesting object, dearer to her than
life, or ten thousand worlds, tortured her to distraction, and shook her
whole frame: the blood of life receded from her heart for a few moments,
and she fell to the earth.

Soon however she recovered to a more perfect sense of her miseries: she
wrung her hands;--she would see her Walter;--she would continue to do so
till she became the property of him whom she detested, and could never
love, and who, she fervently prayed, might be deprived of claiming the
rights of a husband, by her being snatched from his embraces by the
friendly hand of death, a rival, which, if he did not fear, he could
neither injure not subdue; and she should have the delightful, the
soul-consoling satisfaction of descending to the grave a spotless victim
to her love of Walter. Her spirit would perhaps be permitted to guard him
from danger, and watch his footsteps, while he remained on earth, and in
heaven she could meet and claim him as her own.

These thoughts, romantic as they appear in the eye of reason and
experience, had a wonderful effect upon her mind, and restored it in some
degree to its usual tone and composure. She became more resigned to her
fate, and to the above-mentioned determinations added another, namely,
that, before she became a wife, she would write to her unfortunate lover,
and explain the motives that had induced her to break her engagement with
him, sufficiently to exculpate her from blame, prevent his execrating and
hating the name of Roseline, and if possible still to preserve his
esteem. Edwin should be the messenger she would entrust with her letter.
These weighty matters settled in the only manner that could make them
conformable to the present state of her feelings, she resolved silently
and without complaining to yield to a sentence from which, however unjust
and arbitrary, she knew there could be appeal, no chance of a reprieve.

Her determination and unconditional consent were soon made known to the
Baron by his delighted and exulting friend, who now ventured a few gentle
reproaches for the little confidence that had been placed in his word, and
the injustice which had been shewn to his zeal. The Baron received this
intelligence with unaffected pleasure,--apologized for his lover-like
doubts, which had originated from the superior merits of the beloved
object, and the disparity of years, which some ladies might have
considered as an objection to an union taking place.

Superb dresses were to be ordered for the bride, new carriages built,
and the lawyers set to work with all possible expedition; for, as
Roseline had stipulated for no certain time being allowed her, to
prepare for the awful change which was to take place in the situation,
her father, eager to put it beyond the power of any earthly contingency
to disappoint his wishes, availed himself of the omission, and
determined to hurry matters as much as possible. In fact, the horror of
her father's vow had impressed itself so deeply on the mind of Roseline,
and introduced such a train of distracting images, as lessened the
apprehension of what might happen to herself.

It was now publicly said, that the important event was very soon to take
place, and the joyous bustle which succeeded plainly shewed, the report
was not without foundation. The surprise and consternation of Edwin are
not to be described; he sought and obtained an interview with his
sister, who, without absolutely betraying her promise to her father, or
explaining how her consent had been extorted, said enough to convince
him that compulsion, in some shape or other, had been made use of to
force her into measures so entirely repugnant to her feelings, that he
feared would involve her in irretrievable wretchedness, and he took his
resolutions accordingly.

The enamoured lover, after hearing such unexpected and pleasant
intelligence from his friend, requested an audience with the lovely
arbitress of his fate. He was accordingly admitted.

Roseline made no attempt to deny having given her consent to become his
wife; but the freezing coldness of her manner, and the continued
dejection still visible on her artless and expressive countenance,
served to increase his doubts; and, so far was it from exciting his
compassion, it awakened his pride, confirmed his suspicions, and roused
them into action: but, as he had no clue to guide him, and could make no
discovery sufficiently conclusive to fix his jealously on any particular
object, he was under the necessity of trusting to chance, and his own
unremitting endeavours, to unravel the mystery he suspected. Actuated by
a sullen kind of resentment, he determined at all events to avail
himself of the power thrown into his hands to obtain his desires,
resolving, if ever he discovered she loved any man in preference to
himself, to sacrifice the detested object of her regard to the just
vengeance of an injured husband.

A few nights after, a favourable opportunity presenting itself, the
restless Baron, accompanied by his man Pedro, who had undertaken to
conduct him about those parts of the castle contrived to defeat the
designs of men when they came with any hostile intentions, but which
might be favourable to those of an artful lover, began his silent
perambulation.

After descending from the battlements, which he had cautiously pace
over, looking into every place he thought likely to conceal the rival he
expected to find, he returned by a different route, and accidentally
went down the winding stairs of the South tower. The door, leading to
the prisoner's apartment, he passed in silence, supposing it a
lodging-room belonging to the guards, or some of the domestics.--When,
however, he came to the bottom of the stairs; turning to look under a
kind of arch-way that seemed to communicate with some other apartments,
he was startled, and his doubts received farther confirmation from
seeing a door, which led to the dungeon, standing open,--a circumstance
that served to convince the Baron all was not right, as those places
were in general kept well secured, not only to guard against danger, but
to prevent their being seen, as it often happened the safety of the
castle depended entirely upon the secret contrivances for their internal
defence being unknown to all but the governor.

It happened unfortunately, that Albert, who, after he knew the family
were in bed, had descended from his own room in order to fetch something
which his master wanted from his former habitation, not supposing he was
in danger of being followed by any one, had incautiously neglected to
shut this door after him. The Baron, not doubting but he was on the eve
of making some important discovery, ordered his man to guard the door,
to prevent any one escaping while he proceeded in his search.

Albert, luckily hearing some one enter the passage after him, had
likewise his suspicions, though of a very different nature. He concluded
no one could come to that place with any good design, and trembled lest
some discovery had been made respecting the removal of his master, which
might expose him to farther persecutions, and bring on a renewal of his
former miseries. Whoever it might be, he determined, if possible, to
find out their intention.

Edwin had acquainted him with every circumstance he knew in regard to
the distressing situation of his sister, and they had agreed not to
inform the unfortunate Walter of the impending storm which threatened
him with the deprivation of a treasure far dearer to him than his own
existence, and which they concluded would at one fatal blow rob him not
only of every hope that he had so long and fondly cherished, but even of
life itself.

Albert was soon convinced that he person who had followed him was no
other than the haughty imperious Baron, the rival of his beloved master,
and the destroyer of that fabric on which he had rested his security for
happiness. He carried a lighted candle in one hand, and a drawn sword in
the other, and appeared wondrously curious about something which Albert,
not in the humour to put the most favourable construction on his
actions, concluded must be mischief.--Thus put upon his guard, he
cautiously locked the door which led to his master's former apartments,
and, as he was well acquainted with every avenue, each turning and
winding in the curious labyrinths of these cheerless regions, he had no
fears for his own safety, knowing that it was easy to elude the search
of one who was a stranger to them; but, as he did not suppose the Baron
(let the business which brought him there be what it might) came
entirely unattended, it behoved him to act with the utmost
circumspection.

In a little time he observed the Baron had entered the damp unwholesome
square that was surrounded by the still more gloomy and unfriendly
habituations contrived to render life a worse punishment than the most
cruel death. He looked carefully into every on of them, and, coming to
that in which stood the coffin before mentioned in this narrative, and
seeing the black cloth, by which it had once been covered, now hanging
in mouldering and tattered fragments around it, a silent memento of that
destroying hand which spares neither the dead nor the living, urged, as
we may suppose, by one of those sudden irresistible impulses which we
are often actuated to obey against the dictates of sober reason, he
stept in, and in an attitude of thoughtful meditation, struck with the
horrid scenes which till now his eyes had never encountered, unknowing
what he did, he placed one foot on the top of the sad receptacle, on
which his looks were bent in serious reflection, when, awful and
dreadful to relate, a deep groan issued from the coffin, and a voice
exclaimed,--"Forbear, you hurt me!--you will crush my bones to powder!"

The Baron started, and flew back so violently, that he struck his head
against the opposite wall.--A moment's reflection, however, served to
inspire him with more resolution, and to convince him that this could
not be real;--it must be the wild effects of his own distempered
imagination;--the dead were never heard to speak, and why a voice from
the grave should be sent to him he could not comprehend. He determined
therefore not to be alarmed, not driven from his purpose; when, in the
next instant, the same voice, as if it knew the thoughts which floated
in his mind, addressed him a second time in a rather louder and more
authoritative tone from another part of the dungeon, and warned him not
to interrupt the peaceful slumbers of the dead. Again called upon, it
could not be delusion. Some one,--a lover perhaps, was concealed in that
coffin, from which he was to be frightened like a school-boy. In an
instant, with one violent blow, he crushed the mouldring abode of its
insensible inhabitant to pieces, and a heap of bones were then presented
to his sight, which had once belonged to a creature like himself,
endowed perhaps with feelings more generous and humane than those which
dwelt in the bosom of the man who had thus insulted its humble remains.

"Cause my bones to be decently put in the grave! (said the voice a
second time from the coffin,) and from me fear nothing, but tremble for
yourself!"--Now rendered desperate by terror, and shocked at the
recollection of the scene he had encountered, the Baron eagerly wished
to get from a situation so calculated to instill every kind of fear into
the mind, if unaccompanied by the still greater horrors which had so
wonderfully occurred to increase them; but, well knowing, if he were
discovered in such a situation, it must subject him to various
suspicions, among which those of a treasonable nature might probably be
numbered.--He determined to brave it out, and retire without making any
alarm, not doubting but an explanation would equally expose him to
censure and ridicule.

As a last effort, however, he mustered courage enough to inquire in a
tremulous tone, "What is it I hear?--If a man, let him come forth, and
declare his wrongs; I will undertake to defend and right them."

"Can the man (replied his mysterious companion, who now appeared to be
close to him) expect being believed when he offers to revenge wrongs of
which he never heard complaint? Can he who oppresses others, and is deaf
to the sufferings of innocence, think to purchase pardon by the
appearance of mercy?--Mend your own heart;--leave this castle:--then the
living and the dead will sleep in peace."

The Baron now shook with terror; and called for no farther explanation,
but, as quickly as his trembling legs could carry him, began to explore
the same way back by which he had gained admittance. Just as he reached
the bottom of those stairs which Edwin and his fair companions had so
often descended to make their benevolent visits to the prisoner, his ear
was again arrested by the same invisible monitor. "Rob not this castle
of its treasure:--search to find one more dear, whom you may render
happy, who long has suffered imprisonment and wrongs."

Again he stopped. The words vibrated on his ear, and then all was
silent. At length he proceeded in his miserable progress, and
distinguished the distant sound of footsteps, which he concluded were
the centinels on guard, and was soon afterwards revived by hearing the
watch proclaim the hour of night. He now eagerly rushed on-wards, and
found, thought Pedro had not deserted his post, he was fast locked in
the arms of sleep, and snoring as soundly as if his weary limbs had
rested on a bed of down. He was awakened by a hearty shake from his
master, and ordered to lead the way to his chamber.

Pedro, glad to be released from an employment for which he had no great
relish, rejoiced at hearing the welcome mandate, and humbly inquired if
he had made any discovery. The answer he received was,--that all was
safe and quiet in the castle, and that he believed his fears and
suspicions had been hastily formed, and had no foundation.

The Baron, however, was not exactly in that state of serenity and
composure of which he endeavoured to assume the appearance.--That
voice!--what could it mean?--from whom, and from what quarter could it
come?--It might be the echo of some one confined in a cell over his
head, or beneath his feet. It could not allude to him, or it might be a
contrivance to alarm him from his purpose; yet, if he mentioned it to
his friend, he would treat it as the delusion of a distempered fancy.

All he could determine upon doing was to hasten the preparations for his
marriage, and, if Roseline should be over-ruled by her father, and give
him her hand with reluctance, the fault would bring it punishment upon
their own heads; but he still hoped that, when once she became his wife,
and saw herself surrounded with splendor, her coy airs would be done
away: she would set a proper value on his love and generosity, and as
Baroness Frizosbourne be the happiest of her sex.--With such consoling
and fallacious hopes he endeavoured to banish his doubts, and compose
himself to rest, and, soon forgetting Isabella, and the warning voice of
his invisible monitor, he sunk into the arms of sleep.



CHAP. III.


Not so soon, nor so easily, did the artless, the devoted Roseline lose
the remembrance of her heart-felt sorrows. Every hour, every moment, as
it fled, brought with it an increase of anguish to her agitated mind.
The most distant idea of an union with the Baron was scarcely to be
borne, as the certainty of it no longer admitted of a doubt, she shrunk
from her own reflections as she would have done from the stroke of
death. To be for ever torn from Walter--to see him no more,--no more to
converse with and soothe the sorrows of that oppressed and solitary
sufferer,--was by far a more insupportable trial than that she was
doomed to endure in her own mind and person.

From the world and its unsatisfactory pleasures she could expect no
resource:--friends she had non whose power could remove her distresses:
her only hope therefore rested on death to release her from persecution,
and the reflection most tormenting to the giddy and happy children of
prosperity, who consider life as their greatest treasure, and over whose
minds a thought of its termination will throw a gloom in the midst of
their gayest moments, proved to our heroine her only consolation. She
now considered the shortness and uncertainty of life as its greatest
blessing, and feared that time, of whom she had often complained for
being so rapid and unmarked in its flight, would now torture her by
moving in a slow and sluggard pace to the close of her days. She
continued, as usual, to make her stolen visits to the prisoner as
opportunities presented themselves; but these visits were not longer
attended with the pleasure of satisfaction. In her own mind she formed a
resolution, even if the consequence should prove fatal to herself, to
attempt obtaining the freedom of the prisoner as soon as she had lost
her own. This she considered merely as an act of humanity and justice,
and would have thought no sacrifice too great, could she have restored
that peace of which she knew her loss would deprive him.

Walter, notwithstanding much pains were taken to prevent his making any
discovery of what passed in the castle, observed so alarming an
alteration in the manners, countenance, and spirits, of Roseline, as led
him to puzzle himself with various conjectures respecting the cause;
but, as he had been often told by Albert many things occurred in the
world to harass and give uneasiness to those who were engaged in its
busy scenes, of which he could form no idea, being a stranger to their
nature, it was impossible for him to judge of their effect. He therefore
determined not to enter on a topic which might wound the feelings of
Roseline, and could not fail proportionably to distress himself; and as
he would, had it been in his power, have prevented her knowing the
slightest pang of sorrow, to her he resolutely remained silent on a
subject in which his heart was so much interested, as seldom to allow
his thinking on any other. To Albert, indeed, he ventured to make known
his tormenting apprehensions; but, as Albert was now guided by the
direction of Edwin, he only returned such evasive answers to his
questions and complaints, as just served to keep hope from sinking into
absolute despondency.

Edwin had reposed an unbounded confidence in De Clavering, De Willows,
and Hugh Camelford, in regard to his sister, and without reserve
informed them of his own engagements with Madeline, who had received the
positive commands of her father to enter on the year of her noviciate.
His situation was now become desperate; the crisis had arrived which
admitted of no alternative. He must either give up the connexion, or
make some effort to secure the prize he had taken such unwearied pains
to obtain. His friends promised secresy and assistance in whatever way
he should find it convenient to put their sincerity to the test. He had
likewise separately introduced them into the apartment of the prisoner,
and if, before they saw him, they found themselves disposed to pity and
respect him, they were now actuated by the personal regard they could
not help feeling in his behalf, which his manners and understanding
failed not to inspire in such liberal minds. Hugh Camelford declared
himself ready to tie in his defence, and to encounter a host of tevils
to procure his freedom.

Preparations were now began, and the day fixed for the wedding. The
marriage ceremony was to be performed in the chapel of the nunnery by
father Anselm, and, as Roseline made no effort to stop or postpone the
proceedings, none but the parties most intimately concerned had an idea
that she felt any reluctance to become a bride.

Edeliza and Bertha were half wild with joy: they were to be met at the
altar by the abbess, Madeline, and Agnes Clifford; the two latter
intended to officiate as bride-maids with the Miss de Morneys.--To
describe the various feelings of the parties would fill a volume.
Suffice it then to say, that Lady de Morney, far from engaging in the
necessary arrangements with pleasure and alacrity, never looked at the
dejected countenance of her daughter without feeling a severe reproof
from the silent monitor which she, like every other mortal, carried in
her bosom. Sir Philip exulted in having managed matter so cleverly as to
carry his point (a point to which the necessity of his circumstances
reduced him) with less difficulty than he expected, and the Baron,
resting satisfied that no woman in her senses could dislike him, or be
insensible to the advantages that an union with a man of his rank and
character would procure her, determined no longer to encourage either
doubts or fears as to her shyness and reluctant compliance. It might, as
her father had asserted, proceed from her inexperience, her love for her
parents, and her ignorance of the world. In this delusion we must for
the present leave him, in order to return to those for whose happiness
we confess ourselves more interested.

Roseline, who was obliged to confine her conflicts chiefly to her own
bosom, saw the preparations going forward with that settled and silent
despair, which, at the moment it evinced her fortitude, would have shewn
to those acquainted with the nature of her feelings that every hope was
precluded.

Edeliza and Bertha were astonished that their sister could see the rich
clothes, and all the paraphernalia of her bridal dress, with such
indifference. The former secretly thought she should not be able to shew
so much composure if she were as soon to give her hand to her favourite
De Willows.

The passion, which this young beauty had cherished in her innocent
bosom, had "grown with her growth, and strengthened with her strength,"
and, lately encouraged to hop meeting an equal return from the
increasing attention of the beloved object, it remained no longer in her
power to conceal her partiality, and De Willows, attached and grateful
for being so flatteringly distinguished, only waited till the marriage
of her sister had taken place to make known his inclinations to Sir
Philip, not less anxious than his lovely enslaver to have his
pretensions authorised by the approbation and consent of her father; but
he was not without his fears that the ambition, which had of late taken
such full possession of the governor's mind, might disapprove his
aspiring to unite himself with a descendant of the De Morneys.

The day before the marriage was to take place, Roseline made several
attempts to enter the prisoner's apartment without being able to
accomplish her purpose. At length she sent to speak with her brother
Edwin in her chamber, and begged of him never to forsake the dear, the
unhappy Walter, when she should be far distant. She then gave him a
letter to deliver to her unfortunate lover as soon as she had left the
castle. Of Madeline she proposed taking leave in person. On her
brother's affairs she dared not trust herself to converse, confessing
that her own distresses rendered her unable to talk, or even think, of
his being as wretched as herself.

Edwin in reply said but little; his mind seemed agitated and employed on
something he did not appear inclined to communicate. He readily agreed
to comply with her request to accompany her for the last time to the
apartment of Walter.

They found the solitary sufferer more composed and more cheerful than
they had seen him for some time; Albert too appeared lively and active.
Roseline was welcomed by her lover in a language far more expressive
than words, and as perfectly understood: his eyes rested on her pallid
and death-like countenance, with a fond, yet chastened delight, which
she thought she had never observed in them before; he took her hand,
pressed it to his lips, and looked up to her with that kind of adoration
which he would have felt in the presence of an angel. He did not seem to
notice the dejection which Roseline every moment expected would have
occasioned some tender inquiries. Edwin began to converse on indifferent
subjects; but the silent anguish he saw his sister vainly endeavouring
to conceal rendered him very unfit for the office he had undertaken. The
lovers were never less inclined to talk. The prisoner had taken the hand
of Roseline on her first entrance, and retained the willing captive
without its making one struggle to regain its freedom, till she was
startled by a tear that fell upon it.

Nature, how powerful, how all-subduing, is thy simple but prevailing
influence! The tenderest speech could not have said half so much as this
precious and expressive tear.--Till this moment out heroine had
preserved the appearance of fortitude; but now the mask fell to the
ground, and she could no longer keep up the character of heroism she had
assumed. By a kind of convulsive pressure of his hand, he perceived she
noticed his silent agitations, and it acted with the rapidity of
electricity on feelings which he found could no longer be restrained.

"My dear Walter, (said Roseline, giving him a look that penetrated to
his heart,) why will you thus distress yourself and me? You know not,
you can never know, how dear you are to the ill-fated Roseline de
Morney, whom ere long you will perhaps execrate, and wish you had never
seen; but forbear, in pity forbear to load me with a curse, that would
indeed destroy me." Suddenly recollecting herself, she added,--"Walter
will not be so unjust!--He will pity, pardon, and respect, her, who will
not be able to forgive herself if she make him wretched."

"Wretched! (exclaimed the agitated lover,)--Can I ever be wretched while
you thus kindly condescend to sooth my sorrows,--thus generously confess
that I am dear to you, and possessed of your heart?--Can it be in the
power of fate to make be otherwise than blest?"

It was too much. Roseline sunk on the bosom of her lover, and at that
moment secretly wished to breathe her last sigh, and yield up her
spotless life, in those arms which now perhaps for the last time
encircled her.

The situation of Roseline caused a general alarm. Walter, frantic with
terror, clasped her tenderly to his heart, and called upon her to speak.
It was some time before she recovered, and Edwin, who saw the necessity
of putting an end to an interview so dangerous and painful, in a voice
between jest and earnest, exclaimed, "Indeed, my good friends, I have no
relish for seeing such scenes as these performed, particularly when they
do so little credit to the performers. These high-wrought feelings may
be very fine, but excuse me for saying they are very silly. Recollect,
my dear Walter, that our Roseline advances but slowly in her progress
towards convalesence; therefore, in her present state of weakness, an
interview like this must prove very prejudicial to her recovery."

