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Title: Emmeline - The Orphan of the Castle
Author: Smith, Charlotte Turner
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 "Emmeline - The Orphan of the Castle" ***

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Transcriber's note:

      There were several instances of numbered footnote markers
      without matching footnotes in the original text. These have
      been removed.

      Minor differences in hyphenation have been made consistent.



                             EMMELINE

                     THE ORPHAN OF THE CASTLE


  [Illustration: '_Miss Mowbray! is it thus you fulfil the promise you
  gave me?_'
  (p. 103)]


                         CHARLOTTE SMITH

                *       *       *       *       *

                             EMMELINE
                     THE ORPHAN OF THE CASTLE

                *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


  EMMELINE, THE ORPHAN OF THE CASTLE

  'To My Children'                       xxvii

  VOLUME I                                   1
    CHAPTER I                                1
    CHAPTER II                               7
    CHAPTER III                             13
    CHAPTER IV                              20
    CHAPTER V                               28
    CHAPTER VI                              36
    CHAPTER VII                             41
    CHAPTER VIII                            49
    CHAPTER IX                              56
    CHAPTER X                               61
    CHAPTER XI                              69
    CHAPTER XII                             78
    CHAPTER XIII                            86
    CHAPTER XIV                            100
    CHAPTER XV                             107
    CHAPTER XVI                            114

  VOLUME II                                119
    CHAPTER I                              119
    CHAPTER II                             131
    CHAPTER III                            137
    CHAPTER IV                             148
    CHAPTER V                              152
    CHAPTER VI                             161
    CHAPTER VII                            169
    CHAPTER VIII                           179
    CHAPTER IX                             186
    CHAPTER X                              194
    CHAPTER XI                             201
    CHAPTER XII                            218

  VOLUME III                               227
    CHAPTER I                              227
    CHAPTER II                             238
    CHAPTER III                            248
    CHAPTER IV                             262
    CHAPTER V                              273
    CHAPTER VI                             283
    CHAPTER VII                            291
    CHAPTER VIII                           296
    CHAPTER IX                             301
    CHAPTER X                              313
    CHAPTER XI                             322
    CHAPTER XII                            329
    CHAPTER XIII                           337
    CHAPTER XIV                            344

  VOLUME IV                                355
    CHAPTER I                              355
    CHAPTER II                             364
    CHAPTER III                            372
    CHAPTER IV                             383
    CHAPTER V                              393
    CHAPTER VI                             400
    CHAPTER VII                            410
    CHAPTER VIII                           421
    CHAPTER IX                             434
    CHAPTER X                              442
    CHAPTER XI                             457
    CHAPTER XII                            470
    CHAPTER XIII                           486
    CHAPTER XIV                            496
    CHAPTER XV                             508
    CHAPTER XVI                            525

  EXPLANATORY NOTES                        528



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  '_Miss Mowbray! is it thus you fulfil the promise you
    gave me?_' (p. 103)                                         xx

  _Emmeline and Lady Adelina surprised at the appearance
    of Fitz-Edward_ (p. 477)                                   xxv



                             EMMELINE

                     THE ORPHAN OF THE CASTLE

[Illustration: _Emmeline and Lady Adelina surprised at the appearance
of Fitz-Edward_ (p. 477)]


                             VOLUME I



TO MY CHILDREN


    O'erwhelm'd with sorrow--and sustaining long
    'The proud man's contumely, the oppressor's wrong,'
    Languid despondency, and vain regret,
    Must my exhausted spirit struggle yet?
    Yes! robb'd myself of all that Fortune gave,
    Of every hope--but shelter in the grave;
    Still shall the plaintive lyre essay it's powers,
    And dress the cave of Care, with Fancy's flowers;
    Maternal love, the fiend Despair withstand,
    Still animate the heart and guide the hand.
    May you, dear objects of my tender care!
    Escape the evils, I was born to bear:
    Round my devoted head, while tempests roll,
    Yet there--'where I have treasured up my soul,'
    May the soft rays of dawning hope impart
    Reviving patience to my fainting heart;
    And, when it's sharp anxieties shall cease,
    May I be conscious, in the realms of peace,
    That every tear which swells my children's eyes,
    From evils past, not present sorrows, rise.
    Then, with some friend who loves to share your pain,
    (For 'tis my boast, that still such friends remain,)
    By filial grief, and fond remembrance prest,
    You'll seek the spot where all my miseries rest,
    Recall my hapless days in sad review,
    The long calamities I bore for you,
    And, with an happier fate, resolve to prove
    How well ye merited your mother's love!



                             EMMELINE

                     THE ORPHAN OF THE CASTLE



CHAPTER I


In a remote part of the county of Pembroke, is an old building, formerly
of great strength, and inhabited for centuries by the ancient family of
Mowbray; to the sole remaining branch of which it still belonged, tho'
it was, at the time this history commences, inhabited only by servants;
and the greater part of it was gone to decay. A few rooms only had been
occasionally repaired to accommodate the proprietor, when he found it
necessary to come thither to receive his rents, or to inspect the
condition of the estate; which however happened so seldom, that during
the twelve years he had been master of it, he had only once visited the
castle for a few days. The business that related to the property round
it (which was very considerable) was conducted by a steward grown grey
in the service of the family, and by an attorney from London, who came
to hold the courts. And an old housekeeper, a servant who waited on her,
the steward, and a labourer who was kept to look after his horse and
work in that part of the garden which yet bore the vestige of
cultivation, were now all its inhabitants; except a little girl, of whom
the housekeeper had the care, and who was believed to be the natural
daughter of that elder brother, by whose death Lord Montreville, the
present possessor, became entitled to the estate.

This nobleman, while yet a younger son, was (by the partiality of his
mother, who had been an heiress, and that of some other female
relations) master of a property nearly equal to what he inherited by the
death of his brother, Mr. Mowbray.

He had been originally designed for the law; but in consequence of being
entitled to the large estate which had been his mother's, and heir, by
will, to all her opulent family, he had quitted that profession, and at
the age of about four and twenty, had married Lady Eleonore Delamere, by
whom he had a son and two daughters.

The illustrious family from which Lady Eleonore descended, became
extinct in the male line by the premature death of her two brothers; and
her Ladyship becoming sole heiress, her husband took the name of
Delamere; and obtaining one of the titles of the lady's father, was, at
his death, created Viscount Montreville. Mr. Mowbray died before he was
thirty, in Italy; and Lord Montreville, on taking possession of Mowbray
Castle, found there his infant daughter.

Her mother had died soon after her birth; and she had been sent from
France, where she was born, and put under the care of Mrs. Carey, the
housekeeper, who was tenderly attached to her, having been the attendant
of Mr. Mowbray from his earliest infancy.