"Take her away, (cried Walter,) that I may not become a murderer; only
before we part, let me hear my pardon pronounced."

He threw himself at the feet of his weeping mistress, who, giving him
her hand, said, with a convulsive sob, "There could be no doubt of
pardon where no offence had been committed."

Edwin availed himself of this moment as the most favourable to withdraw.
He took the reluctant hand of his sister, and with a gentle compulsion
drew her away, saying, he would not tax his feelings by staying any
longer.

Roseline, again, and almost unknowing what she did, grasped the hand of
her lover, and, in a voice too low to be perfectly understood, murmured
some tender admonitions, which we doubt not were intelligible to the ear
of love, but, to an indifferent person, they might as well have been
expressed in Arabic.

Till the door shut Walter from her sight, her eyes were fixed immoveably
upon his face, with such a look of anguish, as may be earlier imagined
than described; and, when she could see him no longer, she thought the
deprivation of life would have been the greatest blessing heaven could
bestow on one so hopeless, and, had it not been for her father's
dreadful threat of destroying himself, she would have thrown herself at
the Baron's feet, and informed him how little she deserved to be his
wife who had bestowed her love upon another.

Edwin accompanied his sister to her apartment, but had too much
consideration, too much respect for her sorrows, to break in upon
moments sad but precious. Happily however for this amiable unfortunate,
she was not long permitted to indulge her heart-breaking reflections in
solitude.--Her mother and sisters requested her presence to consult her
taste, and hear her opinion on some of the preparations going forwards.

Sir Philip, from the time he had extorted her unwilling consent, had
carefully avoided another private interview, but had taken every
opportunity of caressing her in the presence of her friends, frequently
making use of various pretences to get the intended bridegroom out, in
order to draw off his attention from Roseline, constantly trembling lest
she should appeal to his generosity, or disgust him with her coldness.

Prohibited by her father's cruel vow from applying to any one, she had
no alternative but to yield to her destiny, and combat her sorrows,
unconsoled and unsupported, except by her distracted brother, who was
unfortunately nearly as hopeless as herself. Thus environed with misery,
thus entangled in the subtle toils of cruelty and oppression, she was at
times led to think she should be less wretched if her fate were
determined, concluding, from the torturing sensation of her present
feelings, she could not long support them.

The bustle, hurry, and confusion, which pervaded every department of the
castle, afforded non of its inhabitants much time for reflection or
conversation. Lady de Morney wished to question her daughter, but was
afraid of making the attempt.--She found it difficult however to obey
the mandate of her husband, which, though unnatural and unreasonable,
was absolute; therefore, after some few conflicts with herself, she
thought it better not to contend a point of so much consequence.

She saw the internal wretchedness of her daughter with the tenderest
regret, and shuddered whenever she remarked her cold and freezing manner
as soon as the Baron approached to pay her those attentions due from a
lover. She took every opportunity of giving her approbation of her
conduct, and by a thousand nameless proofs of tenderness shewed a
commiserating sympathy, which did not pass unobserved by Roseline, who,
thought she received these marks of affections in silence, determined to
avail herself of her mother's tenderness by endeavouring to interest her
in favour of the man to whom she had given her heart.

The dreaded morning came, but it came enveloped in a gloom which exactly
corresponded with the feelings, spirits, and prospects, of the mourning
bride. The sun arose invisible to mortal sight, as if unwilling to
witness a deed his brightest rays could not enliven. Dark lowering
clouds threatened to touch the turrets of the castle. The rain descended
in torrents. It appeared to the disconsolate Roseline that the very
heavens wept in pity to her sorrows; the thought was romantic, but it
was consoling.

Melancholy, and even madness itself, are said to have their pleasures,
and the most wretched sometimes steal comfort from the delusions of
imagination. Happy is it that such resources are found to sweeten the
bitter draught so many are compelled to drink!--

Roseline submitted to be dressed as the taste of her attendants chose to
direct. She was silent and passive, and made no remarks on the elegance
of her attire, or the brilliancy of the ornaments with which she was
decorated. When summoned to breakfast she attempted no delay, and on her
entrance was met by the Baron, who addressed her in a very tender and
respectful speech, as he gallantly led her to her seat. She would have
assumed a smile had she been able to command her features. She would
have said something, but speech was denied. Indeed, non of the company
appeared in a humour to converse. Lady de Morney was sad and sick at
heart, and Sir Philip himself, in the very moment he saw the
gratification of his wishes in so fair a train to be realized, felt
neither satisfied nor happy.



CHAP. IV.


A message arrived from father Anselm to say he was ready, and waiting
their pleasure in the chapel of the nunnery. The carriages were instantly
order to the door. Roseline, more dead than alive, was handed into the
first, and followed by her mother and two sisters. The Baron was
accompanied by Sir Philip and Edwin in the second. They soon arrived at
the chapel, and were met there by the abbess, Madeline, and Agnes de
Clifford. Several of the friars and monks also attended. After stopping
a few moments to pay and received the proper compliments, the Baron took
the trembling hand of his intended bride, and led her to the alter.
Father Anselm opened his book, and began the awful ceremony, when the
whole party were thrown into the utmost consternation by the door, which
led from the subterranean passage to the castle, being suddenly burst
open, and Walter, with a drawn sword in his hand, his eyes flashing
fire, followed by Albert, instantly rushed up to the altar, and, calling
to father Anselm in a tone of frenzy, bade him desist or proceed at
his peril.

"The hand of Roseline (he cried) is mine, and mine only! I come to claim
my affianced bride, and accursed be the wretch who shall attempt to
wrest her from me!"

The Baron sunk down, exclaiming,--"Again that dreadful spectre!--Save
me, save me, from it!"

The book dropped from the hands of the venerable priest, and the
terrified and astonished Roseline fainted in the arms of her mother,
while the countenance of every one assembled was marked with surprise
and consternation, but the attitude, the expressive face of Walter, as
he stood gazing on the party, caught every eye, and excited universal
admiration. His dress was scarlet, richly laced: in his hat he wore a
plume of white feathers, fastened by a clasp of diamonds, his tall
elegant form and fine turned limbs presenting a subject for the
statuary, which few could copy in a stile that would have done justice
to the original.

Roseline for some minutes remained in a state of total insensibility,
but the Baron soon recovered sufficient recollection to look around him;
his eyes were again fixed on the prisoner with a look rather of
tenderness than displeasure.

"Tell me, youth, (he cried,) whence comest thou?--to whom dost thou
belong? Those features are as familiar to my astonished sight as they
were once deeply engraved on my heart. Hadst thou worn any other
countenance but that of my once-loved Isabella, my sword ere now should
have taught thee to respect those sacred rites thou hast so rudely
interrupted, but that is the shield which still protects thee, and by
some invisible influence withholds my arm from punishing thy daring
intrusion.

"Then hesitate no longer, my lord, to execute your proposed
vengeance!--(said Walter, gracefully bending one knee to the ground, and
baring his bosom, as if to receive the uplifted sword of the
Baron.)--Roseline is mine, and were there ten thousand swords ready to
pierce my bosom, I would thus publicly proclaim my right."

"How!--what is the meaning of all this? (said the Baron, looking with
indignation at the astonished Sir Philip;)--truth appears to dwell on
the tongue of this youthful stranger.--But why have I been thus grossly
deceived?--why brought into this sacred place to be made a fool of by a
boy and a girl?"

"You must inquire of that same boy, (replied his friend,) of whose very
honourable pretensions I never heard till this moment. Why do you
hesitate, my lord?--why vent your rage on me, when it would be more
justly and properly employed in punishing a madman who has dared to
dispute your claim to the hand of my daughter?"

"His countenance still protects him, (said the Baron.)--Order some of
your people to take the youth into safe custody till this matter can be
investigated."

Father Anselm now inquired if he might go on with the ceremony.

"Not till I have been heard, (cried Walter,) though you tear me piece-meal,
shall you proceed!"

Roseline had recovered, but she was still surrounded by her female
friends. The voice of Walter operated like a charm. She gently raised
her eyes to his face, and begged he would be patient; then, addressing
her father, entreated he would not permit any one to hurt him: "I, and I
alone, (said the generous maid,) ought to suffer.--My dear Walter,
(cried she,) contend no longer for me: think not of risking a life which
is too precious to be so madly thrown away. Let every circumstance which
led to the painful occurrences of this morning be openly and candidly
explained, and let us rest our cause on the justice and humanity of the
Baron, father Anselm, and Sir Philip de Morney. I wish not to make my
appeal before any other tribunal."

The Baron, who now for the first time discovered Albert among the crowd,
(for the contest had brought all the inhabitants of the nunnery into the
chapel,) started as if he had seen a spectre. He became more agitated
than before, and requested they might return to the castle, than an
investigation of this strange business might instantly take place, for
his own heart informed him there was some awful mystery to be explained.

Albert approached him: "My lord, (said he,) till this moment I have
supposed you cruel, unjust, and unfeeling: my heart reproaches me for my
injustice. I begin to see through the cloud which has too long enveloped
me. I suspect we have been equally deceived,--alike the dupes of
artifice and guilt."

"Art thou not Albert? (exclaimed the Baron,)--the confidential servant
of the Lady Blanch, and the favourite of her brother?"

"I am the same unfortunate person, my lord, (replied Albert;) and am not
only ready to account for my being here, but to give you all the
intelligence in my power respecting some very interesting circumstances
with which till this moment I never supposed you unacquainted. My dear
sir, (said he, turning to his agitated master,) endeavour to be more
composed:" for the countenance of Walter was too faithful an index to
his mind to enable him to conceal the conflicting passions which
tortured his bosom, and, while his attention was divided in observing
the Baron and Roseline, he seemed sinking beneath his own agonizing
emotions.

Father Anselm, the lady abbess, and two bride-maids, were requested to
return with the party to the castle. A guard was ordered to take charge
of Walter and his servant, but he informed them the order might be
countermanded; for, being a prisoner, he had requested three gentlemen
from the castle to attend him, lest he should subject himself to the
suspicion of designing to escape.

De Clavering, De Willows, and Camelford, were now summoned from the
passage, where they had impatiently waited to see how this strange and
unaccountable business would terminate. This occasioned further surprise
to Sir Philip, who restrained his rising displeasure with only desiring
them to take charge of the gentleman they had chosen to escort, and to
be ready to appear when called upon.

Before Walter left the chapel, he approached the Baron, and presented
him his sword. "To you, my lord, (said he,) I am impelled to yield a
weapon which never yet was stained with human blood, and at this moment
I feel grateful joy that it was not aimed against your life. Most
ardently do I desire to prove myself deserving of your friendship, and
worthy of your esteem."

The Baron returned his sword, and requested him to wear it. "You have
already obtained your wish, (said he, smiling,) and that I must confess
against my inclination; but there is something about you speaks a
language I find difficult to explain, and cannot comprehend."

Every countenance was brightened up with hope and expectation at this
reply of the Baron, except that of Sir Philip de Morney. Even the cold
and frigid father Anselm, who, in his long seclusion from the world,
had, as it may naturally be supposed, lost many of those generous and
tender feelings which a more unrestrained intercourse with his
fellow-creatures would have helped to cherish, seemed animated and
enlivened. It was agreed that Walter and his friends, accompanied by
Edwin, should return the same way as they had entered, and the rest of
the party be conveyed in the carriages.--After proper apologies being
made to father Anselm, and some of his brethren, for the unnecessary
trouble they had so undesignedly occasioned, they returned to the
castle,--with what different feelings than those they carried with them
to the chapel I must leave my readers to imagine.

No sooner were the party assembled in the drawing-room, than the Baron
requested that the young man and his servant might be summoned to give
some account of themselves, and explain their motive for their daring
and unprecedented proceedings; at the same time, observing in the
countenance of Sir Philip de Morney indignation, resentment, and
disappointment, he addressed him in the following words.

"I should not, Sir Philip, presume to take the liberty I have now done,
did I not, from the nature of our intended connexion, consider myself as
authorised to act in this castle as if I were in my own. I am afraid
some very dark transactions have been carried on which it is necessary
should be investigated, and be brought to light. A mysterious cloud
hangs over us, which I am impatient to disperse. Woe be to that man who
has assisted to deceive me!"

"If you doubt my honour in what has passed between us, (retorted Sir
Philip,) you do me injustice, and I shall, at any time and in any place,
be ready to meet you upon whatever terms you please. If my daughter has
deceived me,--if she has dared to encourage the hopes of an
adventurer,--a maniac,--a traitor,--let her remember that her crime will
not be her only punishment, nor will the sacrifice of her father's life
be a sufficient atonement for the disgrace and dishonour she has
entailed on the name of De Morney."

Roseline burst into tears, in which she was joined by every one of her
female companions, who trembled lest some dreadful catastrophe should
close the heart-rending scenes of this eventful morning.

"It may be happy for us both, (said the no longer haughty Baron, whose
complicated feelings had produced an instantaneous revolution among his
contending passions,) that at this moment I do not find myself inclined
to engage in any farther hostilities, till I am better satisfied the
affront and disappointment were intended for me. If I have been meanly
and wilfully deceived, my sword shall revenge me upon those, and those
only, who are found guilty, and dearly shall they atone for the
injustice they have practised; therefore, till matters are cleared up, I
am content to be silent on a subject which, I hesitate not to declare,
appears to me inexplicable."

Roseline, who would have given the world to have obtained permission to
retire during the awful investigation which was going to take place,
dared not make an attempt to withdraw, as she saw by the eyes of her
father his rage and indignation were only kept from breaking out by the
determined manner and authoritative tone of the Baron, who did not
appear in a humour, notwithstanding his language spoke the spirit of
peace and candour, to put up with any contradiction. Again he expressed
the most restless impatience to be confronted with the parties, who had
so unaccountably deprived him of his young bride, by stopping the
marriage-ceremony.

In a few moments the painful suspense was ended by the eager and
intrepid entrance of Walter, the three companions of his enterprise, and
his humble friend: they were desired to be seated. Walter and Albert,
however, continued standing, requesting they might be permitted to do
so, till they should be acquitted or condemned. The Baron instantly
called upon Albert to perform his promise, and, if he were really the
honest man he pretended to be, to step forwards, and without fear or
prevarication, before the present party, inform them who it was he
acknowledged as his master, and prove the justice of those claims which
he had made to the hand of his elected bride, and what were his
inducements for the preventing of a marriage, sanctioned by the lady's
own consent, and the unequivocal approbation of her parents."

"I am happy, my lord, (replied Albert, in a firm, manly, and
unembarrassed, tone of voice,) to be thus generously and publicly called
upon. Unpractised in either guilt or deceit, and having nothing to fear
from my own self-reproaches, I hail this moment, awful as I own it
appears, as by far the happiest of my life. But, before we proceed any
farther in this important business, I must entreat your lordship to
perform an act of tender and atoning justice, for which I trust you will
find an approving advocate in your own heart, and require little farther
testimony than the receipt carried in a countenance which you have
already confessed has stamped its validity upon every tender feeling of
your soul.

"My dear, dear sir, (continued he, addressing himself to the trembling
Walter,) throw yourself at the feet of the noble Baron; for, as sure as
you now live to claim that distinguished honour, you are his son, his
only lawful heir!--the darling offspring of the Lady Isabella
Fitzosbourne, who, to give you life, yielded up her own."

Walter in an instant was at the feet of the Baron, and in another the
interested and astonished party saw them locked in each other's arms, at
the same moment the agitated Roseline sunk into those of her mother. In
a little time every one became more composed, and the Baron, resolutely
struggling to acquire a greater degree of firmness in order to obtain
farther information, exclaimed, in a tone of voice that evinced the
nature of his feelings, "You are, you must be my son!--Nature, at first
sight of you, asserted her just, her powerful claims: yes, you are the
precious gift of my sainted Isabella,--the only pledge of a love that
was pure and gentle as her own heart and mind! but how, where, by what
cruel policy and unfeeling hand have you thus long been concealed from
my sight?--how prevented from enjoying the advantages of your
birth-right, while I was tortured with the belief that death had robbed
my of my son?"

"Of all these matters, my lord, Albert can fully inform you, (said
Walter.) He is much better able to explain them than I can possibly be,
who till this hour did not know I should ever be folded in a father's
arms; yet to me Albert has been a father, a friend, and a guardian. For
my sake he has voluntarily buried himself for years in the gloomy and
narrow confines of a dungeon; for my sake suffered the punishment of the
most atrocious offender without being guilty of a single crime. If you
therefore condescend to love and acknowledge me for a son, you will feel
for him the affection of a brother. To you, my lord, I am indebted for
life,--to this, my second father, I owe its preservation."

"Generous man! (cried the enraptured Baron, who was charmed at hearing
the noble sentiments of his son,) come to my arms, and command my power
to serve you!"

Albert would have knelt at his feet, but was prevented by a warm embrace
from putting his design in execution. Walter was now seated by the side
of his happy father, who, observing that his eye wandered in search of
something, with anxious tenderness, soon guessed the cause, and,
instantly rising from his chair, took his hand, and led him to the
weeping Roseline, who, smiling through her tears, instantly proved how
warmly she participated in the happiness. Walter, though the
acknowledged son of Baron Fitzosbourne, was still a son of nature: he
sunk at her feet, and in the unadulterated language of rapture and
affection, exclaimed.--"For a moment like this, who is there would not
suffer years of anguish! Look down, my gentle friend, my benefactress
and protecting angel,--my first, my last, and only love, and let me in
your smiles find a confirmation of my bliss! Let them convince me that
all I see and hear is real; for I am almost tempted to think it must
be the effects of enchantment, of the delusions of a distempered
imagination."

Roseline, no longer awed by the presence of her father, no longer able
to conceal the joy which revelled in her bosom, gave him her hand, which
he instantly conveyed to his lips. Albert, who carefully watched every
change in the countenance of his beloved master, trembled for the
consequence of such new and high-wrought feelings, lest they should be
attended with danger to a mind which had so recently been sunk in a
state of the lowest dejection. With the approbation of the party, who
saw the necessity of the design, he prevailed upon him to retire for a
few minutes, in order to acquire sufficient fortitude to hear his own
story recited with composure. This request being seconded by his father
and Roseline, he immediately complied, leaving the company so much
charmed with the whole of his behaviour, through the interesting scene
we have described, and so captivated with his figure, good sense, and
sweetness of manners, that surprise was lost in admiration. As soon as
the two friends had withdrawn, (for, if ever any one deserved the name
of friend, that title belonged to the worthy Albert,) Sir Philip de
Morney approached the Baron, and with some little embarrassment
congratulated him on the wonderful discovery which had so recently and
unexpectedly taken place.--He then entered on his own defence, with the
candour and ease of one, who, if he had erred, it proceeded from
ignorance.

"That I have undesignedly been made an agent in the diabolical injustice
practised against your son, by keeping him confined in this castle, I
beg your lordship's pardon, and entreat you would use your influence to
procure the forgiveness of him whom I have innocently injured. He was
brought to this place under a fictitious name, and, with the false
pretence of being at times deranged in his intellects, I was told he was
the illegitimate offspring of a person inimical to the plans of
government, and easily wrought upon by his associates to enter into any
scheme which the enemies of his country might throw in his way; at the
same time it was asserted that he was particularly disliked by a great
person in high office. All that was required of me was to keep him and
his servant in close confinement,--to suffer on one to see or converse
with them, and to convey no letters nor messages beyond the walls of the
castle. This request came from one with whom I looked upon as a
respectable character. He had previously obtained permission of the
noble owner of the castle for the use of its dungeons, but who, as well
as myself, must have been led into the practice of so glaring a piece of
tyranny by the designs and misrepresentations of those whose interest
led them to keep your lordship in ignorance of your son's being alive.
In justice I ought to inform you, that I was ordered to supply them
liberally with every necessary accommodation the nature of their
situation would admit, and was not restricted, if I found them quiet and
submissive, from allowing them some occasional indulgences. I take shame
to myself when I own, that, after I had seen them safely lodged in their
dungeon, and had forbidden any one attempting to go near or hold
conversation with them, I never visited them more than once, concluding
they were two dangerous and worthless people, who were receiving the
reward of their base actions, and contenting myself with only making
such inquiries as the duties of my situation imposed. Indeed I thought
very little about them, and waited with composure for the farther
explanation promised by my friend, when we met to settle the accounts
for their board, &c. How the youthful prisoner became acquainted with my
daughter, or by what means he obtained an introduction to her, I am to
this moment totally ignorant."

"If it can be as well accounted for (said father Anselm) who for some
time had remained silent with surprise,) as you have accounted for the
part you were prevailed upon to act, I think the most rigid judge will
find but little to condemn."

"I have no fears (replied the Baron) but their actions will stand quite
as clear; the sparkling eyes of my affianced bride are at this moment
telling tales of their own beguiling influence, and testifying by their
intelligent language that I am right in my conjectures. No wonder, as
she conquered the father, she should have wounded, and rendered the son
doubly at captive: but here comes the fortunate culprit. Let us hear his
defence before we venture to pronounce whether he is entitled to
forgiveness and an honourable acquittal, or merits condemnation for
daring to fall in love while sentenced to languish in a dungeon."

Roseline, having now shaken off that languor and despondency which for
so many days had depressed the generous and active feelings of the
gentlest of human minds, impelled by justice and the unbounded affection
she had long felt for Walter, exclaimed, "If every virtue merits reward,
if every good and engaging quality be entitled to happiness, your son,
my lord, will be the happiest of men; for, to the long list of virtues
he inherits from his noble ancestors, you will find added all the
bounteous gifts which nature could bestow on her most distinguished
favourite."

This artless eulogium was not made without a blush, and the rose which
blossomed on her cheek gave to her face an expression which, in the eyes
of the Baron, exceeded that of the most perfect beauty. Walter, followed
by Albert, now returned into the room.

"Come here, young man, (said his father, in a tone of gratified
affection,) come and prove yourself worthy of the character I have heard
given of you by a very lovely historian. Sit down by me, and endeavour
to keep your mind free from agitation, and your spirits composed, while
our friend Albert gives us the promised narration, which is to establish
your claim to my name as firmly as your merits and conduct have already
done to my regard; for, though you played me a sly and mortifying trick
before I had the happiness of knowing you, I find in myself little
inclination to resent it. Take notice, however, that perhaps I shall not
be quite so favourably inclined to execute any deviations in future,
should a certain young lady be in the case." This was spoken in a tone
that proved the Baron was far from being dissatisfied at having found a
rival, so long as he had gained a son.

General congratulations now took place, and the merry, good-humoured
Hugh Camelford, after jumping up and cutting a few capers in the true
stile of Cambrian hilarity, declared he could dance a fandango with his
cranmother; or the toctor, round the topmost pattlements of Pungay
Castle, for he never lifed a happier moment since he was porn. Every eye
spoke the same language, and De Clavering said, though he dreaded the
oyster-shell devilifications of a woman's mind, he had a pretty widow in
his eye, whom he should entreat to take care of him for life. Sir
Philip, with a smile, whispered Lady de Morney, telling her, he thought
after all women catered to best for themselves in the choice of their
husbands: for, prejudice out of the question, the Baron's son was
certainly the finest young man he had ever seen.--As all the party were
impatient to hear the tale Albert had to communicate, he was requested
to begin, which he did in the following manner.



CHAP. V.


"You cannot but recollect, my lord, (addressing himself to the Baron,)
that, when you married the Lady Blanch, I came into your family. I had
been brought up in her father's house, and from a boy was appointed to
attend her person, no one being allowed to command or employ me without
her permission. When all preliminaries were settled for your marriage
with my lady, I was informed that I was still to have the honour of
attending her; a favour so great, and voluntarily conferred, rendered me
not a little vain. You soon after married, and I became a resident in
your family: my lady still distinguishing me with her approbation, made
me grateful and happy, and, though I was frequently reproached by my
fellow-servants, with ill-humour and acrimony, for being so great a
favourite, I endeavoured all in my power to convince them, I wished not
to deprive them of any advantages they had enjoyed before I came among
them, and this in a little time made them more reconciled and obliging.

My dear young master was then in his infancy, and my place not being one
of the busiest, I had many hours of leisure, which I was allowed to
dispose of as suited my inclination: these hours I chiefly spent in the
nursery, and, being remarkably fond of children, I soon became so
strongly attached to the young lord, that I often regretted the
necessity of leaving him, which I was sometimes obliged to do for weeks
and months together, either when your lordship took my lady to town,
paid visits to your friends, or went to any other of your estates; and
once, if you recollect, you were absent a long time, when you carried my
lady to Montpellier, whose declining health led you to adopt this plan
for her recovery, which the physicians said would perfectly restore that
bloom a slow and nervous fever had stolen from her, and alarmed every
friend who saw the ravages sickness had made in a countenance formed to
captivate.--Ah! that unfortunate excursion!--I have wished with an
aching heart a thousand and a thousand times it had never been made.

During our absence my lady lost her fever, and gave birth to a son, who
very soon engrossed so much of her time and affection, that your
lordship had just reason to complain of the change it produced. There
was another change which you did not so soon discover.

During our residence among a parcel of jabbering foreigners, my lady
learned to despise the blessed manners and customs of her native
country, and all those feelings which once made her so charming. We must
eat, drink, sleep, dress, and do every thing after the French fashion. I
was often reproved for retaining more than any of my fellow-servants my
clumsy English manners. She frequently expressed her satisfaction that
her son first saw the light on the Gallic shore, where, if she could
have persuaded your lordship, she would have continued to reside.

After an absence of eighteen months, which appeared to me the length of
as many years, we returned to England, and found my young lord just
recovered from the small-pox, of a very bad sort, which had so much
altered him, that my lady believed, or rather affected to believe, that
your son had been changed during our absence, or that he might have
died, and some designing artful people had imposed their own offspring
upon you, to usurp his rights, and rob her little darling of his title
and estate. The boy she found in your castle could not be the sweet
creature she left:--_he_ was beautiful and finely formed;--_this_ was
ugly to a degree, robust, clumsy, and half an ideot.

I know not what arts were used to make your lordship give any credit to
so fallacious and improbable a tale; but I observed, with unfeigned
regret, from that time your affection was continually decreasing, till
at last your son was seldom admitted to your presence, and never
indulged with those fond caresses which, previous to your departure from
England, were frequently and tenderly repeated. He was generally
dismissed with the epithets of beggar's brat, foundling, and ideot."

"I feel deep contrition for yielding belief to such infernal tales,
(said the Baron,)--for being so long the dupe and tool of a designing
malicious woman, and neglecting the son of the most amiable and best of
wives. Ah! my Isabella! if you are permitted to look down on this lower
world,--if you are acquainted with the conduct of him to whom you
entrusted your virgin-heart, and made the chosen lord of your destiny,
how must you despise and detest the mean, the forgetful wretch, who
deserted the sacred, the precious charge you so tenderly committed to
his care! May my future penitence atone for the cruelty of my past
conduct, and my sainted Isabella intercede with her Creator for pardon
and forgiveness! Then may Fitzosbourne hope her spirit will in the grave
find a place of rest. No wonder my crimes have robbed her even of that
asylum."

The tears of remorse stole down the Baron's cheeks, and he gave Walter a
look of tender regret, that said as much as volumes could have done.

"I know to what your lordship alludes, (said Walter,) and I am happy
that it is in my power to remove a tormenting delusion from your mind,
which, all circumstances considered, I cannot be surprised, made so
forcible an impression on it. The striking likeness which I bear to my
ever-regretted mother had often been remarked to me by Albert, and was
undoubtedly designed to be the means of restoring me a father.

Every one being impatient to hear the remainder of the prisoner's story,
the explanation was deferred, and Albert went on.

"Before my young lord had recovered his former complexion, or his
features began to reassume some traits of what they had been, till
attacked and disguised by that baneful distemper, so often the grave of
beauty,--the enemy of love, I was one day summoned into my lady's
dressing-room. After desiring me to shut the door, and take care our
conversation was not overheard, she bade me sit down; I obeyed
reluctantly, as I never before had been allowed the honour of sitting in
her presence. She then inquired if I were in reality as much attached to
her as I had frequently pretended to be, and whether, if she should have
occasion to place a confidence in me, and require my assistance, she
might trust to my fidelity?

"As to your life, my good Albert, (cried her ladyship, rising, and
putting her purse and picture into my hand, which she compelled me to
take,) I hope that will long be preserved to do me service. The request
I shall make will neither involve you in difficulties not danger; and if
you faithfully perform what will be asked of you, rely upon my word, it
will not only free you from labour and servitude, but be a certain means
of procuring you a comfortable independence for the rest of your
life,--an income that will enable you to marry the woman you love, with
whom you may live to see yourself surrounded with a numerous offspring.
(The picture was drawn in the most flattering colours,--the back ground
was no quite so pleasing.)--But you must, to obtain my good opinion, and
secure to yourself those enviable comforts, (continued her ladyship,)
unconditionally and without knowing the nature of the service required
of you, take a solemn and sacred oath never to betray, by thought, word
or deed, the confidence reposed in you. I will give you three days to
consider of my proposal, and at the end of that time shall expect your
answer."

"I was now ordered to withdraw, which I immediately did, in a state of
mind not to be imagined. What could my lady mean?--what was the business
in which I was to be employed that demanded the solemn prelude of an
oath? Oaths were sacred things; they were not to be trifled with, and
were thought necessary only on the most important occasions. I next
recollected that I had known my lady from a child: she had ever been my
friend, had frequently given me good advice, and was religious,
generous, and charitable. It could not therefore be any wicked or unjust
action she wanted me to accomplish; _that_ was contrary to her nature.
What then had I to fear from taking an oath which could do no one any
harm, and might make my fortune? Independence was promised me. I was
young, sanguine, and aspiring, yet I had never dared to hope being
placed in a situation above that I at present enjoyed. The lure was
thrown out by a hand I could not resist, and I was caught by the
tempting bait, which I swallowed to the destruction of my own peace."

"But, by your fortunately having done so, (exclaimed Walter,) my life
was repeatedly preserved to enjoy the present moment of exquisite
happiness and soul-enlivening hope."--He fixed his eyes tenderly on the
blushing Roseline, as he uttered this affecting exclamation.

"When the appointed time was expired, (continued Albert,) I was admitted
to a second conference with my lady, and without making any terms,
being, as I thought, well assured I might safely rely on her virtue and
rectitude as trust to her generosity, I took the oath, which was tended
to me by father Paul, her confessor and domestic chaplain, to obey such
orders as were given me with secresy and fidelity, for which I was to
receive in quarterly payments eighty pounds a year, and to have clothes,
board, and every other necessary, allowed me.--Father Paul bore the
character of a just and pious man; therefore, had I retained any
reluctance, receiving the oath from so sacred and important a personage
would have rendered any doubts an unpardonable offence against our holy
church. In compliance with my earnest request to be informed what was
expected to be done by me, and when I was to enter on my task, father
Paul himself, after some little hesitation, opened the business.

"Her ladyship (he said) was convinced, and he was of the same opinion,
that the child, (meaning my young lord,) which passed for the son of the
worthy and unsuspicious Baron, was in all probability the spurious
offspring of some low-born peasant, the fruit of an illicit and illegal
amour, imposed upon the noble family, for base and artful purposes, by
some designing wretch, after the death of the lawful heir, which, by
some very wonderful means, has so far been brought to light as to
confirm the fact. This child was so totally different from that left in
England, it could not possibly be the same. He was beautiful, sensible,
lively, and active; this was an ugly brat, dull, and stupid, and as much
the child of King Solomon as of the Baron.--It was become necessary for
the honour and comfort of the family to send it away: it was to be
removed into some distant and healthy country for change of air, and
placed with a country woman to be nursed. After he had been absent a few
months, I was to withdraw myself from the Baron's service, take the boy
from his ignorant nurse, and accompany him to whatever place I should be
directed. Till he came to a certain age, I was to have the occasional
assistance of a female in rearing him up, and was desired to do all I
could for the poor stupid creature, who, to be sure, in the eyes of
impartial justice, had not yet been guilty of a crime; but, to prevent
his being so, by monopolizing the rights of another, this plan was
adopted.

"I was next commanded never to presume to give the most distant hint
either to himself or any one else, that he had ever been suspected, or
even thought of consequence,--never to mention the name of Fitzosbourne
to him, or to say that he or myself had resided in the family. When he
arrived at the age of fifteen, I might, if I were so inclined, give up
my task, and should have proper security for receiving my salary during
the rest of my life, even if the boy should luckily die before the age
fixed upon to release me from my engagements. If I chose the trouble, I
might teach him to read and write; but it was a matter of little
consequence:--the less such people knew, the better.--ignorance to them
was happiness, and knowledge only a burthen, of which it was better not
to be possessed.

"I had been unwarily drawn into the snare from which I now wanted
judgement, courage, resolution, to disentangle myself. The influence and
unbounded power my lady ever held over me,--her consequence, and my
humble station, arose to my terrified imagination, and I dared not
venture to expostulate against a plan sanctioned by the Lady Blanch, and
approved by father Paul, with whom it was equally dangerous to contend.

"Of the identity of the young lord I never cherished a doubt; and, if I
had, the restoration of his sweet features to their former beauty and
expression, which was now beginning to take place, would have banished
them as soon as they arose; yet the fear of offending kept me silent:
the oath I had taken hung over me with terror;--every struggle I made
with conscience was over-ruled by worldly motives. I would not be
perjured, but I consented to be ten times worse. Alas! I little
suspected, when I took that sacred, yet unhallowed oath, that I was
sentencing myself and a helpless innocent to years of hopeless
imprisonment,--to a kind of living death, and burthening my conscience
with the heavy crime of being the vile agent in assisting to rob the
best, the most amiable of all God's creatures of his title, a noble
estate, and even of that freedom which the poorest of his father's
vassals enjoyed."

"Dear Albert, (cried Walter,) do not abuse yourself so unjustly:
represent not your actions in colours that do not belong to them. If I
suffered, you did the same; the barbarous hands which robbed me of
liberty, and the all-cheering light of heaven, deprived you also of
your's. Had it not been for your unremitting and watchful care, your
more than parental tenderness, I had long ere now been numbered with the
dead, and my existence and injuries lost in eternal oblivion."

"My noble boy, (exclaimed the Baron,) there spoke the soul of your
angelic mother! Just so would she have shewn her grateful sense of
benefits received.--Go on, my friend, regard not the feelings you
excite; they are due to the sufferings of this injured youth, and to the
virtues of his generous guardian and protector."

Albert proceeded.--"A plan so deeply laid and artfully contrived,
supported by such authority and power, succeeded but too well. I was, in
due time, form, and order, dismissed from your lordship's castle, and
very soon the precious charge was delivered into the hands of the
villain who had been aiding and abetting his ruin; but the degrading,
self-reproving feelings, the horrid conflicts I endured, in the moment
when the innocent victim ran joyfully into the arms of the Judas who had
betrayed him, shouting, jumping, and skipping with pleasure, to think I
was come to live with him, and be his nurse, were such as I would not
have encountered for ten thousand worlds, could I have foretold the
scorpion stings with which I found them armed at all points. It was
judged necessary that we should speedily remove from the house of the
poor, ignorant woman to whom my young lord had been entrusted, and under
whose fostering and maternal care he had entirely recovered his looks,
and found more happiness than in the habitation of greatness. I took
care she should not go unrewarded for her kindness, and received at the
expected time my instructions for our removal.

"After a long and tiresome journey, we arrived at an old ruinated
castle, on the boarders of ----, and there I found a woman, who was
appointed to assist me in the care of my important charge. We had a
small, gloomy, and inconvenient apartment appropriated to our use; our
table was tolerably well supplied: we had plenty of what the country
afforded, were never denied any addition I requested should be made to
our wardrobe, and at times books and toys were sent unsolicited; my
salary was likewise punctually remitted me.

"Here we lingered away some time, and were afterwards removed to two
places before we were brought hither, owing I suppose to some
circumstance that rendered our removal necessary, for the better
secreting of our persons. Long before the time expired in which my
engagement was to end, and I should be authorised to demand my freedom
and continued award, I found myself so strongly attached to my young
lord, felt such pity for his situation, and such corroding regret at
having lent my assistance to his cruel prosecutors, I could not support
the most distant idea of forsaking him, and would have suffered torture
rather than have left him in a state so desolate and unprotected.

"I hinted in my letters, that, if any attempts were made to separate me
from my beloved charge, I should consider the oath which had hitherto
kept me faithful to their secret as no longer binding. I heard by
chance of the death of Lady Blanch, but never till very lately that she
had lost her son. I for some months cherished hopes that her death would
procure our liberty, and release me from my oath, but I was soon given
to understand, that to her brother she had discovered the secret; that,
in future, our remittances were to be sent by his order, and we were to
be guided by his direction.

Finding things thus settled and arranged, after we had lived so many
years in confinement, I concluded that the whole plan had been contrived
and executed with your lordship's consent, and no longer doubted but it
was your wish that the son of the Lady Blanch should inherit your titles
and estates."

"Good God! (exclaimed the Baron,) how awful and mysterious are they
dealings with us erring mortals! I was told, and supposed the tale was
true, that my poor boy died suddenly, in a few months after he was sent
from the castle, on the pretence that change of air was necessary. I
gave orders for his interment in our family-vault, went into mourning,
and knew not till this ever blessed day that a son of mine
existed.--Unhappy, mistaken, guilty Blanch!--the untimely fate of thy
darling boy is now fully and solemnly accounted for! It was doubtless
the just judgement of heaven for thy unpardonable crimes in depriving
the son of my Isabella first of his father's love, and then of his
protection. The agonies of thy dying moments are now explained: they
were the direful effects of unavailing contrition; for, when thou
wouldst have relieved thy mind of its heavy burthen, speech was denied
thee: I hope thy anguish, in those moments of terror, have in part
atoned for they unheard of cruelty.

"Father Paul has found a shelter in the grave from my resentment; but
the man, I will not call him brother, who must have been tempted to take
an active part in this iniquitous business, in the hopes of obtaining
some of my fortune for his children, still lives to feel my anger. What
could induce one of his exalted rank to persecute and rob the innocent,
if from his sufferings and seclusion he had not expected to reap
considerable benefit!"

"Perhaps the fear of punishment and exposure might prompt them to
continue the deception, (said Albert;) what occasioned our removal to
this castle I could never learn; it was sudden, and conducted with
secresy and caution, for we were guarded as if we had been prisoners of
state, owing, I presume, to some attack being made, or meditated,
against the castle we left; but, whatever was the cause, we had reason
to be thankful for the change it produced, as we had more liberty, and
better accommodation, than we had experienced in any other prison."

"I shall ever reproach myself, (said Sir Philip,) for having been led
into an act of such unpardonable oppression, for which I can never stand
excused to my own heart. I trusted too implicitly to the account which
was given me, not doubting the honour or veracity of the parties
concerned. I must now entreat, the worthy narrator would proceed with
his story, for I own I am very impatient to know how the son of my
friend obtained an introduction to my daughter."

"I trust, my father and indulgent friends will excuse my absence, (said
Roseline,) during a recital, that, in my present agitated state of mind,
would be too much for me to support."

"No, no, no!" was echoed from every part of the room. Walter, rising,
and seating himself by the side of Roseline, whispered something in her
ear that instantly reconciled her to a compliance with the general
request of the company.

Albert then proceeded, and gave an account of their first interesting
interview, and of the dangerous state to which long confinement and a
slow fever had reduced his master. He dwelt with delight on the tender
attentions of the charming Roseline to the poor, forlorn, helpless, and
dying prisoner; described her unremitting care, and mentioned with what
joy he marked their growing affection, which was soon visible to all the
parties but those most interested.--The friendship of Edwin was not
forgotten, nor were the polite and sisterly attentions of the gentle
Madeline passed over in silence. Nothing was omitted in the narrative
but the Baron's fright in the subterranean passage, and that for reasons
which will hereafter appear, he dared not venture to explain.

"Your alarm, my lord, (continued Albert,) on the night the ball was
given by Sir Philip de Morney, and which occasioned so much bustle and
confusion, originated from a cause more natural than you, misled by
terror, could suppose. To explain things in their proper order, we must
go back to the day previous to that of the ball.

"Miss De Morney and her brother had informed my master of what was
intended; in consequence of this intelligence, he became more restless
and wretched than I had ever seen him, and felt the miseries of his
situation so severely, that I trembled for the consequence so irritable
a state of mind might produce on a constitution sufficiently injured
already by the unsparing rigours of oppression and confinement. I
therefore, without giving him a hint of my intention, formed a plan in
my own mind to relieve his sufferings, little suspecting the surprising
and happy effects of which it would be productive, or once supposing,
that, in his successful rival, I should see Baron Fitzosbourne.--Never
was I so puzzled as in the moment I made that discovery, to conceal the
feelings by which it was attended, from giving any alarm to those which
had already harassed and half destroyed my dear master.

Without much difficulty I prevailed on Mr. De Morney to procure me two
female dresses, telling him for what purpose they were intended. He was
a first astonished at the singularity of my request; but, finding no ill
consequences likely to attend it, readily complied, and with the
assistance of his sister the matter was easily accomplished.

"We helped each other in putting on female attire as well as we could,
and took as much care as possible to make such an appearance as was not
likely to attract attention. At the time appointed we sallied forth in
our female habiliments, slipped through some of the forsaken apartments,
and joined without any suspicion a vast number of people who had
obtained permission to witness the festival, and see the company dance.

"The eyes of my young lord were feasted by beholding the beloved object
who engrossed his every thought, and constituted his every wish, exhibit
her elegant person in the mazy windings of the dance, which till now he
had never seen. With a kind of saddened delight, he was soon convinced,
that, though her person was engaged, her heart appeared to have no share
in the pleasure which was legibly depicted on the countenance of her
youthful companions; but, on that which his eyes alone delighted to
mark, he saw a silent uncomplaining sadness, which, at the time it
wounded, cheered and revived his soul with the sweet hope that, had he
been present, had he been her envied partner, no sadness had clouded her
brow,--no regret found entrance to her bosom.