Lord Montreville suffered her to remain in the situation in which he
found her, and to go by the name of Mowbray: he allowed for the trifling
charge of her board and necessary cloaths in the steward's account, the
examination of which was for some years the only circumstance that
reminded him of the existence of the unfortunate orphan.

With no other notice from her father's family, Emmeline had attained her
twelfth year; an age at which she would have been left in the most
profound ignorance, if her uncommon understanding, and unwearied
application, had not supplied the deficiency of her instructors, and
conquered the disadvantages of her situation.

Mrs. Carey could indeed read with tolerable fluency, and write an hand
hardly legible: and Mr. Williamson, the old steward, had been formerly a
good penman, and was still a proficient in accounts. Both were anxious
to give their little charge all the instruction they could: but without
the quickness and attention she shewed to whatever they attempted to
teach, such preceptors could have done little.

Emmeline had a kind of intuitive knowledge; and comprehended every thing
with a facility that soon left her instructors behind her. The
precarious and neglected situation in which she lived, troubled not the
innocent Emmeline. Having never experienced any other, she felt no
uneasiness at her present lot; and on the future she was not yet old
enough to reflect.

Mrs. Carey was to her in place of the mother she had never known; and
the old steward, she was accustomed to call father. The death of this
venerable servant was the first sorrow Emmeline ever felt: returning
late one evening, in the winter, from a neighbouring town, he attempted
to cross a ford, where the waters being extremely out, he was carried
down by the rapidity of the current. His horse was drowned; and tho' he
was himself rescued from the flood by some peasants who knew him, and
carried to the castle, he was so much bruised, and had suffered so much
from cold, that he was taken up speechless, and continued so for the few
hours he survived the accident.

Mrs. Carey, who had lived in the same house with him near forty years,
felt the sincerest concern at his death; with which it was necessary for
her immediately to acquaint Lord Montreville.

His Lordship directed his attorney in London to replace him with
another; to whom Mrs. Carey, with an aching heart, delivered the keys of
the steward's room and drawers.

Her health, which was before declining, received a rude shock from the
melancholy death of Mr. Williamson; and she and her little ward had soon
the mortification of seeing he was forgotten by all but themselves.

Frequent and severe attacks of the gout now made daily ravages in the
constitution of Mrs. Carey; and her illness recurred so often, that
Emmeline, now almost fourteen, began to reflect on what she should do,
if Mrs. Carey died: and these reflections occasionally gave her pain.
But she was not yet of an age to consider deeply, or to dwell long on
gloomy subjects. Her mind, however, gradually expanded, and her judgment
improved: for among the deserted rooms of this once noble edifice, was a
library, which had been well furnished with the books of those ages in
which they had been collected. Many of them were in black letter; and so
injured by time, that the most indefatigable antiquary could have made
nothing of them.

From these, Emmeline turned in despair to some others of more modern
appearance; which, tho' they also had suffered from the dampness of the
room, and in some parts were almost effaced with mould, were yet
generally legible. Among them, were Spencer and Milton, two or three
volumes of the Spectator, an old edition of Shakespeare, and an odd
volume or two of Pope.

These, together with some tracts of devotion, which she knew would be
very acceptable to Mrs. Carey, she cleaned by degrees from the dust with
which they were covered, and removed into the housekeeper's room; where
the village carpenter accommodated her with a shelf, on which, with
great pride of heart, she placed her new acquisitions.

The dismantled windows, and broken floor of the library, prevented her
continuing there long together: but she frequently renewed her search,
and with infinite pains examined all the piles of books, some of which
lay tumbled in heaps on the floor, others promiscuously placed on the
shelves, where the swallow, the sparrow, and the daw, had found
habitations for many years: for as the present proprietor had determined
to lay out no more than was absolutely necessary to keep one end of the
castle habitable, the library, which was in the most deserted part of
it, was in a ruinous state, and had long been entirely forsaken.

Emmeline, however, by her unwearied researches, nearly completed several
sets of books, in which instruction and amusement were happily blended.
From them she acquired a taste for poetry, and the more ornamental parts
of literature; as well as the grounds of that elegant and useful
knowledge, which, if it rendered not her life happier, enabled her to
support, with the dignity of conscious worth, those undeserved evils
with which many of her years were embittered.

Mrs. Carey, now far advanced in life, found her infirmities daily
increase. She was often incapable of leaving her chamber for many weeks;
during which Emmeline attended her with the solicitude and affection of
a daughter; scorned not to perform the most humble offices that
contributed to her relief; and sat by her whole days, or watched her
whole nights, with the tenderest and most unwearied assiduity.

On those evenings in summer, when her attendance could for a few hours
be dispensed with, she delighted to wander among the rocks that formed
the bold and magnificent boundary of the ocean, which spread its immense
expanse of water within half a mile of the castle. Simply dressed, and
with no other protection than Providence, she often rambled several
miles into the country, visiting the remote huts of the shepherds, among
the wildest mountains.

During the life of Mrs. Mowbray, a small stipend had been annually
allowed for the use of the poor: this had not yet been withdrawn; and
it now passed thro' the hands of Mrs. Carey, whose enquiries into the
immediate necessities of the cottagers in the neighbourhood of the
castle, devolved to Emmeline, when she was herself unable to make them.

The ignorant rustics, who had seen Emmeline grow up among them from her
earliest infancy, and who now beheld her with the compassion as well as
the beauty of an angel, administering to their necessities and
alleviating their misfortunes, looked upon her as a superior being, and
throughout the country she was almost adored.

Perfectly unconscious of those attractions which now began to charm
every other eye, Emmeline had entered her sixteenth year; and the
progress of her understanding was equal to the improvement of her
person; which, tho' she was not perfectly handsome, could not be beheld
at first without pleasure, and which the more it was seen became more
interesting and engaging.

Her figure was elegant and graceful; somewhat exceeding the middling
height. Her eyes were blue; and her hair brown. Her features not very
regular; yet there was a sweetness in her countenance, when she smiled,
more charming than the effect of the most regular features could have
given. Her countenance, open and ingenuous, expressed every emotion of
her mind: it had assumed rather a pensive cast; and tho' it occasionally
was lighted up by vivacity, had been lately frequently overclouded; when
the sufferings of her only friend called forth all the generous sympathy
of her nature.

And now the first severe misfortune she had known was about to overtake
her. Early in the spring of that year, which was the sixteenth from her
birth, Mrs. Carey had felt an attack of the gout, which however was
short; and her health seemed for some time afterwards more settled than
it had been for many months. She was one evening preparing to go down to
the village, leaning on the arm of Emmeline, when she suddenly
complained of an acute pain in her head, and fell back into a chair. The
affrighted girl called for assistance, and endeavoured by every means in
her power to recover her, but it was impossible; the gout had seized her
head; and casting on Emmeline a look which seemed to express all she
felt at leaving her thus desolate and friendless, her venerable friend,
after a short struggle, breathed her last.