"She frequently withdrew her eyes from the company to fix them on the
humble crowd, in which she concluded her lover was numbered. He likewise
felt his spirits relieved by the coldness and indifference with which he
saw she received every flattering attention that was paid her.--When he
had sufficiently satisfied his curiosity, and I observed he was weary of
being incommoded by the number of people which continued to increase, I
whispered him that I thought it time to retire, while the coast was
clear, and we could steal away undiscovered.

"He desired me to go first, saying he would follow me in a few moments.
I instantly obeyed. My master, by taking a wrong turn, was passing
through your lordship's bedchamber as you entered it. He saw it was his
rival, and, in the instantaneous indignation of the moment, forgot every
thing but he resentment which was rankling in his bosom.--You perceived
him,--looked alarmed, and trembled: he frowned, and shook his head,
while the face on which you gazed with terror was flushed with passion.

"On seeing you fall, unable to account for the cause, and fearful of
being discovered, he hurried out of the room, and hastened to inform me
of what had happened.--Hearing a vast bustle, I instantly disrobed my
master of his female attire, having already gotten rid of my own
disguise?--I was next day informed by Mr. De Morney that your lordship
had been alarmed by something in your own room, and was much indisposed.
I soon collected sufficient proof to be assured that it was the
appearance of your son which had occasioned this confusion, and imparted
enough of my sentiments to make myself understood. From that moment,
having no alternative, no other method to adopt, in order to bring about
a discovery, we agreed to enter the chapel, and these gentlemen, at the
request of their friend, hesitated not to be of the party."

To confirm more fully, and to remove every doubt from the mind of the
Baron, Albert produced many of the clothes and trinkets which had been
sent by the Lady Blanch. The mark of a bunch of currants on the arm of
Walter, with which he was born, and which had been occasioned by one of
nature's strongest freaks, was perfectly recollected by the Baron, and
was a fact not to be controverted.

So many corroborating and convincing testimonies of his identity would
have banished doubt, had any doubt remained; but truth and nature were
too prevailing to be disputed; the countenance of Walter was,
unsupported with farther evidence, sufficient to prove him the son of
the Lady Isabella.

This narrative contained so many interesting circumstances, cold and
unfeeling must have been the heart which could have heard it with
disbelief or indifference: no such heart was enshrined in the bosom of
the delighted audience; every eye readily paid the tribute of a tear.
The conduct of Roseline and her brother was generally applauded and
admired; all were eager to praise, and De Clavering slily observed,
that, if any young lady should fall in his way who had a mind to study
the use of herbs, he should conclude she had something more in her head
than a wish to learn physic or botany.

"Perhaps 'tis a sign of luf, (said Camelford,) when people pegin to
study potany, and that is the reason De Willows thinks so much apout it
himself; for I heard him in his sleep call out, that he must die, unless
some palm could be tiscovered to heal the wound in his heart, which was
as pig as a parn door."

De Willows called him an incorrigible miscreant for betraying the
secrets he pilfered from his friend, and vowed to be revenged in his own
way. This little sally gave an enlivening turn to the conversation, but
it was not possible that a party, circumstanced as the present, should
be able to converse on any subject but that in which every heart was
interested: it had even bereaved father Anselm and the abbess of many
tears.

Sir Philip de Morney avowed that the gentle and benevolent virtues of
his children made him blush at the failure of them in himself. The Baron
still shed tears, but they were tears more calculated to provoke envy
than excite compassion. He embraced his son again and again, led him to
Roseline, and entreated she would make the youth her captive for life,
and bestow on him the only treasure which could reward him for his long
confinement and uncomplaining fortitude. He called upon Sir Philip to
accept him for a brother instead of a son, saying, as he should now
certainly never think of marrying again, the settlements, with a few
alterations, might stand as they did. This proposal was too agreeable to
meet with any opposition. Upon Albert the Baron proposed settling an
annuity that would enable him to live in a stile equal to that of the
most respectable country gentleman; but this good man instantly declined
accepting the generous offer, declaring, that if they compelled him to
leave his dear young lord, and deprived him of the pleasure of attending
him, life would lose its value, and he should pine away the remainder of
his days in discontent and misery, though he were possessed of the most
unbounded affluence.

"And I, (said Walter,) though blessed with my gentle and lovely
Roseline, should appear despicable in her eyes, and contemptible in my
own, could I ever consent that my preserver, friend, and preceptor,
should live under any roof but mine. I hope and trust he will permit me
to repay to his declining age the mighty debt I owe him for his tender
care, his unceasing attentions to my helpless and persecuted youth."

Albert burst into tears, and, suddenly throwing himself at the feet of
Walter, found, in the eager and cordial embrace with which he raised
him, an ample reward for his long tried fidelity.

Edeliza, Bertha, and their youthful companions, were no longer able to
confine their joy in silence. Bertha crept to the side of Walter, and
looked at him with an expression of countenance so good humoured and
arch, that he took her on his knee, and inquired if she would give him
leave to be her brother.

"That I will! (said she.)--You are so tall and handsome, and by seeing
you I have found why my sister Roseline shed so many tears, had so many
fainting fits, and went about without singing the pretty songs she used
to do;--it was all owing to you;--therefore you must be very good, and
very entertaining, to make her love you better than she does Edeliza,
brother Edwin, or myself."

Lady de Morney, father Anselm, the abbess, Madeline, and Agnes de
Clifford, were severally introduced. The abbess, as she expressed her
approbation of her niece's lover, told her sister that she saw in this
animated and expressive countenance a likeness of her regretted Henry.
De Clavering and the rest were not silent. Never can there be found a
happier party than were at that time assembled in Bungay-castle. The
gloom, which had so long enveloped them, disappeared with every
threatening cloud, and was succeeded by the brightest sunshine. Various
reports were in rapid circulation respecting the circumstances which had
so wonderfully concurred to promote and secure the happiness of Walter
and Roseline; and, while some were pitying, others blaming the bride
that should have been, the parties themselves were congratulating each
other on account of that very disappointment which had been productive
of joy as great as it was unexpected.

Roseline, eager to disrobe herself of her bridal ornaments, which, in
spite of herself, carried her reflections back to the agonizing
conflicts she had endured when putting them on, retired with her young
friends, and then in the fulness of heart, as she embraced them with
delight, unmixed with self-reproach or doubt, informed them of her long
and tender attachment to the poor, helpless, and unknown prisoner.

Edeliza declared he was almost as handsome as De Willows. "But not half
so merry and good humoured as Mr. Camelford, (said Bertha;) but I will
try to make him romp with me, and then perhaps I shall like him as well."

Roseline smiled with complacency at her sister's artless observations,
in which she read the sentiments of hearts which had not yet learned the
art of concealing what they felt, and which already yielded to the
influence of the same blind god who had conducted her through such
varying scenes of hope, despair, and misery, to a prospect of the most
enviable happiness.

The whole company were invited to spend the remainder of the day at the
Castle, notwithstanding the purpose for which they came had been
defeated. Father Anselm, who, though a very pious and rigid Catholic,
had no objection to good living, very readily accepted the invitation.
The doors of the Castle were ordered to be thrown open; every one that
chose was permitted to partake of the hospitality and good cheer, and,
though the company were disappointed of being at a wedding, it would
have been impossible for an indifferent spectator to imagine any matter
of such consequence could have happened, as mirth, pleasure, and
satisfaction, revelled in every eye, and every countenance was drest in
the serene and placid smiles of joy and contentment.

Roseline was closeted half an hour with her mother and aunt; she
received their congratulations and caresses with that pure delight which
ever attends the heart when duty and affection are united. Lady de
Morney could not withhold her praises; yet once or twice gently adverted
to the dangers which might have arisen from the duplicity of her conduct
in concealing an attachment of so much importance to her future peace,
had not the holy virgin condescended to watch and guard her. The abbess
bestowed her most pious benediction on her lovely niece, who, she
pronounced, had acted under the influence of her guardian saint, and was
entitled to the ample reward which appeared to wait her acceptance.



CHAP. VI.


When the party met at dinner, the simple elegance of Roseline's engaging
figure, divested of those ornaments which a few hours before had been so
lavishly put on her by the fingers of taste, appeared far more
captivating: her eyes were illumined with an expression of joy and
satisfaction to which they had long been strangers; the change conveyed
a train of the most enchanting sensations to the heart of her admiring
lover, and did not pass unobserved by her friends. To Sir Philip they
carried a silent reproach for having so long robbed them of their
lustre.

Roseline was seated between the Baron and his son, and, though this was
the first time Walter had ever dined with so large a party, or witnessed
the comforts of a plentiful table, laden with the rarities of art and
nature, he was neither awkward not embarrassed; for his friend Albert,
to fill up the heavy hours as they slowly crept away during their long
and tedious imprisonment, had described to him the manners and customs
of the world, among all ranks of people, with the utmost accuracy and
care, and by these means prepared him for scenes which must otherwise
have astonished, and in many instances alarmed, him.

The good Albert was placed between De Clavering and De Willows, who took
this opportunity of shewing him their most flattering attention, and, in
consequence, he was encouraged to hold a very respectable part in the
conversation. As he had before given undeniable proofs of the goodness
of his heart, he now unfolded to the company the excellence of his
understanding, and convinced them, that, if the prisoner had been
educated amidst the bustle of the world, he could not have found a
better preceptor as to sound judgement and useful knowledge.--Thus
honoured and happy, he found in part a reward for the integrity and
humanity of his conduct, while the approving eye of his grateful master
spoke a language which conveyed a joy to his heart that is rarely felt,
and cannot be defined.

Edwin and De Willows paid every attention to their fair enslavers, no
longer fearing the penetrating eyes of the governor, who was too much
taken up with the eclaircissement of the morning to suspect any other
lovers were present.

After the company rose from the table, at the Baron's particular
request, they went to look into those dreary apartments to which the
prisoner had been consigned at his first coming to the castle. Edwin
produced the key of the trap-door, and conducted them down the same
stairs which he and his trembling companions had descended when they
were alarmed by the unusual noises they heard in the lower part of the
castle. Every minute circumstance was interesting to the company; but to
the Baron they were connected with a tale that awakened every feeling of
his heart. Few therefore can be at a loss to guess his sensations when
he entered the cold, gloomy, and unwholesome dungeon in which this
darling son, the child of his Isabella, had lingered so many months, and
was told by Albert, that it was far more comfortable and commodious than
the one he had been inclosed in many long and tedious years.

The Baron shuddered with horror, sat down on the humble and uneasy couch
which had been Walter's only bed, during a long and dangerous
indisposition, and again called upon Albert to describe his first
interview with Roseline; the tale was again repeated, and lost none of
its effect by repetition.--Walter, the tear trembling in his eye as it
was fondly bent on Roseline, grasped her hand, and poured out the warm
effusions of his grateful and enamoured heart.

To trace the progress of nature, unvitiated by false taste, and
uncorrupted by guilt, is, in my opinion, (said De Clavering,) the most
entertaining and instructive history we can read, and far more useful is
the language it contains than all the crabbed and unfeeling documents of
the most studious philosopher, who loses the gentle propensities of his
nature by snuffing up the dust of ancient libraries, till the spiders
have woven their cobweb-looms in his head, and left no space for nature
to creep in, and shew her unadulterated face; but, in my opinion, the
chief happiness, both of man and woman, consists in the knowledge and
practice of all the social affections."

The Baron, struck with these observations, held out his hand to De
Clavering, requesting to be better acquainted with him, and apologizing
for his former neglect, which was chiefly owing to the singularity of
his situation, which made him behold every man younger than himself with
envy and suspicion; "but now (added he) I have resigned all my
pretensions to the prior claims of my son, wishing to atone for my past
errors, and to prove myself worthy the esteem of all those to whom he
owes an obligation."

"To me lord, (replied De Clavering,) your son owes nothing: till a few
days back I knew not of his residence in the castle: to my respect and
esteem I considered him as having a just claim. From the first hour I
had the honour of being introduced to him, I felt a desire to serve him;
but all I ever did was to accompany him from the castle to the chapel,
for which I never expected to be pardoned by your lordship."

"But, as his lordship offers you his friendship, (said the giddy and
spirited Hugh Camelford,) you had petter accept it now he in the the
humour. Lorts are not always in the mind to be coot friends with teath
and the toctor."

This essay of elocution obtained the Baron's notice, and, by making
every one smile, succeeded to his wish. Camelford, thus encouraged, gave
way to the unbounded cheerfulness of his disposition, by again renewing
his attack upon his friend De Clavering, telling him it was high time
for him to be prushing away the cobwebs of old patchelorship, and pecome
a man of the world, otherwise no laty, maid, or witow, would undertake
the care of his old pones, and the pones of those he had pought out of
their craves. De Clavering, who seldom felt himself in the humour to be
displeased with his young friend, owned that he was as singular in his
sentiments as the ladies, he was afraid, might think him in his manners
and appearance.

"You must endeavour to become more modern, and like one of us, (said De
Willows.) To be better known cannot fail to secure you a most favourable
reception."

"A piece of advice I have often given him myself, (said Sir Philip.) To
make our progress through life with credit and advantage to ourselves,
we must so far become men of the world, as to seek for those favours it
is not willing to bestow unsought or unsolicited."

"But, for a man to be able to get through it with uninterrupted success,
(replied De Clavering, I have sometimes thought he must be brought up a
rascal from the first. I own I should find so many places that would
tempt me to halt in my way, that I should certainly be prevented
reaching the envied and contested goal; for, before I would submit to
have my house crowded with a succession of what might be called good
company, I would take an inn, and, in the character of mine host, flay a
safer, and as pleasant a game. I should not then be under the necessity
of sacrificing my sentiments, or more of my time, than I found answered
the purpose of keeping house to accommodate all comers and goers."

"What! (said Camelford,) would you be peat py a prother toctor, because
you would not apply a strengthening plaister of goot and smooth worts to
make it stick close? would you not gif the laties a healing cordial of
compliments ro reconcile them to their lofs of peauty, their lap-dog, or
their lofer? Fie, man, they would not suffer you to toctor their cat!"

"What I might be tempted to do, or how far I might relax from my system,
to please the ladies, (replied De Clavering,) I cannot tell till I
become more _a man of the world,_ and feel myself more attached to many
of its customs: but this I do know, there are a set of patients to whom
I could not sacrifice my own sentiments to obtain the command of their
purses. For instance,--can a man, who has wasted his youth in vice and
debauchery, justly complain of a premature old age? or ought he to
excite the pity of any one who knew the source whence his miseries
originated? Can we sympathize with the man of business, who has brought
upon himself the torturing paroxysms of a fever by the disappointment of
some monopolizing plan, the success of which must have been productive
of distress and misery to many hundreds of their fellow-creatures. Can
the voluptuary and the drunkard think themselves entitled either to
flattery or compassion, when their sufferings have been occasioned by
eating till they gained a surfeit, or by drinking so hard as to make a
kind of turnpike-road from their stomachs to their bowels."

"All in the way of business, (said Edwin.) Instead of quarrelling with
the cause, you have nothing more to do, my good friend, but to turn
their follies to your own account, and do as thousands have done before
you--make them contribute in some way or other to the good of the
community."

"If we were disposed to quarrel with vice and folly every time we
encounter them, (said Camelford,) we should be engaged in a perpetual
contest, and should only ket proken pones and the plister of contention
for our pains."

"True, (replied the venerable father Anselm, who till now had observed a
placid silence as he listened to the above conversation,) we should all
agree to make the same allowance for the failings and frailties of
others as we are inclined to do when we sit in judgement upon our own,
and rather strive to find excuses than causes to condemn; like the
blessed master we all unite to serve, whose precepts and practice were
calculated for the good and happiness of all mankind."

"Just so would mine be, my dear father, (said De Clavering,) so far as
an erring mortal can be supposed to copy a divine original; but I would
not flatter people with a belief that I could feel for the miseries
entailed by vice as I would for those which originated from any other
cause. There are moments when I see the patient and virtuous sufferer
looking up to me for health and life, that I would compound with
pleasure to be any thing rather than what I am."

"Rather (said Sir Philip) endeavour to rest satisfied with being what
you are,--the true Samaritan, the friendly physician, who assumes the
appearance of misanthropy, without having a grain of it in his
composition."

"In order to conceal feelings that do ho-honour to his profession and to
human nature."

The Baron, having looked at every thing, and asked innumerable
questions, the party next visited the rooms where Edwin and Roseline
risked so much in daring to remove Walter, and in which he had so long
remained undiscovered by the family. Here Walter himself described, in
his own artless manner, the delight he felt when he, for the first time,
saw the rising sun, and contemplated the brilliant scene which the moon
and stars presented to his astonished sight; he mentioned likewise his
rapture when first convinced that the fair Roseline felt for him a
mutual passion. He then described the conflicts he endured on the
morning when he knew she was really gone to give her hand to another,
and owned the miseries of that moment surpassed those of his whole life,
and, if thrown into a scale against them, would have weighed down all.
He then adverted to his feelings when he approached the altar, and to
the awe and respect he felt at sight of the Baron.

In the evening it was proposed to take a ramble through the gardens
belonging to the castle, now profusely decorated with all the variegated
beauties of the soul-enlivening spring, which were on the eve of giving
place to the succeeding charms of summer. Here it was that the happy,
the grateful Walter met such a succession of wonders and delight as
rendered the scene doubly pleasing to those who partook in his raptures.

Every flower, plant, and shrub, every tree, leaf, and vegetable, excited
his admiration and gratitude. The distant fields,--the rising
hills,--the water,--the numberless houses,--all were admired in turn,
and became the theme of his praise.--It was a charming world,--it was
the paradise of which he had read,--the very garden of Eden, such as our
first parents possessed, and Roseline the magnet which gave such sweet
attraction to all he saw, and all he should enjoy in it.

So much was he delighted with the scene, it was not till the shades of
evening began to approach, and throw a gloom over the face of nature,
that even the gentle admonitions of Roseline could prevail upon him to
return to the castle. Like another Cymon, he found liberty too great a
blessing, too pleasing to be willing to part with it when once he had
tasted its soul-reviving influence.

Many of the following days were spent in making excursions round the
country, and in shewing him every thing worthy of notice. He visited the
neighbouring towns and villages, looked into the churches, saw the sea,
and was conveyed on board a ship, whose wonderful construction, and the
vast world of waters on which it so majestically floated, awakened every
sensation of astonishment. He was next indulged by sailing on the river
Waveney in an open boat, rowed by some of our old English sailors, whose
rough and cheerful humour gratified and entertained him.

A house was likewise procured for him: he soon learned to ride, and
became so fond of the exercise, that few days passed without his going
some miles about the country. His fine figure, expressive countenance,
and conciliating manner, his gentleness, and unceasing good humour, made
him an universal favourite, and all the inhabitants of Bungay welcomed
his appearance among them with every testimony of respect, joy, and
satisfaction.

The Baron and his friend, Sir Philip, had many consultations respecting
the intended marriage of their children, whose youth and total ignorance
of the world, of which Walter could scarcely be called an inhabitant,
rendered it absolutely necessary that he should be properly introduced
at court, in order to have his birth made known, and his right and
titles ascertained. It was equally necessary that he should become more
conversant with the customs and manners of that world, on whose stage he
was now to make so distinguished a figure; and, as he had been prevented
seeing foreign countries, it was a duty the Baron thought incumbent upon
him to take care he should be well acquainted with his own, and
instructed in the value of its just and equitable laws, which, he had
cause to lament, were sometimes abused by the designs of artful and
wicked men, though the envy of every other nation in the world.

When these designs were made known to Walter, the distress it produced
is not to be described. To be separated from Roseline!--the thought was
agony;--without seeing her every day, without being in the same place
with her, it was not to be borne. He should never be able to acquire any
knowledge unless the gentle maid, to whom he was indebted for life, was
near, and by her soul-enlivening presence animated his endeavours, while
in her smiles he should find a bright reward for the unwearied pains he
should not shrink from encountering for her sake.

Roseline was not at all better reconciled to the plan, nor more at ease
than himself. She was apprehensive he might in the great world see some
one he like better than herself. She had heard men inconstant and prone
to change. The heart she had gained in the dungeon of Bungay-castle
might perchance, when engaged in the great world, surrounded by
pleasure, and besieged by the bright eyes of beauty, stray from her
bosom to that of a more lovely and accomplished mistress;--to a more
fond and faithful on it could not be entrusted; but, as no one, she
supposed, could refuse the attentions of Walter, she trembled at the
idea of being separated.

These timid fears were not kept from the ear of her lover, who, in some
degree, quieted them with that persuasive eloquence which love never
fails to bestow on its faithful votaries. He inquired if she thought it
possible he could be so great a villain as to prefer the beauties of a
court to the lovely Roseline of Bungay-castle,--the gentle being who not
only preserved his life, but taught him to enjoy it, whose unwearied
attentions smoothed the bed of sickness, removed the veil of ignorance,
and gave to his unfortunate life the first bright moment it had ever
known. He vowed, if he thought any thing he might find in the world
could tempt him to forgive her, or love her less than he did at that
moment, he would voluntarily return to his dungeon, and never leave it
more: he earnestly and pathetically petitioned his father and Sir Philip
de Morney not to compel him to leave his adored Roseline till he was
blessed with calling her his own.

With this request, however, they could not with prudence comply: it was
not only right, but absolutely necessary he should be publicly
acknowledged as the Baron's son before his marriage took place, to
prevent the establishment of his rights being subject to suspicion or
litigation. Against reasons so weighty and just there was no contending,
and therefore they were obliged to submit, though these untaught
children of simple nature yielded very reluctantly to a plan which was
to secure in their possession all those fascinating  enjoyments which
the inhabitants of our busy world are continually pursuing, and to
obtain which, without any necessity of compulsion, they often make more
important sacrifices.

Albert was no longer considered or treated as a servant. The Baron
generously determined, as soon as he reached town, to give such orders
to his attorney as should secure him a genteel independency; and, as he
was no longer distressed with the apprehension of being separated from
his beloved master, he enjoyed all the comforts, with a grateful heart
which the liberality of his benefactors bestowed, and met with that
unfeigned respect, from every one who knew the worth and integrity of
his character, to which he was so justly entitled.

As Audrey was attending her young lady, in her apartment, after she had
been at the chapel to be married, and returned from thence without
becoming a bride, she, as it may be supposed, was too full of the
occurrences of the day to be silent on the subject every one was talking
about, but which she did not, on her part, by any means approve, knowing
what her own feelings would have been on a similar occasion.

"Well, to be sure and certain, miss, (cried she,) the like of this was
never heard since the mencement of the world; for to go to church to be
married, to take the bride's groom in your hand, as a body may say, and
then to come back as you went, without being married at all! As I have a
vartuous and Christian soul to be saved, if I had been volved in such a
quandrary, I would never have left the chapel without a husband, young
or old, let what would have been the consequence.--People fleer and jeer
so about misventures of this kind, and asks one for bride's cake, and
talks so indellorcatly on this subject: however, don't fret, miss; it
seems you may be married still, but, for my part, I likes it best as
it is."

"I think in this instance as you do, Audrey, (replied Roseline, with
difficulty keeping herself from offending the honest-hearted Abigail, by
bursting into a violent fit of laughter,) yet the Baron is certainly a
fine-looking old gentleman."

"Fine feathers make fine birds, (said Audrey,) but as to his being
fine-looking, Christ Jesus, miss, to be sure master Cuford, the blind
god of love, has made you blinder than himself."

Roseline could no longer preserve her gravity.

"Blind, or not blind, (said she,) I assure you, Audrey, I thought the
Baron looked and talked like an angel after we returned from the chapel;
and, what is more, ugly as you think him, I love him dearly, and cannot
help looking at him with pleasure and delight."

"To be sure, (said Audrey aside,) the disappointment has turned her
head, and arranged all her interlects.--As sure as God is true, miss,
(said she) you have taken strange vaggaries into your head: it was but
yesterday I thought you were going into a vapid recline, as I have heard
you mention, and now I verily thinks Bedlam will be your potion instead
of a husband."

"As far as I know I am now in my proper senses, (cried Roseline,
laughing,) notwithstanding your prognostics, and taking so much pains to
convince me of the contrary."

"Well, well, it may be so, miss, (replied the mortified damsel;) I know
but little of nostics; but this I do know, there is no recounting for
the humour of quality people. The young Baron however, it must be said,
if poor folks can see and judge, is to the full as good as his father.
Handsome as you think him, and though he cannot speak to make himself
understood, and do not know his right hand from his left, or the moon
from a green cheese or young gosling, he may soon be taught to know
what's what. He was monstrously frightened when he saw his father, and
took him for a negromancer it seems."

"You have been strangely misinformed, Audrey, (interrupted Roseline,)
the young lord is neither so ignorant not so soon alarmed as you have
been taught to believe. I have known him long, and therefore, if you
will rely upon my word, I assure you he is one of the most amiable and
best of human beings."

"Well, miss, (again continued Audrey,) I must think that your brain is
cracked, or that love has overset your understanding; for I am told by
Pedro, who knows every thing about every body, that, till this very
blessed day, the sweet young gentleman have been chained down in a
dungeon, and never looked upon the face of man, woman, or child, not
even the mother who bore him. It was tirely on his account, we all
thinks, that the bustle, fuss, and disturbations in the castle
riginated, and I dare say if the old Baron had refused to own him for a
son, we should every one of us have been witched into the Red Sea, and
drowned as the Gyptens were. I hope now, however, the spells will be
taken away, and we shall see only men and women, made of flesh and blood
like ourselves, for I hate ghosts."

"Amen! (cried Roseline;) I trust we shall be very quiet and happy, and
that neither witches nor evil spirits will have any thing to do with us."

"I say amen again, (replied Audrey,) for I always likes to pray whenever
I see any one else set about it. Thank God you escaped the claws of the
Baron: I verily thinks I could not have found courage enuf to have
married him myself."

Roseline rejoiced when her prating attendant bade her good night, and
she hoped soon to forget in the arms of sleep both the painful and
pleasant events of the day; but she now found joy as great an enemy to
repose as grief had been the preceding night. To find her lover, the
acknowledged son of her intended husband; yet to have his consent,--the
consent of her parents to love Walter, and be beloved by him,--to know
he was restored to liberty, rank, and fortune, to the protection of a
father, and herself released from an engagement to which she never had
consented,--it was such a sudden, such an unexpected reverse of fortune,
as she could scarcely prevail upon herself to believe real. She had been
assured too she should one day be the wife of Walter,--be permitted to
live with him,--see him always, and without fear or controul be allowed
to study and contribute to his happiness;--it was rapture, it was
felicity far beyond her hopes.

Having once entered on a train of thinking, so delightful to a fond
imagination, it effectually precluded sleep from shedding its poppies
over her pillow; besides, to have slept would have been for some hours
to have lost the pleasure of thinking of Walter.

No sooner did she see the god of day break forth in all his glory from
the portals of the east, than she quitted her bed. Never before had she
observed the sun so brilliant,--never before had the face of nature
looked so charming: every tree which she saw wave its branches had
acquired new beauties, and even the sturdy and impenetrable walls of the
castle seemed to be wonderfully improved.

With spirits harmonized by love and expectation, and a mind enlivened by
hope, she bent her knee in humble gratitude to that God who said, "Let
there be light, and it was so," With a heart truly sensible of the
blessings she enjoyed, and thankful for those she was permitted to
behold at a distance, she fervently prayed that neither Walter nor
herself might be tempted, in the midst of prosperity to forget the
useful lessons they had learned in the school of adversity.



CHAP. VII.


As the dreaded day of separation drew near, the dejection which appeared
on the countenance of the lovers was too visible to escape the
observation of their friends.--The Baron felt himself particularly hurt:
his son had already endured so much misery by his neglect and
unpardonable compliance with the wishes of an artful and designing
mother-in-law, that, to inflict any farther mortifications or sufferings
on him, was in reality to inflict them more severely upon himself: he
therefore promised to return within six weeks, or two months, to unite
the young people.

This period of time, reckoned in the usual way, was not long; but the
lovers are not guided by the same rules, nor can bring themselves to
calculate hours and days, weeks, and months, like other people. To
repeat the tender adieus, the fears, tears, cautions, and promises, of
everlasting truth, would perhaps be tiresome to some of our readers, as
it would be merely a repetition of the same fine and tender things which
have been said by ten thousand fond lovers, upon ten thousand
interesting occasions; suffice it then to say, the Baron and his son
departed from the castle at the appointed time, and left the
disconsolate Roseline in a state none could envy, and all were inclined
to pity; and so much was the heart of her lover afflicted at being the
cause of distressing her, he could not be prevailed upon to join in any
conversation, and scarcely looked up till he entered the great and busy
city of London, the noise and bustle of which drew him in some measure
from his reverie, which had been nearly as painful to his friends as to
himself, and the Baron, eager to disperse the gloom from the countenance
of his son, pointed out some of the most striking objects to engage his
attention, as they were whirled along to a very noble house in
---- square, where we must leave him for the present, in order to
return to the castle.

From the moment of Walter's departure the disconsolate Roseline sunk
into so absolute a state of dejection, as not only distressed but
alarmed her friends. She shunned society, seldom joined in conversation,
and, if left a few moments by herself, fled to the apartments once
inhabited by her lover;--there, and there only, did she assume the
appearance of cheerfulness; every place in which she had seen him was
endeared to her remembrance. The chairs on which he had rested, the
table on which he had written, the window at which he had stood to
listen for her coming,--all were interesting objects, and loved by her
for his sake; and, in being deprived of seeing him, of hearing no longer
the sound of a voice so long endeared to her fond imagination, she felt
so total a deprivation of all that served to render life or fortune of
real value, that the determined in her own mind, if this regretted lover
should prove forgetful or inconstant, if he should return no more to the
castle, to end her days in his forsaken apartments; for what would be
the world to Roseline de Morney, if she should see Walter Fitzosbourne
no more?

Pompey, the little dog, which she had seen the second time of going to
the dungeons, and which had been the favourite and faithful companion of
her lover during some years of his confinement, she would scarcely
permit to be out of her sight: to him she talked of his master, and in
caressing the grateful little animal felt pleasure and consolation.

Sir Philip and Lady de Morney were distressed beyond measure at seeing
the despondency of their daughter, which they feared would put and end
to all their flattering hopes. They endeavoured by every soothing and
tender attention to reconcile her to this temporary separation, and in a
short time succeeded so far as to prevail upon her to resume her usual
employments. They advised her to dissipate her fears, and try to regain
her spirits for the sake of the lover whose absence she lamented,
reminding her how much it would harass and distress him, if, at his
return to the castle, he found she had brought upon herself an
indisposition which might still preclude him from enjoying her society.

But their cares and anxieties were soon increased, and their minds
occupied and thrown into the utmost consternation, from a circumstance
more unaccountable, inexplicable, and alarming, than anything they had
ever encountered.

Madeline had escaped from the nunnery, and Edwin had left the castle. No
one could tell what was become of them, but all supposed they were gone
off together.--A general confusion took place; messengers were sent in
pursuit of the fugitives, and a very considerable reward was offered to
any who would bring tidings of Madeline. Sir Philip de Morney joined in
the search, and sent out large parties of his men, in hopes they would
be able to discover the place of their concealment.

Roseline, though less surprised, was extremely shocked at the dangerous
step her brother and his friend had ventured to take.--The abbess was
angry, the fathers enraged, and the youthful offenders threatened with
the utmost severity the laws could inflict, should they be found out.
Lady de Morney was wretched beyond description, and Roseline, who almost
lost the remembrance of her own sorrows at seeing the agonies of her
mother, and in fears for her brother, was alarmed at the return of every
messenger.--These affectionate relatives trembled lest they should bring
tidings of the unfortunate lovers. A week however elapsed, and no
discovery being made, Roseline secretly cherished hopes that they would
be able to escape their pursuers.

She accompanied Sir Philip and Lady de Morney to the nunnery; they soon
removed the displeasure of the abbess, and dispersed the gloom, which
had long hung upon her brow, at their first entrance: they likewise
softened the asperity of father Anselm, and the rest of his brethren,
who had written to inform the father of Madeline of the occurrence which
had taken place, and had received an answer dictated by the spirit of
malice and revenge, vowing to renounce her for ever, unless she returned
to the nunnery, and instantly took the veil; at the same time adding
every thing that passion could suggest to rouse the vengeance of the
fathers for the indignity offered to their sacred order by the flight of
a wretch he never again would acknowledge as a daughter.

This cruel and unfeeling letter operated directly contrary to what it
was intended, and awakened feelings in the bosoms of men who had long
been strangers to the world, and unpracticed in the habits of social
life,--too unpleasant to be encouraged. They felt a kind of trembling
horror at the denunciations of a parent against a daughter, whose
interesting features, sweetness of disposition, and gentleness of
temper, had endeared her to every one in the nunnery.

Nearly a fortnight had now elapsed, and no tidings being heard of the
fugitives, Lady de Morney began to revive, and she cherished the
soul-reviving hope that her beloved Edwin would escape, and remain
undiscovered till a pardon could be procured for him and his fair
companion, for the crime they had committed in robbing their holy church
of a votary designed for its service; and she lingered with impatient
fondness to clasp her son and the lovely Madeline to her maternal bosom.
Sir Philip was much hurt by this affair; and, though he said very little
on the subject, it was very visible to every one that his mind was very
deeply wounded.

It may now be necessary that we should give some account of the means
made use of to escape, and the cause which drove the young people to
take so desperate a step.

The abbess, who felt an almost maternal regard for Madeline, had
observed with affectionate regret that there was something which preyed
deeply upon her spirits, but had not the least suspicion of the
affection which she cherished for her nephew; and, being too much
bigotted to her religion, too much attached to the habits of a monastic
life, to suppose any one could long remain unhappy after having given up
a world which she had voluntarily quitted and never regretted, she
confined her observations to her own bosom, and, in drawing her
conclusions, forgot the melancholy and distressing cause which had
determined her seclusion from the world. Time had likewise in some
degree blunted those tender feelings which would otherwise have taught
her to make more indulgent allowances for the feelings and conflicts of
nineteen, when sentenced by an arbitrary parent to the unsocial and
rigid rules of an order that precluded the soul-enlivening, the
enchanting influence of love.

The abbess, on receiving a letter from the father of Madeline, with a
peremptory command for her instantly taking the veil, summoned her into
the presence of father Anselm and herself, and the letter was put into
her hand, without any kind of preface that could discover or soften its
contents.--The effect this horrid mandate had on the mind of their
youthful charge could not be concealed: she was instantly obliged to be
conveyed to her cell, and remained for some hours in a state that
threatened destraction.

The alarming situation of Madeline distressed both the good father and
the sympathizing abbess; but, circumstanced as they were, they could
only pity; for they would have considered it as a crime of the most
sacrilegious nature to have assisted in depriving their holy institution
of a votary so likely to be an ornament and acquisition to is; and, as
the father of Madeline was determined she should embrace a monastic
life, they had neither any right nor inclination to contend against a
decision which operated so much in their favour, and would add so lovely
a sister to their society: they agreed therefore that it would be better
to take no notice, unless she herself should voluntarily impart the
cause of her distress.

It is now become absolutely necessary to inform our readers that Edwin
had for some weeks conquered the fears of Madeline, and prevailed on her
to grant him frequent interviews in the chapel. He had also extorted a
promise from her, when matters came to the last extremity, to fly with
him, if her escape from the nunnery could be effected, in order to avoid
a fate which her love had taught her to think of all others the most
miserable, and to accept his vows instead of taking those which would
separate them for ever.

On the one hand, happiness stood pourtrayed in its most captivating
colours;--on the other, wretchedness, solitary wretchedness grinned with
ghastly horror and meagre aspect. At her age, I am inclined to think,
few young ladies would have hesitated how to choose, particularly if,
like the artless and gentle Madeline, they had given away their heart to
an amiable and impassioned lover.

Edwin, in his stolen visits to the chapel, had usually been accompanied
by his trusty friend Albert, and once or twice Walter had been of the
party. On the promises and intrepid firmness of Albert they rested their
security of not being discovered. Madeline's situation was likewise
become so alarming and distressing, she no longer yielded to those timid
fears which had formerly deterred her from meeting her lover. She found
herself so encompassed with dangers, that it required both resolution
and spirit to disengage herself from the fate which threatened her; and,
as no father time could be given either to deliberation of doubt, and no
alternative remained but to escape from the nunnery or take the veil,
she hesitated no longer, but met, fearlessly met her lover, in order to
settle a proper plan to secure the success of their design, which, as it
drew near being put in practice, appeared both hazardous and dangerous.

Their meetings in the chapel were frequently interrupted by the friars
or nuns, who had generally some sacred duty to perform either for the
living or the dead, in the execution of which some of the fathers had
been extremely alarmed, and it was whispered throughout the sacred
walls, and by some means the report crept into the world, that the
chapel of the nunnery was disturbed by an invisible agent, which was
considered as a miracle in favour of its holy institution.

It was an age of bigotry and superstition, when every plan was adopted
to impress on the minds of the people that reverence and awe which would
prevent their finding out the various arts made use of to impose on
their belief. Hence that reverence and enthusiasm for relics shewn in
almost every church and chapel, and applied to for aid on all important
occasions.

Yet it sometimes happened that impositions were discovered, but the
power and influence of the priests prevented, as much as possible,
reports so dangerous gaining any credit, and the minds of the common
people were kept so much in awe by fear, and so hoodwinked by the
superstition, that thousands resorted daily to one repository or
another, in order to feast their eyes with its sacred treasures.

"At Reading they shewed an angel's wing, that brought over the spear's
point which pierced our Saviour's side, and as many pieces of the cross
were found as joined together would have made a big cross. The rood of
grace, at Boxley, in Kent, had been much esteemed, and drawn many
pilgrims to it. It was observed to bow and roll its eyes, and look at
times well pleased or angry, which the credulous multitude, and even
some of the inferior priests, imputed to a divine power; but all this
was afterwards discovered to be a cheat, and it was brought up to St.
Paul's cross, and all the springs were openly shewed which governed its
several motions.

"At Hales, in Gloucestershire, the blood of Christ was shewn in a phial,
and it was believed that none could see it who were in mortal sin; and
so, after good presents were made, the deluded pilgrims went away well
satisfied if they had seen it. This was the blood of a duck, renewed
every week, put in a phial, very thick on one side, as thin on the
other; and either side turned towards the pilgrims as the priests were
satisfied with their oblations.--Other relics were shewn as
follows:--God's coat, our Lady's smock, part of God's supper, our Lady's
girdle of Bruton; red silke, a solemne relic sent to women in travail;
the parings of St. Edmund's nails, relics for rain, for avoiding the
weeds growing in corn, &c. &c."--*

[Footnote: *Vide Grofe's Antiquities, copies from an original letter
written by R. Layton.]

It happened one night, when our young lovers were deeply engaged in a
most important and interesting conversation, in which they did not
recollect there were any other beings but themselves in the world, they
were terribly alarmed, and very near being discovered by the abrupt and
sudden entrance of father Anselm, and one of the monks, into the chapel.
They hastily approached the altar, being summoned to attend a dying
monk, and to perform the ceremonies which the necessity of the case
required. They were however informed by a voice, which appeared to rise
from the earth on which they stood, that they might return to the peace
of their cells, for the soul of their dying brother was in no danger of
being lost, their prayers and pious oraisons having already had a
salutary effect.

It so happened, that the monk, having conquered the crisis of his
distemper, was sunk into a profound sleep at their return, which
promised a happy change in his favour. The whole society were summoned
into the chapel the next morning, and informed of this miraculous
communication. All the proper ceremonies were ostentatiously performed
which such an honourable attestation of their sincere piety required,
and the sick monk considered as worthy of canonization.

A few nights after, a monk, who had forgotten to place one of the
consecrated vessels on the high altar, which father Anselm had
particularly requested should be left there against the following day,
on which the sacrament was to be administered with the utmost solemnity,
on recollecting the omission, rose from his bed, and stole softly into
the chapel to obey the orders he had received. This unfortunately was a
night on which the lovers had agreed to meet. Before he had reached the
altar, he was somewhat startled at seeing one of the oldest and most
austere of the nuns kneeling by the grave of a father lately deceased,
and with uplifted hands praying that pardon and peace might be extended
to his soul.

The monk, when he came to the altar, instantly dropped on his knees
before it, unwilling the old nun should suppose he came upon a less
pious errand than herself; but he was soon frightened from his devotions
by a soft voice, which seemed to descend from behind a very fine
painting of the crucifixion.--He was desired to return to his cell, no
longer to act the hypocrite, and in future to perform more punctually
the duties of his office.

The monk no sooner heard this alarming address, than he hurried out of
the chapel as fast as his gouty legs and the numerous infirmities of age
would permit him; but the nun, who was at too great a distance from the
monk to hear the cause of his terror, went on with those devotional
rights which a particular regard for the departed father rendered so
gratifying to the feelings of her pious and affectionate heart, that she
was in no hurry to conclude them; when the same mysterious agent, whose
voice appeared to rise from the grave of her deceased favourite, near
which she was so devoutly kneeling, shivering with age and cold, roughly
warned her to have done, advising her to go to rest and sleep in peace,
as he did, who no longer could be disturbed by her tongue of benefited
by her prayers.

The poor frightened nun scampered off as fast as she could, muttering
something against the ingratitude of man, who, dead or alive, was
unworthy the attentions of her pious sex. Yet, as she crossed herself,
she secretly rejoiced at having, as she thought, obtained leave of
heaven and father John to abstain from such great and unreasonable
demands upon her oraisons in future.--She took care, however, the next
morning to inform the monk, with seeming exultation, of her being so
highly favoured as to hear a voice from heaven, which excused her from
praying at those hours appointed for mortals to be at rest.