What should Emmeline now do? In this distress (the first she had ever
known) how should she act? She saw, in the lifeless corpse before her,
the person on whom she had, from her first recollection, been accustomed
to rely; who had provided for all her wants, and prevented every care
for herself. And now she was left to perform for this dear friend the
last sad offices, and knew not what would hereafter be her own lot.

In strong and excellent understandings there is, in every period of
life, a force which distress enables them to exert, and which prevents
their sinking under the pressure of those evils which overwhelm and
subdue minds more feeble and unequal.

The spirits of Emmeline were yet unbroken by affliction, and her
understanding was of the first rank. She possessed this native firmness
in a degree very unusual to her age and sex. Instead therefore of giving
way to tears and exclamations, she considered how she should best
perform all she now could do for her deceased friend; and having seen
every proper care taken of her remains, and given orders for every thing
relative to them, with the solemn serenity of settled sorrow, she
retired to her room, where she began to reflect on her irreparable loss,
and the melancholy situation in which she was left; which she never had
courage to consider closely till it was actually before her.

Painful indeed were the thoughts that now crouded on her mind;
encreasing the anguish of her spirit for her recent misfortune. She
considered herself as a being belonging to nobody; as having no right to
claim the protection of any one; no power to procure for herself the
necessaries of life. On the steward Maloney she had long looked with
disgust, from the assured and forward manner in which he thought proper
to treat her. The freedom of his behaviour, which she could with
difficulty repress while Mrs. Carey lived, might now, she feared,
approach to more insulting familiarity; to be exposed to which, entirely
in his power, and without any female companion, filled her with the most
alarming apprehensions: and the more her mind dwelt on that circumstance
the more she was terrified at the prospect before her; insomuch, that
she would immediately have quitted the house--But whither could she go?

By abruptly leaving the asylum Lord Montreville had hitherto allowed
her, she feared she might forfeit all claim to his future protection:
and, unknown as she was to the principal inhabitants of the country, who
were few, and their houses at a great distance, she could hardly hope to
be received by any of them.

She had therefore no choice left but to remain at the castle till she
heard from Lord Montreville: and she determined to acquaint his Lordship
of the death of Mrs. Carey, and desire to receive his commands as to
herself.

Fatigued and oppressed, she retired to bed, but not to sleep. The image
of her expiring protectress was still before her eyes; and if exhausted
nature forced her to give way to a momentary forgetfulness, she soon
started from her imperfect slumber, and fancied she heard the voice of
Mrs. Carey, calling on her for help; and her last groan still vibrated
in her ears!--while the stillness of the night, interrupted only by the
cries of the owls which haunted the ruins, added to the gloomy and
mournful sensations of her mind.

At length however the sun arose--the surrounding objects lost the horror
that darkness and silence had lent them--and Emmeline fell into a short
but refreshing repose.



CHAPTER II


As soon as Emmeline arose the next morning, she addressed the following
letter to Lord Montreville.


  'My Lord,

    'In the utmost affliction, I address myself to your
  Lordship, to acquaint you with the death of Mrs. Carey, after an
  illness of a very few moments: by which unhappy event I have lost a
  friend who has indeed been a mother to me; and am now left at the
  castle, ignorant of your Lordship's pleasure as to my future
  residence.

    'You will, my Lord, I doubt not, recollect that it is, at my time
  of life, improper for me to reside here with Mr. Maloney; and if it
  be your Lordship's intention for me to continue here, I hope you
  will have the goodness to send down some proper person to fill the
  place of the worthy woman I have lost.

    'On your Lordship's humanity and consideration I depend for an
  early answer: in which hope I have the honor to remain,

                                                   your Lordship's
                                    dutiful and most humble servant,
                                                    EMMELINE MOWBRAY.'

  _Mowbray Castle,_
    _21st May._


The same post carried a letter from Mr. Maloney, informing Lord
Montreville of the housekeeper's death, and desiring directions about
_Miss_, as he elegantly termed Emmeline.

To these letters no answers were returned for upwards of a fortnight:
during which melancholy interval, Emmeline followed to the grave the
remains of the friend of her infancy, and took a last farewel of the
only person who seemed interested for her welfare. Then returning with
streaming eyes to her own room, she threw herself on the bed, and gave
way to a torrent of tears; for her spirits were overcome by the mournful
scene to which she had just been a witness, and by the heavy forebodings
of future sorrow which oppressed her heart.

The troublesome civilities of the steward Maloney, she soon found the
difficulty of evading. Fearful of offending him from whom she could not
escape; yet unable to keep up an intercourse of civility with a man who
would interpret it into an encouragement of his presumptuous attentions,
she was compelled to make use of an artifice; and to plead ill health as
an excuse for not dining as usual in the steward's room: and indeed her
uneasiness and grief were such as hardly made it a pretence.

After many days of anxious expectation, the following letter arrived
from the house-steward of Lord Montreville; as on such an occasion his
Lordship did not think it necessary to write himself.


                                   _Berkeley-Square_, _June_ 17, 17--

  'Miss,
    'My Lord orders me to acquaint you, that in consequence of your's
  of the 21st ult. informing his Lordship of the old housekeeper's,
  Mrs. Carey's, decease, he has directed Mrs. Grant, his Lordship's
  town housekeeper, to look out for another; and Mrs. Grant has agreed
  with a gentlewoman accordingly, who will be down at the castle
  forthwith. My Lord is gone to Essex; but has directed me to let Mr.
  Maloney know, that he is to furnish you with all things needful same
  as before. By my Lord's command, from, Miss,

                                           your very humble servant,
                                                       RICHARD MADDOX.'


While Emmeline waited the expected arrival of the person to whose care
she was now to be consigned, the sister of Mrs. Carey, who was the only
relation she had, sent a nephew of her husband's to take possession of
what effects had belonged to her; in doing which, a will was found, in
which she bequeathed fifty pounds as a testimony of her tender affection
to 'Miss Emmeline Mowbray, the daughter of her late dear master;'
together with all the contents of a small chest of drawers, which stood
in her room.

The rest of her property, which consisted of her cloaths and about two
hundred pounds, which she had saved in service, became her sister's, and
were delivered by Maloney to the young man commissioned to receive them.

In the drawers given to her, Emmeline found some fine linen and laces,
which had belonged to her mother; and two little silk boxes covered with
nuns embroidery, which seemed not to have been opened for many years.