This was a night calculated to alarm the lovers; for no sooner had the
nun left the chapel, than another entered to fetch a solemn relic, to
send to a woman who was in travail, from the chest near which they were
seated. As she was looking for the precious treasure, they were
trembling at the danger they were in of being discovered; for there was
but just time to step into the tomb which led to the subterraneous
passage, when they were thus the third time disturbed.--The nun, as she
closed the chest, was addressed in the following words.

"Wear Mary Magdalene's girdle twice a week:--place the scull of St.
Lawrence at the East corner of your cell, and live on bread and water
every fifth day; or neither you, nor your father-confessor will escape
purgatory."

Down dropped the relic, and away ran the nun to repeat to her cher ami
the warning which had been given her; but, whether he was as much
terrified as herself we do not know, as the lovers very soon effected
their escape, and the voice was heard no more.

No longer to puzzle our readers, excite their fears, or keep them in
suspense, respecting this miraculous voice, which had alarmed the Baron
in his visit to the cells, and had likewise been the occasion of much
surprise, and some exultation, to the pious inhabitants of the nunnery,
it is necessary to inform them that it proceeded from Albert, who was
himself a ventriloquist, or person possessed of the power of using a
kind of artificial hollow voice, in such a manner, as to make the sound
appear to come from any part of the room, where-ever he happened to be,
or from any animal that was present in it.

This uncommon power, rarely known in that age, Albert had frequently
exercised to amuse and entertain the solitary hours of his master, in
his long and painful seclusion from the world, and afterwards to serve
him and his friend.

It may not perhaps, in this place, be improper to mention, that, a few
years since, a person came to St. Edmund's Bury, in Suffolk, whose
uncommon and wonderful powers of throwing his voice to any distance, and
into whatever place he chose, alarmed some, and surprised all who
witnessed this strange and almost unaccountable phenomenon of nature;
therefore, in an age so much more prone to indulge the idle chimaeras of
superstition, so much under the dictatorial bigotry of priestcraft, it
is not to be wondered that a circumstance so uncommon should be
considered as miraculous, particularly among a set of men who had
recourse to such various arts, and took such wonderful pains to instill
into the minds of the people a firm and unshaken belief that miracles
were shewn on some important occasions, in order to confirm the truth of
the religion they professed.



CHAP. VIII.


By following the cautious directions of Albert, Madeline escaped from
the nunnery undiscovered, and, accompanied by her lover, lost, in the
happiness of the present moment, all remembrance of the trials she had
sustained, and all apprehensions of what she might encounter in future.
Edwin, from a principle of honour, did not inform his friends, De
Willows, De Clavering and Camelford, of his intention; the only tax he
levied on their friendship was to borrow a small sum of money of them to
supply present exigencies, and procure such accommodations on the road
as would be most agreeable and convenient to his fair companion.

About midnight he led the trembling agitated maid, unattended by any
one but himself, to the entrance of the subterranean passage. With
difficulty and danger they made their way through this scene of
desolation and terror. Having opened the door which led them through the
same gloomy paths Edwin had formerly traced, they narrowly escaped being
discovered by the centinels who guarded Mettingham-Castle.--Alarmed at
their danger, they made not a moment's delay, but hurried on till they
came to a retired and almost unfrequented road, where they found a man
and horses waiting their arrival. These horses had been hired of a
countryman, who agreed to send for them the next morning to a
neighbouring town.

Though money was undoubtedly very scarce in the age in which the
characters lived that furnished us with these memoirs, yet the
necessaries of life were all so cheap, and the people in general so
extremely hospitable, that it required but a moderate sum to procure
accommodations for a journey to the most distant part of the kingdom,
and, as there was then no marriage-act in force, the road to the temple
of Hymen was more frequented, because it was neither found so difficult
nor so thorny as it has been to too many of the present age.

As to the vulgar and old-fashioned habits of eating and drinking, they
are matters in general but little thought of in expeditions under the
directions of a god who is too sublime to be satisfied with common food.
Our lovers felt so little inconvenience from either hunger or thirst,
that they determined to make no delays on their journey, but such as
were absolutely necessary. They were epicures only in love, and, till
they arrived in London, were perfectly satisfied with such repasts as
were to be procured from any of the humble cottages on the road, by
which prudent precaution they escaped undiscovered, notwithstanding the
clamour their elopement had occasioned.

The morning after their arrival in London, a priest joined their hands
in marriage, and rendered indissoluble those tender ties which had long
united their hearts in love's most pleasing fetters. Too happy for
reflection to interrupt their nuptial joys, too inexperienced to look
forward to the consequences of an union thus inauspiciously commenced,
and too sanguine to think the fond delusions of love could end but with
life, they lived for many days in what might be called the delirium of
the senses: in each other they saw and possessed all that constituted
their ideas of pleasure. Madeline was the wife of the enamoured Edwin,
and he was blest.--Edwin was become the husband and protector of
Madeline, what then could she have to fear, for Edwin was the world
to her?

Alas! what a pity that so few, so scarce, and so short, are the hours of
mortal happiness! and that the fallacious foundation on which we rest
such innumerable pleasing hopes, which present to our deluded
imaginations the most lovely and inviting prospects, should so soon fall
to the ground, and humble our air-built expectations in the dust!

As long as their little fund of worldly wealth held out, our new married
lovers never recollected it must come to an end, or bestowed a thought
on what steps were to be taken to secure the continuance of that
felicity they had gone such daring lengths to obtain; but an empty purse
soon compelled them to recollect, that two people, however tender their
attachment, or superlative their abilities,--however lovely their
persons, or captivating their manners, require more substantial food
than the god of love will condescend to furnish them with.

Accustomed to affluence, and not knowing what it was to be deprived even
of the luxuries of life, they shuddered at the poverty which stared them
in the face, and threatened them with absolute starvation: they blushed
too at their own inability to procure for themselves the common
necessaries of life, and felt some very uncomfortable sensations at
being in a stranger's house without the means of paying for their
lodging or accommodations. To declare their poverty they were ashamed,
and to make themselves and situation known was to run the risk of being
separated for ever, as Edwin had no doubt but Madeline would be torn
from him, and compelled to a monastic life, if discovered before his
friends were reconciled, and would use their interest to procure his
pardon.

Luckily, Madeline, amidst her new born fears, recollected it would be no
difficult matter to find so great a man as Baron Fitzosbourne, and
accordingly Edwin, wrapped up and disguised as much as possible, sat off
to find his residence, and to obtain an interview with his two friends,
Walter and Albert. He fortunately found the latter at home, and in a few
hours was by him secretly admitted to Walter, who flew to embrace and
welcome him to his father's mansion, making a number of tender inquiries
after Roseline and the rest of his friends at the castle. He was both
shocked and astonished when informed of Edwin's distressed and perilous
situation, gently reproached him for not applying to him before, and for
not haven given him the slightest information of his intention before he
married.

Edwin mad the best excuses he could for his reserve. Vague and
unsubstantial as they were, the generous Walter was soon reconciled to
his friend, put his purse into his hand, and insisted upon being
immediately introduced to his lovely bride. They returned with Edwin to
his lodgings, and found Madeline in a state of the most painful and
restless suspense, which their presence instantly dispersed. After the
compliments and congratulations were over, they sat down to consider
seriously what could be done, and what steps were most proper to be
taken to secure the persons of the new-married couple. Albert strenously
advised them not to attempt seeing the Baron in their present situation,
but to wait patiently till some plan could be adopted for their farther
safety. Walter promised in the mean time to supply them with money for
all necessary expences.

The meeting of these friends was cordial and tender, and more cheerful
than could have been supposed. Walter repeatedly protested,
notwithstanding the difficulty and dangers with which they were
surrounded, that he envied more than he pitied them,--complained of his
own situation, as being more distressing and uncomfortable than their's,
and declared himself unable to support a much longer separation from
Roseline, without the deprivation of reason being added to that of all
his other enjoyments.

On refection, it was thought better that Walter should make the
situation of the young couple known to the Baron without farther delay:
this he readily undertook; for, as the danger was great, rewards having
been offered for the person of Madeline, procrastination would have only
served to increase the difficulties they had to encounter.

Walter succeeded in his embassy beyond his hopes, and soon prevailed
upon his father to comply with a plan they had thought of for the better
security of Madeline; namely, retiring secretly for the present to the
environs of one of the Baron's castles, at a great distance from the
metropolis, and concealing their real names and persons under the habits
of peasants. To this scheme the Baron readily agreed, and promised not
only to exert his utmost interest to procure a pardon for them both, but
instantly to write to Sir Philip and Lady de Morney to inform them of
their safety and situation, and intercede on their behalf. He likewise
called upon them the following day, presented them with a supply of cash
for present exitgencies, and sent them in one of his own carriages to
the place of their concealment, where we will for a short time leave
them, only observing they were as happy as our first parents before
their fall: they sometimes indeed recollected the danger of being
discovered, and trembled at the thought; but so much did they depend on
the friendship and power of the Baron to protect them, should the
dreadful misfortune ever befall them, that they determined not to let
uncertain apprehensions of what might happen in future prevent their
enjoying that portion of happiness which was now in their power, and the
author would wish every one who peruses these pages to adopt and
encourage the same useful philosophy.

Walter, from the time of his arrival in London, till a few days previous
to his seeing Edwin, had been restless and uncomfortable. The first
master of the age had been procured to instruct him. He was presented to
his sovereign, and his introduction was attended with the most marked
and distinguished honours.

Many fair ladies in the higher circles were lavish of their smiles, and
many parents would gladly have seen him added to the train of their
daughters' admirers, and, to lure him to their purpose, solicited his
friendship, and sent him repeated invitations to their houses.

Pleasure courted him in a thousand varying forms, but he beheld her most
seducing blandishments with disgust and stoical indifference. Neither
the novelty of the scenes with which he was surrounded, the flattering
attentions of beauty, or the variety of amusements, of which he was in a
manner compelled to partake, could for one moment detach his mind from
the fascinating Roseline. With her dwelt every wish,--on her unshaken
tenderness rested his every hope of permanent felicity; and, to have
heard the sound of her enchanting voice, he would voluntarily have
bidden adieu to London, and all its pleasures.--If he attended to the
instructions of his masters, he was actuated by the same motives, and he
wished to be as wise as Plato, that he might be more worthy to possess a
treasure he estimated beyond the wealth of worlds.--Noble young
man!--would love operate on all youthful minds as it did on thine, it
would be entitled to universal praise, and might justly be called the
guardian-friend of innocence, the patron of every virtue.

At length, both the Baron and Albert were not only surprised, but
alarmed at the visible alteration they observed in Walter, who often
absented himself, and when questioned where he had been, and how he had
been amusing himself, hesitated in his answers, and appeared at a loss
what to say.

One evening the Baron particularly requested he would accompany him to
some public place; but he pleaded a prior engagement, and, on being
asked the nature of it, gave so trifling and unsatisfactory an answer,
that the Baron was seriously displeased, and left the room, telling him
he did not like to be treated with reserve, recommended him to recollect
how much he had already been made a dupe to mysterious transactions, and
not to forget that he had likewise been nearly a victim to artifice
before he knew guile in his own heart or person.

As soon as he left the room, Albert approached his beloved master, and,
with a tear trembling in each eye, told him he was to blame, and begged
he would follow his father, and do away his displeasure, by going as he
requested.

"My dear fellow, (cried Walter,) my father's anger I could bear unmoved,
because I do not feel myself deserving of it, but your gentle reproof
has in a moment found its way to my heart. Perhaps I may be to blame,
but surely, Albert, it is a little hard upon me to be compelled to stay
in this place without being sometimes allowed to amuse myself according
to my own inclination!"

"What on earth (said Albert, with a sigh,) can on a sudden have made
this change in you, who so lately had an invincible objection to going
among strangers, lest you should fall into the snares that are so
frequently spread to entangle the unwary!--I thought----"

"Allons, my dear fellow, (replied the impatient Walter,) don't just now
attempt to think;--you are a good creature:--but I can stay no longer
listen to you; I will hear you as early as you please in the morning.
Would to God my sweet Roseline had accompanied her brother to London!"

"Would to heaven she had! (sighed Albert:) Here is something wrong going
forwards. I must be on my guard how I proceed, or my young master will
be drawn into some scrape that may lead to mischief, while the fair maid
of the castle may be left to wear the willow.--Now, or never, must be
the moment of action.--A thought has struck me;--it must be so."

Away went Albert, and I hope none of my readers will have any objection
to accompany him in his friendly expedition.

He instantly hurried out of the house, attended by a stout and faithful
servant.--They were so quick in their proceedings, that they very soon
perceived the object of their pursuit walking before them. After
following him through many streets, they saw him stop at a very
good-looking house, the door of which was opened by a servant in a rich
livery. Albert hesitated for a moment what to do:--to follow him would
have been both daring and imprudent, and, instead of setting matters to
rights, might have brought on greater difficulties; he therefore stepped
into a jeweller's shop nearly opposite the house into which the young
Fitzosbourne had entered, desiring his servant to keep a watchful eye.
He spent a few shillings, and then carelessly inquired of the shopkeeper
who it was inhabited the handsome house in which he saw so many lights.

The man smiled, looked at him very earnestly, and then replied, "If I
did not think you were a stranger, sir, I should have supposed you were
joking with me, by asking that question, for I thought all the world had
known the Jezebel who lives there."

"You have raised my curiosity to a higher pitch,(said Albert.) I have so
long been absent from this city, that I know but little of what has been
doing in it, and would thank you to answer my question with sincerity,
while I am looking over the things I want to purchase."

"No man (replied the complaisant shopkeeper) is happier to please his
customers than I am, or more grateful for favours received; but, as one
person's money is as good as another's, and as I take a pretty round sum
every year from the fair inhabitants of that house, I have no business
to be telling of their frailties: however, if I can oblige you, sir, and
you will promise me to be secret, and not bring my name in question."----

Albert now became more and more eager to obtain the wished-for
intelligence, and not only promised all that he had requested, but to
reward him for his trouble, by recommending his shop to some friends who
had it greatly in their power to serve him. This at once put an end to
the honest jeweller's reserve; for, though he would not voluntarily have
told a scandalous tale of any one, yet he saw no objection to speaking
the truth when he could serve himself by so doing.

"Please your honour, (he began, for he took it into his head at that
moment that Albert was a great man,) in that house lives the noted Mrs.
C----, who keeps so many fine young women, that all the fine young men
of the age are fond of obtaining admittance, though for that indulgence
they often sacrifice health, fortune, and even life itself. Ah! God
knows, I have seen sad doings, and many a one have I wished might escape
the plans laid for their destruction; but, if the devil himself were
to fall into her clutches, I think he would be puzzled to effect
his escape."

"Has she many visitors just now?" interrupted Albert.

"As to their number, that is impossible for me to ascertain; but of this
I am positive, she is never without some, and at this very time I think
there is something extraordinary going on, for one of her nymphs came
this morning to purchase a wedding-ring, and, on my joking her a little
on the subject, she said it was not for herself but Miss C----,
daughter to the old hag, who is a very lovely girl, and well known upon
the town. On my expressing myself happy to hear she was going to marry,
and become an honest woman, the girl burst into a violent fit of
laughter, and called me a puritanical hypocrite."

"Let Catharine once become a wife, (said she,) and then we shall see who
will dare to call her virtue in question. She will, I hope, before
to-morrow night be married to the only son of one of the wealthiest
barons in the kingdom,--a young nobleman who knows so little of the
world, that it is absolutely necessary he should have a wife who can
instruct him, and I know no one better able to undertake the task than
the daughter of Mrs. C----."

Albert with difficulty concealed his agitation at hearing this alarming
tale. Recovering himself, however, he inquired of his informer if he
recollected the name of the young gentleman.--After a moment's
hesitation, the jeweller replied, "the name was twice repeated, but it
ran so glibly off the lady's tongue, that I have since forgotten it."

"Should you know it again?" asked Albert; who, on the jeweller's
answering that he thought he should, mentioned several, to all of which
a negative was given. At length Fitzosbourne was introduced.--"The very
person, (cried the jeweler;)--the Baron has but one son; and him, as
this girl told me, he has but lately found: but he is such an ideot, and
so easily imposed on, that, upon my soul, were I his father, I should
think him better lost than found."

The jeweller might have gone on with his observations as long as he
pleased, had not his distressed auditor recollected the danger in which,
perhaps, his beloved young master was at that moment involved. He
started up, and, catching hold of his companion's hand, told him, he
must that moment go with him. The man drew back: Albert perceived the
folly of his abruptness, and, making some apologies, informed the
astonished jeweller, that the business on which he was going would admit
of no delay,--that if he would accompany him, lend his assistance, and
procure two or three spirited young men to be of the party, he should be
well rewarded for his trouble, and would have reason to bless the day
chance directed him to his shop.

This promise was a sufficient temptation to a tradesman who had a large
family, little money, and few friends. He summoned some of his men from
an adjoining workshop, and, thus attended, Albert sallied into the
street. His servant, who was in waiting, informed his master a priest
had been just admitted into the house he was watching, and that he had
seen the young lord at the window with a beautiful woman hanging on his
arm, who appeared to be in tears.

This intelligence made them hurry on.--Albert rapped at the door,
requesting the others to keep out of sight till he was secure of
obtaining admittance. A servant soon appeared; Albert inquired if his
mistress were at home. The fellow replied that his lady was then
particularly engaged, and could not be spoken to, adding, he might call
again in the morning.

"The morning will not do, my friend; I must see your mistress this
evening, (said Albert;) my business is quite as particular, I believe,
as that in which she may be engaged, therefore make way, and let me
come in."

The fellow attempted to shut the door, but the posse in waiting, on
being beckened by Albert, came to his assistance, and they all rushed
into the house. Albert, the jeweller, and the rest of the party, except
one, who was left to guard the fellow at the door, went as gently as
possible up a spacious staircase. They heard voices at a distance, and
were directed by the sound to a door of the apartment which contained
the party, who appeared to be engaged in a warm dispute.

At times they could distinguish female voices, and very soon Albert
heard that of his beloved master exalted to its highest pitch. This at
once determined him to open the door, but he found it fastened within
side: he then loudly demanded admittance; a female scream was all the
answer he received. Again he called: some one then asked what he wanted,
adding, whoever it was that intruded on them so rudely must wait till
another opportunity.

"Wait no longer, (cried Walter,) but force the door; I know not but my
life may be endangered."

The door was instantly burst open. What a scene presented itself!
Walter, with a face pale as ashes, and apparently in the utmost
confusion, was endeavouring to disengage himself from the embraces of a
young woman, who had fallen at his feet, and clasped her arms around
him. The priest held a prayer-book in his hand, which was opened at the
matrimonial service.--A fierce looking man in a naval uniform, the old
procuress, and another of her nymphs completed the group.

The instant Walter saw his friend enter the apartment, by a desperate
effort he disengaged himself from the syren who had held him captive,
flew to Albert, and brandishing his sword, called upon the wretch who
had endeavoured to inveigle him into a forced marriage to draw, and
receive the reward of his treachery; but Albert ordered the culprit to
be secured, and requested Walter not to stain the purity of his sword
with the blood of such a villain.--During this contest, the women and
the priest sneaked out of the room unobserved, and, though the strictest
search was made throughout the house, not a creature could be found in
it that belonged to the family, but the servant who admitted them, and
who had been prevented following the rest by the person left to guard him.

Albert insisted, before he left the house, on sending for proper
officers to take the prisoners into custody; but Walter, who wished this
affair to be kept as secret as possible, entreated, with so much
earnestness, on the villain's making a promise of amendment, and leaving
the kingdom, to have him liberated, that his friend, after a little
hesitation, complied, on condition that the two fellows should be left
bound in different apartments till the vile mistress of the house, or
some of her associates, should venture to return.

The honest jeweller was entreated to be secret, and promised an ample
recompense. His people were liberally paid, and Albert, with an exulting
heart, attended home his agitated friend, who, after recovering his
spirits in some degree, gave him the following account of the
circumstances which had drawn him into a situation that might have been
as fatal to his peace as they would have been disgraceful to his
character, had not his guardian-friend arrived in time to prevent the
threatened danger, the whole of which he was now convinced had been
planned for the purpose of drawing him into marriage, resting their
hopes of success on his ignorance of the world.

"I take shame to myself, dear Albert, (said the grateful Walter,) for
not informing you this evening of my engagement, which you, who know the
strength of my attachment to the charming Roseline, will not suppose was
meant to be of the nature it proved. I knew not that the worthless
woman, whose daughter it has been my ill luck frequently to meet at
several public places, was of so despicable a character.--Chance, or, as
I now suspect, design, has likewise frequently thrown her in my way in
my morning rambles: but what induced me to visit at her mother's house,
was the having found her one evening in the passage of the play-house,
waiting the arrival of her carriage, in the greatest distress; and what
served to add to it was the behaviour of two or three young men, who
said some very rude things to her in my hearing, for which I chastised
them with my cane, and the frightened fair one fainted in my arms as
soon as I had driven them away. I supposed they had been led to insult
her by having made too free with the bottle; but they doubtless knew her
well enough to discover her designs against me.