Emmeline saw that they were filled with letters: some of them in a hand
which she had been shewn as her father's. But she left them uninspected,
and fastened up the caskets; her mind being yet too much affected with
her loss to be able to examine any thing which brought to her
recollection the fond solicitude of her departed friend.

The cold and mechanical terms in which the steward's letter was written,
encreased all her uneasy fears as to her future prospects.

Lord Montreville seemed to feel no kindness for her; nor to give any
consideration to her forlorn and comfortless situation. The officious
freedoms of Maloney encreased so much, that she was obliged to confine
herself almost entirely to her own room to avoid him; and she
determined, that if after the arrival of the companion she expected, he
continued to besiege her with so much impertinent familiarity, she would
quit the house, tho' compelled to accept the meanest service for a
subsistence.

After a fortnight of expectation, notice was received at the castle,
that Mrs. Garnet, the housekeeper, was arrived at the market town. The
labourer, with an horse, was dispatched for her, and towards evening she
made her entry.

To Emmeline, who had from her earliest remembrance been accustomed only
to the plainest dress, and the most simple and sober manners, the figure
and deportment of this woman appeared equally extraordinary.

She wore a travelling dress of tawdry-coloured silk, trimmed with bright
green ribbands; and her head was covered with an immense black silk hat,
from which depended many yellow streamers; while the plumage, with
which it was plentifully adorned, hung dripping over her face, from the
effects of a thunder shower thro' which she had passed. Her hair, tho'
carefully curled and powdered on her leaving London, had been also
greatly deranged in her journey, and descended, in knotty tufts of a
dirty yellow, over her cheeks and forehead; adding to the vulgar
ferocity of a harsh countenance and a coarse complexion. Her figure was
uncommonly tall and boney; and her voice so discordant and shrill, as to
pierce the ear with the most unpleasant sensation, and compleat the
disagreeable idea her person impressed.

Emmeline saw her enter, handed by the officious Maloney; and repressing
her astonishment, she arose, and attempted to speak to her: but the
contrast between the dirty, tawdry, and disgusting figure before her,
and the sober plainness and neat simplicity of her lost friend, struck
so forcibly on her imagination, that she burst into tears, and was
altogether unable to command her emotion.

The steward having with great gallantry handed in the newly arrived
lady, she thus began:

'Oh! Lord a marcy on me!--to be shore I be got here at last! But indeed
if I had a known whereabout I was a coming to, 'tis not a double the
wagers as should a hired me. Lord! why what a ramshakel ould place it
is!--and then such a monstrous long way from London! I suppose, Sir,'
(to Maloney) 'as you be the steward; and you Miss, I reckon, be the
young Miss as I be to have the care on. Why to be sure I did'nt much
expect to see a christian face in such an out of the way place. I don't
b'leve I shall stay; howsomdever do let me have some tea; and do you,
Miss, shew me whereabout I be to sleep.'

Emmeline, struggling with her dislike, or at least desirous of
concealing it, did not venture to trust her voice with an answer; for
her heart was too full; but stepping to the door, she called to the
female servant, and ordered her to shew the lady her room. She had
herself been used to share that appropriated to Mrs. Carey; but she now
resolved to remove her bed into an apartment in one of the turrets of
the castle, which was the only unoccupied room not wholly exposed to the
weather.

This little room had been sashed by Mrs. Mowbray on account of the
beautiful prospect it commanded between the hills, where suddenly
sinking to the South West, they made way through a long narrow valley,
fringed with copses, for a small but rapid river; which hurrying among
immense stones, and pieces of rock that seemed to have been torn from
the mountains by its violence, rushed into the sea at the distance of a
mile from the castle.

This room, now for many years neglected, was much out of repair, but
still habitable; and tho' it was at a great distance from the rooms yet
occupied, Emmeline chose rather to take up her abode in it, than partake
of the apartment which was now to belong to Mrs. Garnet: and she found
reason to applaud herself for this determination when she heard the
exclamation Mrs. Garnet made on entering it--

'Lord! why 'tis but a shabbyish place; and here is two beds I see. But
that won't suit me I asshore you. I chuses to have a room to myself, if
it be ever so.'

'Be not in any pain on that account, Madam,' said Emmeline, who had now
collected her thoughts; 'it is my intention to remove my bed, and I have
directed a person to do it immediately.'

She then returned into the steward's room, where Maloney thus addressed
her--

'Sarvent again, pretty Miss! Pray how d'ye like our new housekeeper? A
smartish piece of goods upon my word for Pembrokeshire; quite a London
lady, eh, Miss?'

'It is impossible for me, Sir, to judge of her yet.'

'Why ay, Miss, as you justly observes, 'tis full early to know what
people be; but I hope we shall find her quite the thing; and if so be as
she's but good tempered, and agreeable, and the like, why I warrant we
shall pass this here summer as pleasant as any thing can be. And now my
dear Miss, perhaps, may'nt be so shy and distant, as she have got
another woman body to keep her company.'

This eloquent harangue was interrupted by the return of Mrs. Garnet,
full of anxiety for her tea; and in the bustle created by the desire of
the maid and Maloney to accommodate her, Emmeline retired to her new
apartment, where she was obliged to attend to the removal of her bed and
other things; and excusing herself, under the pretence of fatigue, from
returning to the steward's room, she passed some time in melancholy
recollection and more melancholy anticipation, and then retired to rest.

Some days passed in murmurs on the part of Mrs. Garnet, and in silence
on that of Emmeline; who, as soon as she had finished her short repasts,
always went to her own room.

After a few weeks, she discovered that the lady grew every day more
reconciled to her situation; and from the pleasures she apparently took
in the gallantries of Maloney, and his constant assiduities to her, the
innocent Emmeline supposed there was really an attachment forming
between them, which would certainly deliver her from the displeasing
attentions of the steward.

Occupied almost entirely by her books, of which she every day became
more enamoured, she never willingly broke in upon a tête à tête which
she fancied was equally agreeable to all parties; and she saw with
satisfaction that they regretted not her absence.

But the motives of Maloney's attention were misunderstood. Insensible as
such a man must be supposed to the charms of the elegant and
self-cultivated mind of Emmeline, her personal beauty had made a deep
impression on his heart; and he had formed a design of marrying her,
before the death of Mrs. Carey, to whom he had once or twice mentioned
something like a hint of his wishes: but she had received all his
discourse on that topic with so much coldness, and ever so carefully
avoided any conversation that might again lead to it, that he had been
deterred from entirely explaining himself. Now, however, he thought the
time was arrived, when he might make a more successful application; for
he never doubted but that Mrs. Garnet would obtain, over the tender and
ingenuous mind of Emmeline, an influence as great as had been possessed
by Mrs. Carey.

Nor did he apprehend that a friendless orphan, without fortune or
connections, would want much persuasion to marry a young man of handsome
figure (as he conceived himself to be,) who was established in a
profitable place, and had some dependance of his own.

The distance which Emmeline had always obliged him to observe, he
imputed to the timidity of her nature; which he hoped would be lessened
by the free and familiar manners of her present companion, whose
conversation was very unlike what she had before been accustomed to hear
from Mrs. Carey.

Impressed with these ideas, he paid his court most assiduously to the
housekeeper, who put down all his compliments to the account of her own
attractions; and was extremely pleased with her conquest; which she
exhausted all her eloquence and all her wardrobe to secure.



CHAPTER III


In this situation were the inhabitants of Mowbray Castle; when, in the
beginning of July, orders were received from Lord Montreville to set
workmen immediately about repairing the whole end of the castle which
was yet habitable; as his son, Mr. Delamere, intended to come down early
in the Autumn, to shoot, for some weeks, in Wales. His Lordship added,
that it was possible he might himself be there also for a few weeks; and
therefore directed several bed-chambers to be repaired, for which he
would send down furniture from London.

No time was lost in obeying these directions. Workmen were immediately
procured, and the utmost expedition used to put the place in a situation
to receive its master: while Emmeline, who foresaw that the arrival of
Lord Montreville would probably occasion some change in regard to
herself, and who thought that every change must be for the better,
beheld these preparations with pleasure.

All had been ready some weeks, and the time fixed for Mr. Delamere's
journey elapsed, but he had yet given no notice of his arrival.

At length, towards the middle of September, they were one evening
alarmed by the noise of horses on the ascent to the castle.

Emmeline retired to her own room, fearful of she knew not what; while
Mrs. Garnet and Maloney flew eagerly to the door; where a French valet,
and an English groom with a led horse, presented themselves, and were
ushered into the old kitchen; the dimensions of which, blackened as it
was with the smoke of ages, and provided with the immense utensils of
ancient hospitality, failed not to amaze them both.

The Frenchman expressed his wonder and dislike by several grimaces; and
then addressing himself to Mrs. Garnet, exclaimed--'Peste! Milor
croit'il qu'on peut subsister dans cette espece d'enfer? Montré moi les
apartements de Monsieur.'

'Oh, your name is Mounseer, is it?' answered she--'Aye, I thought
so--What would you please to have, Mounseer?'

'Diable!' cried the distressed valet; 'voici une femme aussi sauvage que
le lieu qu'elle habite. Com, com, you Jean Groom, speak littel to dis
voman pour moi.'

With the help of John, who had been some time used to his mode of
explaining himself, Mrs. Garnet understood that Mounseer desired to be
shewn the apartments destined for his master, which he assiduously
assisted in preparing; and then seeing the women busied in following his
directions, he attempted to return to his companion; but by missing a
turning which should have carried him to the kitchen, he was bewildered
among the long galleries and obscure passages of the castle, and after
several efforts, could neither find his way back to the women, nor into
the kitchen; but continued to blunder about till the encreasing gloom,
which approaching night threw over the arched and obscure apartments,
through windows dim with painted glass, filled him with apprehension and
dismay, and he believed he should wander there the whole night; in which
fear he began to make a strange noise for assistance; to which nobody
attended, for indeed nobody for some time heard him. His terror
encreasing, he continued to traverse one of the passages, when a door at
the corner of it opened, and Emmeline came out.

The man, whose imagination was by this time filled with ideas of
spectres, flew back at her sudden appearance, and added the contortions
of fear to his otherwise grotesque appearance, in a travelling jacket of
white cloth, laced, and his hair in papillotes.

Emmeline, immediately comprehending that it was one of Mr. Delamere's
servants, enquired what he wanted; and the man, reassured by her voice
and figure, which there was yet light enough to discern, approached her,
and endeavoured to explain that he had lost himself; in a language,
which, though Emmeline did not understand, she knew to be French.

She walked with him therefore to the gallery which opened to the great
staircase, from whence he could hardly mistake his way; where having
pointed it to him, she turned back towards her own room.

But Millefleur, who had now had an opportunity to contemplate the person
of his conductress, was not disposed so easily to part with her.

By the extreme simplicity of her dress, he believed her to be only some
fair villager, or an assistant to the housekeeper; and therefore without
ceremony he began in broken English to protest his admiration, and
seized her hand with an impertinent freedom extremely shocking to
Emmeline.

She snatched it from him; and flying hastily back through those passages
which all his courage did not suffice to make him attempt exploring
again, she regained her turret, the door of which she instantly locked
and bolted; then breathless with fear and anger, she reflected on the
strange and unpleasant scene she had passed through, and felt greatly
humbled, to find that she was now likely to be exposed to the insolent
familiarity of servants, from which she knew not whether the presence of
the master would protect her.

While she suffered the anguish these thoughts brought with them,
Millefleur travelled back to the kitchen; where he began an oration in
his own language on the beauty of the young woman he had met with.

Neither Mrs. Garnet nor Maloney understood what he was saying; but John,
who had been in France, and knew a good deal of the language, told them
that he had seen a very pretty girl, in whose praise he was holding
forth.

'Why, Lord,' exclaimed Mrs. Garnet, 'tis our Miss as Mounseer means; I
had a quite forgot the child; I'll go call her; but howsomdever Mounseer
won't be able to get a word out of her; if she's a beauty I asshore you
'tis a dumb beauty.'

Maloney, by no means pleased with Millefleur's discovery, would
willingly have prevented the housekeeper's complaisance; but not knowing
how to do it, he was obliged to let her ascend to Emmeline, whose door
she found locked.

'Miss! Miss!' cried she, rapping loudly, 'you must come down.'

'Is my Lord or Mr. Delamere arrived?' enquired Emmeline.

'No,' replied Mrs. Garnet, 'neither of em be'nt come yet; but here's my
Lord's waley de sham, and another sarvent, and you'll come down to tea
to be sure.'

'No,' said Emmeline, 'you must excuse me, Mrs. Garnet. I am not very
well; and if I were, should decline appearing to these people, with
whom, perhaps, it may not be my Lord's design that I should associate.'

'People!' exclaimed Mrs. Garnet; 'as to people, I do suppose that for
all one of them is a Frenchman, they be as good as other folks; and if I
am agreeable to let them drink tea in my room, sure you, Miss, mid'nt be
so squeamish. But do as you please; for my part I shan't court
beauties.'

So saying, the angry housekeeper descended to her companions, to whom
she complained of the pride and ill manners of Miss; while Maloney
rejoiced at a reserve so favourable to the hopes he entertained.

Emmeline determined to remain as much as possible in her own room, 'till
Lord Montreville or Mr. Delamere came, and then to solicit her removal.