"When she recovered from the fit into which I imagined they had
terrified her, I could do no less than see her home; and, when I called
the next morning, I was introduced to her mother, whose unbounded
gratitude and flattering acknowledgments, for the trifling service I had
rendered her sweet and amiable daughter, overwhelmed me with confusion,
and convinced her I was a fool exactly suited to her purpose.

Being always received with the utmost politeness, and seeing nothing in
the conduct or behaviour of either mother or daughter to excite
suspicion, I continued to call upon them whenever I chanced to pass that
way, and was in the humour to wish for conversation. They boasted of
being of an ancient family in the North of England, appeared to live in
credit and affluence, treated me with the utmost hospitality, and
pressed me so warmly to make them frequent visits, that I promised to
comply with their request, because I supposed by so doing I was removing
a weight of obligation from their minds which seemed to give them pain.

Once or twice it happened when I called, that the young lady had walked
out, and the mother said a good deal about the mortification it would be
to her to be told at her return I had called upon them in her absence;
but this, till about two hours ago, I considered as being the effusions
of gratitude.

"And how (inquired Albert) were you at length undeceived?"

"By her mother," continued Walter, who, after some little hesitation,
with an appeal to my honour and humanity, to excuse the weakness of a
fond parent, informed me of the passion I unfortunately, and as she
feared undesignedly, had inspired in the bosom of her daughter, a
passion she much doubted she would never be able to subdue, adding,
that, just before my arrival, she had by mere force compelled her to
walk out for air, as she saw with heart-felt distress the ravages
despair had made in the constitution of her inestimable child.

I lamented the consequences of my intro-troduction, and added, I would
no more venture into a family whose peace I had disturbed, acknowledged
a prior engagement, and was about to quit the house, when the old lady
entreated me earnestly not to adopt a measure so cruel and unjust: I
therefore promised to call again; and, receiving an invitation for this
evening, accepted it, but did not suppose them the kind of people they
have proved.

"Had you no suspicion of their character?" asked Albert.

"None, by heaven! (replied Walter.)--I never saw the least appearance of
indecency, or even levity, and heard no conversation that would have
offended the nice ear of a Roseline de Morney."

"The scheme was deeply laid, (said Albert.)--Pray proceed; I am
impatient to know how you were received this evening."

"First by the mother, (continued Walter, who appeared in the greatest
distress.--On my inquiring the cause, she said she had informed
Catharine of what had passed between us; that, on being told I was
engaged, she fainted several times, and, before she recovered, her
nephew, who was just returned from abroad, called at the house. This
young man, she said, had been long passionately attached to her; that on
seeing the situation of his cousin, he was necessarily informed of the
cause,--was now with her, and had so earnestly entreated to have the
honour of being introduced to me, that she could not find resolution to
deny his request.--

"I will confess to you, my dear Albert, I now began to suspect some
design was formed against me; but of what nature I was still at a loss
to conjecture. I luckily had put on my sword, and I determined, if they
attempted to confine or ill treat me, to sell my life as dearly as I
could. However, it was not my life they wanted; they had a more
ambitious and less dangerous scheme in view. In a little time, the lady,
drowned in tears, and with well-acted distress, entered the room,
accompanied by her cousin, as the mother had called him. The gentleman
chose to put on a fierce and threatening look, and swore I should do
justice to his charming cousin, whom he loved more than life, or that
moment settle the matter with him as a gentleman ought to do.

I laid my hand on my sword: Catharine flew to me, fell at my feet, and
begged I would not terrify her to death by exposing a life so dear to
the risk of fighting with her cousin. She then lamented her weakness,
and entreated me to compassionate the sorrows in which I had
involved her.

I loudly demanded what all this meant,--declared I had no design against
her heart, nor any desire to be favoured with her hand, my own having
been long engaged to the best and fairest of her sex, and to whom alone
all my wishes were confined. The gentleman again approached me; the lady
chose to fall into a fit, and was supported by her female accomplices. A
priest at that moment entered the room.

"You are come in good time, (said the pretended cousin,) to assist us
in performing an act of justice."

The young lady at that instant recovered, and, seeing her coming to me,
I flew to the window, with an intention of opening it to call for
assistance, and, on finding it fastened, had no longer any doubts of
their premeditated designs against my peace. I therefore shook off the
fair syren, (who had clasped her hands around my arm, and, with tears,
and all the blandishments of artful beauty, besought me to have
compassion on her sufferings,) and made an effort to get out at the
door; that was likewise fastened. I then eagerly inquired for what
base purpose I was thus forcibly detained, and what it was they wanted
with me.

"Justice, (replied the bully;--justice only!--Reverend father, (said he,
addressing himself to the priest,) this fair damsel has been robbed of
her peace: her virgin fame must be lost in consequence, unless that
youth (pointed to me) will make her reparation, by giving her his hand
in marriage. It is to join them in holy wedlock we sent for you."

"I was now enraged too much, (continued Walter,) to have longer any
command over my passion.--I drew my sword, and vowed to sacrifice any
one who should dare to prevent my leaving the infamous house into which
I had been so artfully and basely trepanned.

The women now clung about me, while their bully endeavoured, but in
vain, to wrest my sword from me. He then commanded the priest to do his
office, and I know not, at that moment, what act of desperation I might
not have committed, had not you, my guardian friend and preserver,
luckily burst into the room, and prevented my ending that life in a
brothel which you protected so many years in a dungeon."

Albert embraced his young lord with tears of gratified affection.

"Long, very long, (cried he,) may your life be guarded from every
danger, and never experience a fate so disgraceful! I will inform the
Baron of what has passed: he will very soon bring these wretches to the
shame and punishment they so justly deserve."

"Not for worlds, my good Albert, would I have the story transpire! (said
Walter.)--I already know enough of human nature to be satisfied that the
recital of it would not only bring my father's displeasure upon me, but
likewise the ridicule of the world. Be assured of this, I will never
again run the risk of being drawn into danger by forming an acquaintance
with people, however specious their appearance, without their being well
known to my father or yourself. All I beg of you is, to join with me in
interceding with the Baron for permission to return to Bungay-castle. I
will there wait his pleasure, without murmur or complaint, for the
accomplishment of all my wishes. With Roseline de Morney I cannot be
unhappy;--without her my soul can know no peace."

Albert promised to do what he could with the Baron, but requested his
young lord not to be too sanguine in his hopes of prevailing on him to
consent to his leaving London, till the time was expired that he had
fixed for his stay, and on his promising not to offend him by disputing
his will as to the length of his continuance in town, he agreed to
conceal this unpleasant adventure from the Baron, strongly recommending
him to be more guarded in future, and never to let his own unsuspecting
nature lead him to conclude that the people he mixed with were as good
and as artless as himself.



CHAP. IX.


From the time Walter became more and more dissatisfied with his
situation. He no longer contended with the Baron respecting the length
of his stay, or refused to accompany him whenever he was requested to
any public amusement or private party. But he became so restless and
internally wretched, that it became impossible to conceal entirely how
much he was distressed.--He wrote many letters to Roseline. The
following is a copy of that which he sent a few days after his being so
fortunately saved by Albert from the diabolical plan laid to render him
miserable during life, and at the same time would have made the innocent
Roseline as unhappy as himself.


My ever dear and charming Roseline,

I cannot live much longer in this detestable place, where the women are
artful, the men base and designing. I am pointed at as being a fit dupe
for vice to ensnare: my ignorance often leads me into error, and my own
unsuspecting disposition exposes me to ridicule. If I must learn to be
like the people with whom I often associate here, I shall grow in a
little time so weary of existence, that I shall only wish it preserved
on your account.

The immense distance between this place and the castle you inhabit
renders it doubly detestable. It is a scene of bustle, confusion, and
design; its amusements are all frivolous and trifling; its pleasures are
joyless, unsocial, and unsatisfactory, and I a mere cypher, dull and
alone, amidst a crowd of beings, for whom I feel neither respect nor
friendship. In fact, I am never more alone than when I am surrounded by
hundreds of people, not one of whom cares for my happiness. I had rather
be with you in one of the gloomiest dungeons of Bungay-castle than in
the palace of our king, unless you were by my side.

I have seen a great many young ladies that are called beauties; but I
think none of them half so beautiful as my gentle Roseline; neither do
they appear so good humoured, nor is their dress so becoming, though
they wear as many diamonds as you did on the fortunate morning you went
to be married to my father. And would you think it?--one of them
actually endeavoured to draw me to marry her; though I repeatedly told
her I could love no woman but you.

I have neither spirits nor appetite; I can neither laugh nor sing, and,
if the Baron have a mind to make me polite,--if he wish me to acquire
knowledge,--if he de desirous I should become what he calls an useful
member of society, he must no longer keep us separate. It is your
company only that could give a charm to that of other people, and, if I
could see you, I should love the world for your sake. I shall die, dear
Roseline, unless they permit me to come to you.

Madeline, though she wept, was happy, and looked handsomer than ever;
and Edwin,--ah! how I envied your brother Edwin! He may be thankful he
was not the son of a Baron, compelled like me to go through the tiresome
drudgery of unmeaning ceremonies, and all the disgusting and nonsensical
forms which they tell me belong to a rank.--I am sure rank would be more
valuable and happier without them, and dignity far more pleasant to its
possessors, if they could divest themselves of pride.

Commend be cordially to your parents.--Tell your sisters I love them as
a brother, and make my respects to De Clavering, De Willows, and the
honest Cambrian, to whom I hope one day to be of service.

Sweet Roseline, think of me, dream of me, and love no one but me. My
father is very kind, very indulgent, and Albert very good, for he will
hear me talk of you for hours together; but neither the Baron nor Albert
can guess at the sufferings they inflict on me by this tedious absence
from you, to whom I am indebted for life, hope, and happiness.

      Your's forever,

    WALTER FITZOSBOURNE


When the above mentioned letter reached the hands of the dejected
Roseline, it alarmed and distressed her. It was however accompanied by
one from the Baron to Sir Philip had no longer any fears but his friend
would succeed in procuring a pardon for the fugitives. Again the family
of De Morney were restored to their accustomed cheerfulness, and their
friends admitted as usual; and, though Roseline shed some tears over the
fond impassioned letter of Walter, they were tears of grateful
tenderness, and she took care that her sighs and unceasing regret for
the absence of her lover should be concealed from those to whom they
would have given pain. Edeliza too was no longer under the unpleasant
necessity of concealing her love for the worthy De Willows. The heart of
Sir Philip was softened by the trials he had encountered, and all the
parent was awakened in his soul. He therefore consented to the union of
his second daughter taking place as soon as her lover could command an
income sufficient to maintain a wife and family; and, as he had many
friends in power, every one cherished hopes of his soon obtaining some
distinguished preferment.

Audrey, who was still a great favourite with her young lady, was now
solely retained to attend her person, and wholly at her command. She
considered herself therefore of some consequence, and gave herself airs
accordingly. She did not choose to mix with the common class of
servants,--truly a lady's maid's place was a place of too much
extinction to permit any familiarity with infeerors.--No sooner did
Audrey see the family restored to their usual good humour, than she
herself became more lively and chatty than ever, and all her fears of
ghosts and hobgoblins were lost in her own self-importance and
newly-acquired dignity. She afforded high entertainment not only to her
fellow-servants, but to all the rest of the family, and, to make her
character appear more ridiculous, her dress was as absurd as her
sentiments.

Whenever chance threw Mrs. Audrey in their way, it was become a matter
of course to enter into conversation with her, and the vain Abigail was
too proud of this flattering distinction not to make the most of it.

De Clavering, who was fond of the humorous, laughed at the absurdities
of Audrey, and took every opportunity of shewing her off. One day, while
he was sitting with Roseline in the apartment to which Walter had been
removed, when released from his dungeon, Audrey came abruptly into the
room, bringing in her arms the little dog frequently mentioned in the
foregoing pages. She laid him on the lap of his fond mistress, and
exclaimed, "There, madam, take the little wandering rascal. I have been
in a fine quandrary about him, and have had a blessed rambulation to
find him, and drag him from his low-bred wulger companions. To my
thinks, he is as great a rake as the king himself, God bless his
majesty; but the young Baron ought to have given him a better eddication
than to keep company with his infeerors."

"I am sure, Audrey, (said De Clavering,) you are much indebted to the
young rascal, as you call him; for the rambulation you complain of has
given so fine a glow to your complexion, so much animation to each
expressive feature, that may I die if I did not take you at first for a
painted lady, and, had I met you in the passage, am afraid I should have
been tempted to see whether those roses so fascinating and so blooming
were borrowed or natural."

"Don't talk to me of hannimation or fansenation, (cried Audrey,
indignantly drawing herself up several inches higher;) I can assure you,
Mr. Doctor, I don't choose to be consulted. I neither buys, borrows, nor
covets, roses; I neither wants to tempt or be tempted by any one; but if
I was by chance to captify a sweetheart, I dares to say I should soon
become pale enough; for I thinks love is as bad as a 'potticary's shop."

"I hope I have not offended you, Mrs. Audrey, (said De Clavering,
laughing,) I only meant to be civil, and pay the tribute due to the
bloom I observed upon your countenance."

"Fended or not, (replied Audrey,) it little matters. Servants, some
folks thinks, must not look like other people, and their blooms must be
suspected truly. However, as father Anselm often says, God made up
all.--You might as well have been silent as to the matter of my looks. I
don't want or wish gentlemen 'poticarys to ax me questions, or trouble
their heads about me."

"You would not have been half so angry with Camelford, (said De
Clavering,) had he said ten times as much to you as I have done, or had
he he kissed you as often as I once saw him, when you ran to him under
the mulberry tree."

"I don't think she would, (said Roseline, smiling,) for I know our
friend Hugh is a great favourite with every female in the family."

"Wery vell, miss, (replied Audrey, blushing as red as scarlet at the
story of the mulberry-tree,) you have a mind I see to join with the
malicious doctor to dash and confound me; but I defy his satarical
talons, and can ashure you, miss, though Mr. Camelfor is so cetious and
merry, he never proffered to kiss me more than half a dozen times in
his life."

"Take care how you reckon, Audrey, cried De Clavering, humourously,)
remember I saw you under the mulberry-tree."

"Well, what if you did?--You might as well have said nothing about it,
(replied Audrey.)--I was frightened almost into highsterricks by an ugly
black cat jumping from a lylac bush, and I ran to Mr. Camelfor without
knowing what I did, and he was so civil and perlite, God bless his
good-humoured heart, one must have been a savage to quarrel with him for
a civil kiss or two: he does not fleer or jeer people about their looks,
or tells what he sees them doing."

Neither Roseline nor De Clavering could any longer refrain from
laughing, and Camelford that moment entering the room, Audrey was so
much displeased, and in so great a hurry to be gone, that, in running to
the door, she almost beat down her favourite.

"Fat, in the name of Cot, (cried Hugh,) is the matter with the girl? She
has as many freaks and fancies in her head as a mountain coat, and is as
frolicksome too."

"You had better follow her, and make your inquiries, (said De
Clavering;) I am satisfied the damsel would tell you what brought on
her present disorder sooner than any body else."

"I am no toctor, (said Camelford,) therefore don't be playing tricks
upon me, by sending me after the tamsel, and pringing little Pertha's
anger upon me, which, may I tie in a titch, if I how how to bear."

"Oh! if you are enlisted under petticoat government, (replied De
Clavering,) I give you up as incurable,--a deserter from the thorny
paths of glory, and foresee the sword will be changed into a distaff or
a ploughshare."

"Luf (cried Camelford) must not be apused; it is the best stimulus to
crate and noble actions, the parent of pold atchievements; but of that
same luf you know nothing: there is no heart in your pody, and you are
mortified to think you cannot find a nostrum to cure the disease in
others: you must therefore be caught in luf's snares, in order to learn
the nature of those treadful tribulations it brings upon a man. May I go
to the tevil in a high wind, if I had not as lief face a canon's mouth
as meet the fire of Pertha's pright eyes, when they look indignantly
upon me!"

"Don't talk so much of the devil, Hugh, (interrupted De Clavering,) but
request him to do you the favour of kicking about your brains a little,
till they return to a more useful station in your pericranium: in my
opinion, you are in a fair way of becoming fist for the government under
which you think yourself enlisted."

"May the vengeance of all womankind fall upon you! (cried
Camelford:)--may you be tragged apout like a tancing pear, to make
sport!--may you lead asses in the tark regions of Peelzebub, for your
plasphemies against woman! and may--"

But all his farther denunciations and wishes for vengeance on De
Clavering were now interrupted by a loud screaming. Soon the door was
thrown open, and in bounced Audrey, her cap on one side, and her face as
pale as ashes.

"I have seen him, (she exclaimed,) with my own dear eyes!--his ghost, or
happorition!"

"Whose cost? (cried Camelford;) where is it?--I will teach a cost to
frighten a pretty cirl, and trive her tistracted."

The manner and appearance of Audrey were such as served to confirm the
suspicion in the mind of Roseline, and even De Clavering, till, offended
by the supposition of her being insane, she called out in her usual
peculiar stile, "Thank God! some folks are no more a lunatic than other
folks. I have all my seven senses as perfect as ever I had in my
life;--but, Christ Jasus, these are sad times, when one is not allowed
to believe their own precious eyes.--Down dropped his horse, poor beast,
all in a foam, and down tumbled the young Baron arter him, as dead as my
my dear great grandmother."

"Who are you talking of? (cried Roseline, rising with the utmost
emotion.)--Is the Baron?--is Walter?--is he dead?"

"He only died for a few minutes, (answered Audrey, and then he came
to himself--"

She had time for no more. Roseline heard the well known step of her
lover.--Walter rushed into the room, threw himself at her feet, and the
next instant caught her in his arms.

"This moment (cried he) is that for which my heart has languished! this
is a reward for all my fatigue, all my fears and anxieties!--Look up,
smile upon me, and say, my sweet Roseline, that my return gives to you
an almost equal pleasure as myself; but, first, let me inform you that I
have left London without the knowledge and permission of my father."

That Roseline rejoiced to see her lover her eyes informed him, but for a
few minutes surprise and agitation kept her silent. Sir Philip, Lady de
Morney, and the whole family, were soon assembled in the apartment to
which Walter had been directed by Audrey.

The young Baron, it may be supposed, found a cordial reception, and it
is not to be doubted but _that_ he met with from the fair object of his
affection was such as amply repaid him for his fatigue, and in his own
mind even, for the risk he had hazarded of disobliging his father. This
step, however, was owing to a hint dropped by the Baron, that it would
be agreeable and convenient, to himself, and necessary for many reasons
to his son, that they should prolong their stay in town for some weeks
beyond what had been proposed, or intended on their departure from the
castle.

On this plan being opposed by Walter, the Baron not only appeared
displeased, but resolute to carry his point. A circumstance so
distressing to his son rendered him equally determined not to submit to
such arbitrary, and, in his opinion, cruel authority; therefore, early
the next morning he sat off, without being attended by a servant, or
informing any one to what part of the globe he meant to go, and the next
day reached Bungay-castle in the manner before described.

Sir Philip de Morney, on learning these alarming circumstances from his
daughter, immediately sent off an express to inform the Baron of his
son's unexpected arrival, and of his apprehensions that the step he had
so unguardedly taken would bring his displeasure upon himself and
family, whom he seriously assured him knew nothing of his intention.

Walter, in his conversations with Roseline, told her, he found himself
so disgusted with the customs and manners of the world, and met with so
few people in it to whom he could attach himself, or for whom he felt
either respect or affection, that he determined no longer to be detained
from her in whose care his happiness was intrusted, and with whom alone
he was satisfied it could rest secure.

"And, as you condescended, (he continued,) to love and attend to me when
immured in a dungeon,--kindly smiled on me, and endeavoured to instruct
me when enveloped in ignorance, and was my friend when I appeared to
have no claims,--a solitary outcast from society, I thought you would
not be very much displeased if I forsook the world for you, who gave up
more, much more, for me, and quitted its gayest and most cheerful scenes
for the solitary gloom of a prison.

"Whatever I may still want of polish, address, and what fashionable
people stile politeness, love and my gentle Roseline can easily teach
me. From a world that I neither like nor approve, I could learn but
little, while the chosen mistress of my heart may at her pleasure make
me any thing she wishes. With her, and for her amusement, I may be
sometimes tempted to live in a crowd; without her, the world itself is
only a wide extended dungeon."

Roseline, at hearing this impassioned language from lips which, she was
satisfied, knew no guile, was too much gratified to express all she
felt. She smiled on him through her tears, and, in the softest language
affection could dictate, gently chid him for being so impetuous as to
run the risk of disobliging his father on her account, expressing a few
timid apprehensions that the Baron might be offended with her as being
the innocent cause of his son's proving refractory to his wishes; yet
she could not help secretly rejoicing in the strength of his attachment,
on which all her happiness depended.