She therefore continued positively to refuse to appear to the party
below; and ordered the maid servant to bring her dinner into her own
room, which she never quitted 'till towards evening, to pursue her usual
walks.

On the third afternoon subsequent to the arrival of Mr. Delamere's
avant-couriers, Emmeline went down to the sea side, and seating herself
on a fragment of rock, fixed her eyes insensibly on the restless waves
that broke at her feet. The low murmurs of the tide retiring on the
sands; the sighing of the wind among the rocks which hung over her head,
cloathed with long grass and marine plants; the noise of the sea fowl
going to their nests among the cliffs; threw her into a profound
reverie.

She forgot awhile all her apprehended misfortunes, a sort of stupor took
possession of her senses, and she no longer remembered how the time had
passed there, which already exceeded two hours; though the moon, yet in
its encrease, was arisen, and threw a long line of radience on the
water.

Thus lost in indistinct reflections, she was unconscious of the
surrounding objects, when the hasty tread of somebody on the pebbles
behind her, made her suddenly recollect herself; and though accustomed
to be so much alone, she started in some alarm in remembering the late
hour, and the solitary place where she was.

A man approached her, in whom with satisfaction she recollected a young
peasant of the village, who was frequently employed in messages from the
castle.

'Miss Emmy,' said the lad, 'you are wanted at home; for there is my Lord
his own self, and the young Lord, and more gentlefolks come; so Madam
Garnet sent me to look for you all about.'

Emmeline, hurried by this intelligence, walked hastily away with the
young villager, and soon arrived at the castle.

The wind had blown her beautiful hair about her face, and the glow of
her cheeks was heightened by exercise and apprehension. A more lovely
figure than she now appeared could hardly be imagined. She had no time
to reflect on the interview; but hastened immediately into the parlour
where Lord Montreville was sitting with his son; Mr. Fitz-Edward, who
was a young officer, his friend, distantly related to the family; and
Mr. Headly, a man celebrated for his knowledge of rural improvements,
whom Lord Montreville had brought down to have his opinion of the
possibility of rendering Mowbray Castle a residence fit for his family
for a few months in the year.

Lord Montreville was about five and forty years old. His general
character was respectable. He had acquitted himself with honor in the
senate; and in private life had shewn great regularity and good conduct.
But he had basked perpetually in the sunshine of prosperity; and his
feelings, not naturally very acute, were blunted by having never
suffered in his own person any uneasiness which might have taught him
sensibility for that of others.

To this cause it was probably owing, that he never reflected on the
impropriety of receiving his niece before strangers; and that he ordered
Emmeline to be introduced into the room where they were all sitting
together.

Having once seen Emmeline a child of five or six years old; he still
formed an idea of her as a child; and adverted not to the change that
almost nine years had made in her person and manners; it was therefore
with some degree of surprize, that instead of the child he expected, he
saw a tall, elegant young woman, whose air, though timidity was the most
conspicuous in it, had yet much of dignity and grace, and in whose face
he saw the features of his brother, softened into feminine beauty.

The apathy which prosperity had taught him, gave way for a moment to his
surprize at the enchanting figure of his niece.

He arose, and approached her. 'Miss Mowbray! how amazingly you are
grown! I am glad to see you.' He took her hand; while Emmeline,
trembling and blushing, endeavoured to recollect herself, and said--

'I thank you, my Lord, and I am happy in having an opportunity of paying
my respects to your Lordship.'

He led her to a seat, and again repeated his wonder to find her so much
grown.

Delamere, who had been standing at the fire conversing with Fitz-Edward,
now advanced, and desired his father to introduce him; which ceremony
being passed, he drew a chair close to that in which Emmeline was
placed; and fixing his eyes on her face with a look of admiration and
enquiry that extremely abashed her, he seemed to be examining the
beauties of that lovely and interesting countenance which had so
immediately dazzled and surprized him.

Fitz-Edward, a young soldier, related to the family of Lady Montreville,
was almost constantly the companion of Delamere, and had expectations
that the interest Lord Montreville possessed would be exerted to advance
him in his profession. His manner was very insinuating, and his person
uncommonly elegant. He affected to be a judge as well as an admirer of
beauty, and seemed to behold with approbation the fair inhabitant of the
castle; who, with heightened blushes, and averted looks, waited in
silence 'till Lord Montreville should again address her, which he at
length did.

'I was sorry, Miss Mowbray, to hear of the death of old Carey.'

The tears started into the eyes of Emmeline.

'She was an excellent servant, and served the family faithfully many
years.'

Poor Emmeline felt the tears fall on her bosom.

'But however she was old; and had been, I suppose, long infirm. I hope
the person who now fills her place has supplied it to your
satisfaction?'

'Ye--s, yes, my lord;' inarticulately sobbed Emmeline, quite overcome by
the mention of her old friend.

'I dare say she does,' resumed his Lordship; 'for Grant, of whom Lady
Montreville has a very high opinion, assured her Ladyship she was well
recommended.'

Emmeline now found her emotion very painful; she therefore rose to go,
and curtseying to Lord Montreville, tried to wish him good night.

'A good night to you, Miss Mowbray,' said he, rising. Delamere started
from his chair; and taking her hand, desired to have the honor of
conducting her to her room. But this was a gallantry his father by no
means approved. 'No, Frederic,' said he, taking himself the hand he
held, 'you will give _me_ leave to see Miss Mowbray to the door.' He led
her thither, and then bowing, wished her again good night.

Emmeline hurried to her room; where she endeavoured to recollect her
dissipated spirits, and to consider in what way it would be proper for
her to address Lord Montreville the next day, to urge her request of a
removal from the castle.

Mrs. Carey had a sister who resided at Swansea in Glamorganshire; where
her husband had a little place in the excise, and where she had a small
house, part of which she had been accustomed to let to those who
frequented the place for the benefit of sea-bathing.

She was old, and without any family of her own; and Emmeline, to whom
she was the more agreeable as being the sister of Mrs. Carey, thought
she might reside with her with propriety and comfort, if Lord
Montreville would allow her a small annual stipend for her cloaths and
board.

While she was considering in what manner to address herself to his
Lordship the next day, the gentlemen were talking of the perfections of
the nymph of the castle; by which name Delamere toasted her at supper.

Lord Montreville, who did not seem particularly delighted with the
praise his son so warmly bestowed, said--

'Why surely, Frederic, you are uncommonly eloquent on behalf of your
Welch cousin.'

'Faith, my Lord,' answered Delamere, 'I like her so well that I think
it's a little unlucky I did not come alone. My Welch cousin is the very
thing for a tête à tête.'

'Yes,' said Lord Montreville, carelessly, 'she is really grown a good
fine young woman. Don't you think so, George?' addressing himself to
Fitz-Edward.

'I do indeed, my Lord,' answered he; 'and here's Mr. Headly, tho' an old
married man, absolutely petrified with admiration.'

'Upon my soul, Headly,' continued Delamere, 'I already begin to see
great capabilities about this venerable mansion. I think I shall take to
it, as my father offers it me; especially as I suppose Miss Emmeline is
to be included in the inventory.'

'Come, come, Frederic,' said Lord Montreville, gravely, 'no light
conversation on the subject of Miss Mowbray. She is under my care; and I
must have her treated with propriety.'

His Lordship immediately changed the discourse, and soon after
complaining of being fatigued, retired to his chamber.



CHAPTER IV


Lord Montreville, whose first object was his son, had observed, with
some alarm, the immediate impression he seemed to have received from the
beauty of Emmeline.

The next day, he made some farther remarks on his attention to her when
they met at dinner, which gave him still more uneasiness; and he accused
himself of great indiscretion in having thrown an object, whose
loveliness he could not help acknowledging, in the way of Delamere,
whose ardent and impetuous temper he knew so well. This gave his
behaviour to Emmeline an air of coldness, and even of displeasure, which
prevented her summoning courage to speak to him in the morning of the
day after his arrival: and the evening afforded her no opportunity; for
Lord Montreville, determined to keep her as much as possible out of the
sight of Delamere, did not send for her down to supper, and had
privately resolved to remove her as soon as possible to some other
residence.

Thus his apprehensions lest his son should form an attachment
prejudicial to his ambitious views, produced in his Lordship's mind a
resolution in regard to placing more properly his orphan niece, which no
consideration, had it related merely to herself, would probably have
effected.

At supper, Delamere enquired eagerly for his 'lovely cousin.' To which
Lord Montreville drily answered, 'that she did not, he believed, sup
below.'

But the manner of this enquiry, and the anxious looks Delamere directed
towards the door, together with his repeated questions, increased all
Lord Montreville's fears.

He went to bed out of humour rather with himself than his son; and
rising early the next morning, enquired for Miss Mowbray.

Miss Mowbray was walked out, as was her custom, very early, no one knew
whither.

He learned also that Mr. Delamere was gone out with his gun without
Fitz-Edward; who not being very fond of field sports, had agreed to join
him at a later hour.

He immediately fancied that Delamere and Emmeline might meet; and the
pain such a suspicion brought with it, was by him, who had hardly ever
felt an hour's uneasiness, considered as so great an evil, that he
determined to put an end to it as soon as possible.

After an hasty breakfast in his own room, he summoned Maloney to attend
him, and went over the accounts of the estates entrusted to him, with
the state of which his Lordship declared himself well contented. And not
knowing to whom else he could apply, to enquire for a situation for
Emmeline, he told Maloney, that as Miss Mowbray was now of an age to
require some alteration in her mode of life, he was desirous of finding
for her a reputable house in some town in Wales, where she might lodge
and board.

Maloney, encouraged by being thus consulted by his Lord, ventured, with
many bows, blushes, and stammering apologies, to disclose to Lord
Montreville his partiality to Miss Mowbray.

And this communication he so contrived to word, that his Lordship had no
doubt of Emmeline's having allowed him to make it.

Lord Montreville listened therefore in silence, and without any marks of
disapprobation, to the account Maloney proceeded to give of his
prospects and property.

While he was doing so, family pride made a faint struggle in his
Lordship's breast on behalf of his deserted ward. He felt some pain in
determining, that a creature boasting a portion of the Mowbray blood,
should sink into the wife of a man of such inferior birth as Maloney.

But when the advantages of so easily providing for her were recollected;
when he considered that Maloney would be happy to take her with a few
hundred pounds, and that all apprehensions in regard to his son would by
that means for ever be at an end; avarice and ambition, two passions
which too much influenced Lord Montreville, joined to persuade him of
the propriety of the match; and became infinitely too powerful to let
him listen to his regard to the memory of his brother or his pity for
his deserted ward.

He thought, that as the existence of Emmeline was hardly known beyond
the walls of the castle, he should incur no censure from the world if he
consigned her to that obscurity to which the disadvantages of her birth
seemed originally to have condemned her.

These reflections arose while Maloney, charmed to find himself listened
to, was proceeding in his discourse.

Lord Montreville, tho' too much used to the manners of politicians to be
able to give a direct answer, at length put an end to it, by telling him
he would consider of what he had said, and talk to him farther in a few
days.

In the mean time his Lordship desired that no part of their conversation
might transpire.

Maloney, transported at a reception which seemed to prognosticate the
completion of his wishes, retired elated with his prospects; and Lord
Montreville summoning Mr. Headly to attend him, mounted his horse to
survey the ground on which he meditated improvements round the castle.

The cold and almost stern civility of Lord Montreville, for the little
time Emmeline had seen him, had created despondence and uneasiness in
her bosom.

She fancied he disliked her, unoffending as she was, and would take the
first opportunity of shaking her off: an idea which, together with the
awe she could not help feeling in his presence, made her determine as
much as possible to avoid it, 'till he should give her a proper
opportunity to speak to him, or 'till she could acquire courage to seek
it.

At seven in the morning, she arose, after an uneasy night, and having
taken an early breakfast, betook herself to her usual walk, carrying
with her a book.

The sun was hot, and she went to a wood which partly cloathed an high
hill near the boundary of the estate, where, intent only on her own
sorrows, she could not beguile them by attending to the fictitious and
improbable calamities of the heroine of a novel, which Mrs. Garnet
(probably forgetting to restore it to the library of some former
mistress,) had brought down among her cloaths, and which had been seized
by Emmeline as something new, at least to her.

But her mind, overwhelmed with its own anxiety, refused its attention:
and tired with her walk, she sat down on a tree that had been felled,
reflecting on what had passed since Lord Montreville's arrival, and
considering how she might most effectually interest him in her behalf.

Delamere, attended by a servant, had gone upon the hills in pursuit of
his game; and having had great success for some hours, he came down
about eleven o'clock into the woods, to avoid the excessive heat, which
was uncommon for the season.

The noise he made in brushing through the underwood with his gun, and
rustling among the fading leaves, alarmed her.

He stepped over the timber, and seating himself by her, seized her
hands.

'Oh! my charming cousin,' cried he, 'I think myself one of the most
fortunate fellows on earth, thus to meet you.'

Emmeline would have risen.

'Oh! no,' continued he, 'indeed you do not go, 'till we have had a
little conversation.'

'I cannot stay, indeed Sir,' said Emmeline--. 'I must immediately go
home.'

'By no means; I cannot part with you.--Come, come, sit down and hear
what I have to say.'