Every thing was done by the family to give this amiable and singular
lover a reception not only suitable to his elevated rank, but
satisfactory to his feelings,--such an one as the sincerity of his
regard for Roseline demanded and deserved, while the joy which appeared
upon the animated countenances of the lovers convinced every one who saw
them, that they had fixed their hopes of felicity on a basis which the
hand of death only could shake from its foundations.

Walter, in his moments of unreserve, expressed his surprise, dislike,
and contempt, of many things, persons, and customs, which he met with in
the high circles to which he had been introduced, and concluded with
wishing that the Baron could be prevailed upon to excuse his farther
attendance, adding, it was his determined plan, so far as it met the
approbation of his beloved Roseline, to spend as much of his time as the
nature of his situation would permit in the placid bosom of retirement,
in which he hoped to make himself as useful and worthy a member of
the commonwealth as he should be if engaged in more bustling and
busy scenes.

"One would think (said De Clavering, who happened to be present when
this conversation occurred) that the young Baron had been educated by
some of our wise and ancient philosophers, and, taught by their
precepts, was convinced by them that happiness was too timid and modest
to be found in the confines of a court, or the splendors of a ball-room.
It reminds me of Enthymenes, who, speaking of the pleasures of solitude
to a man of the world, makes the following observations.


  "You are compelled to a continual restraint in your dress, demeanour,
  actions, and words:--your festivals are so magnificent, and our's so
  mirthful!--your pleasures so superficial and so transient, and our's so
  real and so constant! Have you ever in your rich apartments breathed an
  air so fresh as that which we respire in the verdant arbour?--or can
  your entertainments, sometimes so sumptuous, compare with the bowls of
  milk which we have just drawn, or those delicious fruits we have
  gathered with our hands?

  "Ah! if happiness be only the health of the soul, must it not be
  found in those places, where a just proportion ever reigns between our
  wants and our desires, where motion is constantly followed by rest,
  and where our affections are always *accompapanied by tranquillity,
  breathe a free air, and enjoy the splendor of heaven.--From these
  kind of comparisons we may judge which are the true riches that nature
  designed for men."

"Such were the opinions and sentiments of Enthymenes, and such I find
are those of De Clavering, (replied Walter,) or he would not have
retained and repeated them with so much facility and satisfaction.--Were
my fate united with that of Miss de Morney, and had I two such friends
as De Clavering and Albert, to direct my conduct and enlarge the small
portion of knowledge I have yet been able to acquire, I should think
myself the most fortunate as well as the happiest of mankind, having
already experienced a long series of oppression from the baneful arts
and stratagems of ambition, I have learned to despise it, and, in the
gloomy and trying hour of adversity, have been taught, that fortitude,
with humility and untainted honour, can harmonize, but can never degrade
the most exalted stations, and, while they are the brightest jewels that
could adorn a crown, they enrich and ennoble the lowest peasant."

In a few days, the Baron, accompanied by Albert, arrived at the castle.
The frown which appeared upon his brow, at his first entrance, was
instantly dispersed when the trembling Roseline sunk at his feet, and
entreated him to pardon the eccentric flight of her lover, of which, as
she was the cause, if his displeasure continued, it would inflict equal
distress upon herself as upon his son.

To resist so fair a supplicant was not in the Baron's power. He tenderly
raised her from the ground, and the next morning embraced her lover. The
utmost harmony and a general cheerfulness soon prevailed, and, before
the parties separated for the night, the Baron candidly and generously
acknowledged, that, at the same age, and under the same circumstances as
his son, he believed he should have acted as he had done. "And upon the
whole, (said he,) I was not very sorry when the obstinate sighing boy
took himself away; for I was grown weary of having to introduce, and
make such frequent apologies for so absent, lifeless, and refractory
a being."

What served to reconcile matters the sooner was, that Albert, after the
sudden disappearance of his young lord, had informed his father of Mrs.
C---'s infamous stratagem to draw him into a marriage with her artful
and abandoned daughter. He was so much enraged at hearing the lengths
to which these wretches had dared to go, that strict search was made
after them, but without effect.

Walter, too, told Roseline of the designs which had been formed to
entrap him, and, while she looked at him with increased delight, she
secretly rejoiced that he had left a place which harboured a set of
people who gloried to destroy the peace of their fellow-creatures.

To make the happiness of the friendly party more perfectly complete, the
Baron informed Sir Philip and Lady de Morney that he hoped very soon to
procure a pardon for Edwin and Madeline, and to be able to restore them
to their protection.

Preparations for the marriage very soon began, the Baron humourously
observing, that, till his son was again deprived of his freedom, there
would be no knowing how to secure, or what to do with him, and declaring
he should be very glad to delegate the care of him to one whom he had no
doubt would supply his place much to the advantage of the charge he was
ready and willing to give up.

Every appendage, that wealth could purchase,--rank require,--or youth
and ambition wish to possess,--was liberally provided to grace the
nuptials of Walter Fitzosbourne and the happy Roseline de Morney.

Ah! how different were the feelings,--how delightful the prospects of
the intended bride, on this occasion, to what they had been on a former
one, when she prepared with such agonizing terrors to give her hand to
the Baron!--yet, though she could now think of approaching the altar
without reluctance, she could not entirely divest herself of those timid
fears which every gentle and virtuous female must experience when she
recollects the number of new duties upon which she is going to enter,
and that, from the moment she becomes a wife, her happiness, no longer
dependent on herself or parents, rests only on the man to whom she has
given her hand.

Walter seemed to tread on air; he was all vivacity and joy, and appeared
to have assumed a new character. The world, and every thing belonging to
it, wore a different aspect:--all, all was charming. He wondered how he
could ever have felt disgust, or cherished discontent. To his father he
was attentive and affectionate,--to his friends cordial and
complacent,--to his Roseline all that an affectionate lover could or
ought to be.

Albert was almost as happy and joyous as his master. The Baron, serene,
grateful, and contented, while Sir Philip and Lady de Morney, who found
their own consequence and comforts so much increased by this fortunate
and splendid alliance, united in blessing the hour which sent their
intended son-in-law a prisoner to Bungay-castle.



CHAP. X.


At length the happy day arrived which was appointed for the
celebration of these long expected nuptials. We presume that the
morning, to the world in general, was exactly like what other
mornings had been, and that the sun shone without any perceptible
brilliancy being added to its rays, except in the eyes of the now
happy lovers.

The company assembled in the breakfast-room, and for some time waited
for Roseline. She soon made her appearance, led by her beloved
Walter, who had stolen unobserved to the chamber-door of his
mistress, to chide her for so long delaying his happiness. On this
occasion he was splendidly attired, and the bride, elegantly but
simply dressed, wanted not the borrowed aid of ornament, but, arrayed
in maiden bashfulness and artless purity, appeared all native
loveliness.

As she received the congratulations of her friends, a tear, which
stole from her expressive eye as it trembled to escape, appeared to
spotless harbinger of gratified affection, struggling to conquer the
becoming fears of unaffected modesty.

As soon as breakfast was over, they were accompanied to the chapel of
the nunnery by a numerous train of friends and dependents. On their
arrival, they were met by the Lady Abbess, the venerable and worthy
Father Anselm, and almost all the inhabitants of the nunnery, who
were allowed to assemble in the chapel on this joyous occasion, while
every face wore the appearance of cheerfulness.

A select party went back with them to the castle, where all who chose
were permitted to partake of the happiness, and share in the social
satisfaction which universally prevailed.

Mutual congratulations and good wishes were exchanged. Sir Philip and
Lady de Morney, happy as they were in the completion of their
ambition, could not restrain the sigh of heart-felt regret at the
thoughts of soon being separated from their beloved daughter.

Roseline was some time before she recovered her usual serenity, till
Edeliza, on observing her shed a tear as she looked at her mother,
said to her, in a whisper,--"I cannot imagine, my dear sister, why
you should weep. I do not think I should be so dejected if I were
married to De Willows,--though he never said half so many fine things
to me as the young Baron has done to you."

Roseline, smiling, pressed the hand of her sister, and, returning
her whisper, assured her she was indeed the most enviable of her
sex:-- but (added she) it requires more fortitude than I possess to
support such happiness as mine with equanimity and composure; and
the natural regret I cannot help feeling at leaving this place, and
soon being separated from the best and tenderest of mothers, convinces
me that Providence never intended we should enjoy bliss without alloy."

The next day the party sat off in new and splendid carriages, attended
by a numerous retinue of servants, for the Baron's castle in the
North of England. Their grand cavalcade brought a number of people
to take a farewell look of the lovely bride, whose departure was
generally regretted; and she was followed by the good wishes of all
who ever had the pleasure of enjoying her society.

Sir Philip and Lady de Morney, her two sisters, De Willows,
De Clavering, and Hugh Camelford accompanied her. Audrey had likewise
the honour of attending her lady as fille de chambre, and never felt
herself of such infinite consequence as she did when handed into the
travelling carriage by the Baron's gentleman, who did her the honour
to assist in packing her up to the chin amidst the boxes and luggage
entrusted to her care.

The party travelled slowly and pleasantly, stopping to see every
thing on their route that was worthy observation; and, as they were
now in the humour to be easily pleased, they were consequently amused
and gratified with almost every thing they saw.--It is a kind of
humour so extremely convenient, that I hope we shall be excused for
recommending the adoption of it to travellers of all countries and
denominations,--good humour, and serenity of mind, being the best
companions at home, are equally eligible to carry with us when we
go abroad.

On their arrival at Fitzosbourne-castle, they received a considerable
increase to their happiness by meeting Edwin and Madeline in perfect
health and good spirits.--Sir Philip and Lady de Morney's cup of
joy was filled to the brim, when they found themselves folded in the
arms of their long absent children, for whole lives they had so often,
and indeed at this very moment inwardly trembled.

The happy bride of the exulting Walter felt such a torrent of added
felicity, on being folded in the arms of her brother and Madeline,
that she was very near fainting. Observing this, the Baron, to call
off their attention, desired them to permit him to come in for
some share of their embraces, and in his turn to welcome them to
Fitzosbourne-castle. This had the effect it was designed to produce,
and the cordial welcome every one received from the Baron gave
additional satisfaction to the hours thus marked with joy, happiness,
and love.

After they had taken some refreshment, Edwin surprised them all by
approaching the Baron, and in the most submissive manner begging him
to pardon the liberty he had taken in introducing a guest to the
castle, whom, as yet, he knew not of being there,--a guest old and
weak, but who was, he hoped, slowly recovering from an attack of
illness so severe, as to have threatened his life, and which, in all
probability, would have terminated his mortal existence, but for the
unremitting attention he received from the Baron's domestics.

"No apology is necessary upon such an occasion, (said the Baron.)
Had my people been wanting in care to any one who required their
assistance, I should have instantly dismissed them.--When may I be
introduced to your friend? (added he.)--I am impatient to assure him
that this house, and all that it contains, are much at his service."

"Pray, my dear Edwin, (said Lady de Morney,) who is the person for
whom you have ventured to tax the Baron's hospitality thus largely,
and for whom you appear so much interested?"

"The father of this lady, (replied he, taking the hand of Madeline,
and leading her to his mother.)--To her I will refer you for an
account of our meeting, and the revolution it has fortunately
produced in our favour.

Madeline was instantly called upon to gratify the curiosity of the
company, and, without any delay, informed them, that Edwin and
herself having one day agreed to take a ramble, they told the people
with whom they lodged that they should not return till the evening.

Disguising themselves more than usual, so as to avoid the possibility
of being discovered, they sat off; and, being tempted by the extreme
fineness of the day, wandered till they came to the great road which
led to a large town, not five miles distant.

"In fact, (said the blushing narrator,) my dear Edwin, was grown
weary of solitude, and wished perhaps to see more faces than those
which he met in the obscure little cottage to which we were confined."

Every one smiled,--Edwin looked confused,--and Madeline thus proceeded.

"We had not walked more than half a mile in the great road, before
the number of people we met, and the curiosity our strange appearance
excited, determined us to choose a more private walk; but, just as
we were going to turn into a lane which led to a neighbouring village,
our attention was caught, and our design prevented by a carriage
being overturned within a hundred paces of us.

"The horses, proving restive, had drawn it up a high bank, which
occasioned the accident. One of the servants, seeing Edwin, beckened
him, and begged him to assist in the lifting it up, and liberating
his master from his perilous situation. He immediately ran off,
telling me to sit down on the bank till his return.

"Thinking, however, that I might possibly be of some service, I walked
slowly forwards; but guess my terror, when, just as we arrived at
the carriage, they were dragging from it a man to all appearance dead.

"I instantly flew to lend my assistance; but no sooner did I
distinguish his person, than I was nearly as lifeless as himself.--It
was my father,--my father dying on the road! The sight, however
terrifying to my fears and torturing to my feelings, gave me strength,
and inspired me with fortitude to help in preserving the life of
the author of my being.

"I took an opportunity to inform my dear Edwin who it was that claimed
our care and attention. After chafing his temples, and rubbing his
emaciated hands, some faint signs of life reanimated our endeavours.

"We found, by the conversation of the servants, that their master
had been recommended to try what change of air and travelling might
do, as medicine had failed in removing a disease which had long
preyed upon his constitution, and which had been increased by some
domestic sorrow.

"Alas! of that sorrow I knew myself to be the cause, and the tears,
which I shed upon his almost lifeless hand, as I saw him extended at
my feet, atoned I hope, in some measure, for the grief I had inflicted.

"When life was more perfectly restored, we moved him upon a grass plat,
till the carriage and horses could be got ready.--He took no notice
of any one, and appeared to be totally insensible of the accident,
and of every thing around him.--This at once determined us to intrude
on the Baron's goodness, and convey him to this castle.

"Having dispatched a messenger for the best advice we could procure,
one of his attendants and myself accompanied him in the carriage.
His head rested on my bosom, but he knew me not, nor once attempted
to speak. On our arrival here, we found every thing prepared for our
reception, Edwin having taken one of the horses, and rode full speed
to inform the Baron's servants a sick gentleman was coming, for whom
he requested their care and assistance.

"My father was taken from the carriage, and instantly put to bed.
Two medical gentlemen very soon arrived, who, on examining the state
of their patient, from the violence of the contusion and the total
deprivation of sense in which they found him, seemed to think there
was a concussion of the brain. They assured us, however, that his
life would not be endangered by the accident, but said, they saw
he was far advanced in decline, from which they apprehended more
fatal consequences.

"We continued our disguise, and, as our real names were totally unknown
in this neighborhood, having passed for a Mr. and Mrs. Danbury, we
were under no apprehensions of being discovered, should my father
recover his senses. After remaining in the most painful state of
suspense many days, he began to take notice of those who attended
him, but made no inquiries after his own servants, how he came into
a strange place, or the accident which had befallen him. One day, as
I was sitting by him, and holding his head, which I had been rubbing
with vinegar, he looked earnestly at me.

"If I did not think, if I did not know it was impossible, (said he,
in hurried accents, looking first at me, and then at Edwin, who was
standing at the foot of the bed,) I should almost be tempted to
believe that the hand which has so gently given me relief was the
hand of Madeline de Glanville, and that face the face I once fondly
doated upon; but it cannot be!--I am a poor, wandering, old man, whose
eyes must be closed by strangers, and I deserve it should be so. I
once had a daughter, but I banished her my sight:--I had a son, but
he perhaps is no longer an inhabitant of this world."

Here he stopped, and burst into a violent flood of tears. By a sign
from Edwin I understood he wished me to take this favourable opportunity
of making the discovery, for which he knew I languished. Falling
therefore, on my knees, in the most supplicating attitude, and pressing
his hand to my lips, I exclaimed:

"I am your daughter,--your Madeline, and there is the amiable, the
beloved husband for whom I dared to disobey my father, and for whom
at this moment I stand a trembling victim to the just laws of my
country and my religion!"

The scene which followed it is not in my power to describe. Suffice
it to say, that, from that interesting period, my father has not
only been reconciled, but renovated with health and strength. He
frequently laments the obstinacy which reduced us to the necessity
of taking such steps to prevent our separation. He has written letters
to every one he knows that has any interest with the higher powers
of the church, but his hopes of success are rested upon Lord
Fitzosbourne, to whom he is impatient to pay his respects."

"This moment I am ready to attend him, (said the Baron:) the father
of Madeline is entitled to every attention that has, or can be
shewn him."

After his lordship's visit had been paid, the rest of the party
followed of course, and a general harmony prevailed. Mr. de Glanville
was instantly placed wholly under the care of De Clavering, and soon
obtained as perfect a state of convalescence as the nature of his
constitutional habits would admit.

Now again hospitality and festivity took their turn to reign, and
the happy and distinguished Walter, after languishing so many years
in misery and confinement, found himself in the situation for which
nature had designed him.

Restored to his rank in the bosom of affluence, and surrounded by
tender and admiring friends, he soon lost that timid shyness which
had once rendered averse to society, and discontented with the world.
United to the only woman he had ever loved, and possessed of domains
more extensive and fertile than those of many a petty prince, with
a mind calculated to promote the happiness of his fellow-creatures,
he was beloved by all, and envied by many.

In a few months a full and free pardon was procured for Edwin and
Madeline, and Mr. de Glanville, having recovered, contrary to the
expectation of every one, from the indisposition which threatened
him with death at the time his daughter escaped from the Bungay nunnery,
on being convinced she had made so respectable and worthy a choice,
gave her a considerable portion, and afterwards, having the fears
of his son's death realized, she inherited his whole estate. Edwin
also rose to high rank in the army, and was an honour to his country.

Edeliza was happily married in due time to her beloved De Willows,
and, about six years after, the worthy Hugh Camelford led the blooming
and unreluctant Bertha to the altar.--To these young men the Baron
uniformly remained a bountiful and steady patron, and Sir Philip and
Lady de Morney lived many years to be grateful and happy spectators
of the felicity and prosperity of their children.

The Baron and his son became so sincerely attached to De Clavering
during his visit at Fitzosbourne-castle, that, in compliance with
their urgent and repeated entreaties, he consented to remain in
their neighborhood.

He very soon afterwards married a lady of respectability and fortune,
and his practice became so extensive, and so much esteemed, that his
superior knowledge proved a general blessing, of which many hundreds
of this fellow-creatures in a few years experienced the benefit.

The Baron was highly delighted with the society of De Clavering, and
it was with the utmost reluctance he ever consented to his being
a day absent from the neighborhood.

It was the intention of the Baron, after he had seen his son fixed,
and his household properly established, to have resided in another
of his castles, about twenty miles distant, but neither Walter nor
Roseline would consent to the proposal.

They reminded the Baron of the long and cruel separation which had
divided him from his son in the early part of his life, and so earnestly
entreated him not to interrupt their happiness, by withdrawing himself
from their society, and refusing to reside with them, that, pleased
and gratified by the tenderness with which the request was mutually
urged, he yielded to their persuasions, and a proper suite of rooms,
with a large retinue of servants, were set apart for the immediate
use of the Baron.

He continued to live with them many years, without any interruption
to his happiness; and, in seeing the harmony and felicity they enjoyed,
surrounded by a number of lovely and healthy grand-children, he found,
amidst the increasing infirmities of old age, sufficient attractions
in life to make it pleasant and desirable, while the cordial affection
and exemplary conduct of his son, joined to the endearing attentions
of the gentle and beloved Roseline, made him remember with joy and
gratitude the day in which he saw their hands united.

Albert never left his beloved master, but was as faithfully attached
to his children as he had been to himself. He had apartments
appropriated to his use, a servant to attend him, and met, in the
kind and unceasing attentions of his grateful friends, the just reward
of his long tried fidelity.

Often, in the dreary winter evenings, having drawn all the younger
part of the family around him, he would recite the incidents of his
life from the period of his confinement with Walter. To the young
Fitzosbournes it was a high treat to hear Albert tell the tale of
their beloved father's life.

Sometimes he would excite their wonder, and entertain them with the
surprising effect of his double voice; and, when he became a very
old man, he was as much beloved for what he had been, as he was
respected for his age, grey hairs, and universal philanthropy.

Though many overtures were made by the worthless brother of the
Lady Isabella to bring about a reconciliation, neither the Baron nor
his son could ever be prevailed upon to see him, and it was with some
difficulty the former was persuaded to give up bringing him to justice
for the crime he had committed.

The good abbess and the venerable father Anselm had the pleasure of
seeing their favourite Madeline as happy in the arms of her worthy
husband, as they had hoped she would have been in the bosom of their
church. Walter and his Roseline paid them many visits before they
were removed from their exemplary calling on earth to receive the
reward of their purity and virtue in the regions of immortality.

The hero and heroine of our tale retained the virtues of their
youth, the gentleness of their manners, and the sweetness of their
dispositions to the end of their lives; and, what may be thought rare
and singular, they never lost their humility, tenderness, and unbounded
affection for each other; but when age, that grave of beauty, had robbed
them of those outward graces, which nature with an unsparing hand
had bestowed upon their youth, love maintained its empire in their
faithful bosoms, and survived every change, till death summoned them
to meet the bright and unfailing recompense of a life spent in the
practice of religion, justice, and virtue.


FINIS.





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