It was to no purpose to resist. The impetuous vehemence of Delamere was
too much for the timid civility of Emmeline; and not believing that any
thing more than common conversation or a few unmeaning compliments would
pass, she sat down with as much composure as she could command.

But Delamere, who was really captivated at the first, and who now
thought her more beautiful than he had done in their former interviews,
hesitated not to pour forth the most extravagant professions of
admiration, in a style so unequivocal, that Emmeline, believing he meant
to insult her, burst into a passion of tears, and besought him, in a
tremulous and broken voice, not to be so cruel as to affront her, but to
suffer her to return home.

Delamere could not see her terror without being affected. He protested,
that so far from meaning to give her pain, he should think himself too
happy if she would allow him to dedicate his whole life to her service.

Poor Emmeline, however, continued to weep, and to beseech him to let her
go; to which, as her distress arose almost to agony, he at length
consented: and taking her arm within his, he said he would walk home
with her himself.

To this Emmeline in vain objected. To escape was impossible. To prevail
on him to leave her equally so. She was therefore compelled to follow
him. Which she did with reluctance; while he still continued to profess
to her the most violent and serious attachment. They proceeded in this
manner along the nearest path to the castle, which lay principally among
copses that fringed the banks of the river. They had just passed through
the last, and entered the meadows which lay immediately under the castle
walls, when Lord Montreville and Headly, on horseback, appeared from a
woody lane just before them.

At the noise of horses so near them, Emmeline looked up, and seeing
Lord Montreville, again struggled, but without success, to disengage her
hand.

Delamere continued to walk on, and his Lordship soon came up to them. He
checked his horse, and said, somewhat sternly, 'So, Sir, where have you
been?'

Delamere, without the least hesitation, answered--'Shooting, my Lord,
the early part of the morning; and since that, making love to my cousin,
who was so good as to sit and wait for me under a tree.'

'For mercy's sake, Mr. Delamere,' cried Emmeline, 'consider what you
say.'

'Waiting for you under a tree!' cried Lord Montreville, in amazement.
'Do Miss Mowbray be so good as to return home.--And you, Frederic, will,
I suppose, be back by dinner time.'

'Yes,' answered Delamere, 'when I have conducted my cousin home, I shall
go out again, perhaps, for an hour before dinner.'

He was then walking on, without noticing the stern and displeased looks
of his father, or the terror of poor Emmeline, who saw too evidently
that Lord Montreville was extremely angry.

His Lordship, after a moment's pause, dismounted, gave his horse to a
servant, and joined them, telling Delamere he had some business with
Miss Mowbray, and would therefore walk with her towards the castle
himself.

Delamere kissed her hand gayly, and assuring his father that for the
first time in his life he felt an inclination to take his business off
his hands, he beckoned to his servant to follow with his dogs, and then
leaping over the hedge that separated the meadow from the hollow lane,
he disappeared.

Emmeline, trembling with apprehension, walked with faultering steps by
the side of Lord Montreville, who for some time was silent. He at length
said--'Your having been brought up in retirement, Miss Mowbray, has,
perhaps, prevented your being acquainted with the decorums of the world,
and the reserve which a young woman should ever strictly maintain. You
have done a very improper thing in meeting my son; and I must desire
that while you are at the castle, no such appointments may take place in
future.'

Tho' she saw, from the first moment of his meeting them, that he had
conceived this idea, and was confirmed in it by Delamere's speech; yet
she was so much shocked and hurt by the address, that as she attempted
to answer, her voice failed her.

The tears however, which streamed from her eyes, having a little
relieved her, she endeavoured to assure his Lordship, that till she met
Mr. Delamere in the wood that morning, she did not know even of his
having left the castle.

'And how happened you to be where he found you, Miss Mowbray?'

'I went thither, my Lord, with a book which I was eager to finish.'

'Oh! I remember that Maloney told me you was a great reader; and from
some other discourse he held relative to you, I own I was the more
surprised at your indiscretion in regard to my son.'

They were by this time arrived at the castle, and Lord Montreville
desired Emmeline to follow him into the parlour, where they both sat
down.

His Lordship renewed the discourse.

'This morning Maloney has been talking to me about you; and from what he
said, I concluded you had formed with him engagements which should have
prevented you from listening to the boyish and improper conversation of
Mr. Delamere.'

'Engagements with Mr. Maloney, my Lord? Surely he could never assert
that I have ever formed engagements with him?'

'Why not absolutely so.--I think he did not say that. But I understood
that you was by no means averse to his informing me of his attachment,
and was willing, if my consent was obtained, to become his wife. Perhaps
he has no very great advantages; yet considering your situation, which
is, you know, entirely dependent, I really think you do perfectly right
in designing to accept of the establishment he offers you.'

'To become the wife of Maloney!--to accept of the establishment _he_
offers me! I am humbled, I am lost indeed! No, my Lord! unhappy as I am,
I can _claim_ nothing, it is true; but if the support of an unfortunate
orphan, thrown by Providence into your care, is too troublesome, suffer
me to be myself a servant; and believe I have a mind, which tho' it will
not recoil from any situation where I can earn my bread by honest
labour, is infinitely superior to any advantages such a man as Maloney
can offer me!'

She wept too much to be able to proceed; and sat, overwhelmed with grief
and mortification, while Lord Montreville continued to speak.

'Why distress yourself in this manner, Miss Mowbray? I cannot see any
thing which ought to offend you, if Maloney _has_ misrepresented the
matter, and if he has not, your extraordinary emotion must look like a
consciousness of having altered your mind.

'Your motive for doing so cannot be mistaken; but let me speak to you
explicitly.--To Mr. Delamere, _my_ son, the heir to a title and estate
which makes him a desirable match for the daughters of the first houses
in the kingdom, _you_ can have no pretensions; therefore never do
yourself so much prejudice as to let your mind glance that way.

'Maloney tells me he has some property, and still better expectations.
He is established here in an excellent place; and should he marry you,
it shall be still more advantageous. You are (I am sorry to be obliged
to repeat it) without any dependance, but on my favour. You will
therefore do wisely to embrace a situation in which that favour may be
most effectually exerted on your behalf.

'As you have undoubtedly encouraged Maloney, the aversion you now
pretend towards him, is artifice or coquetry. Consider before you
decide, consider thoroughly what is your situation and what your
expectations; and recollect, that as my son now means to be very
frequently at Mowbray Castle, _you_ cannot remain with propriety but as
the wife of Maloney.'

'Neither as the wife of Maloney, nor as Emmeline Mowbray, will I stay,
my Lord, another day!' answered she, assuming more spirit than she had
yet shewn. 'I wished for an interview to entreat your Lordship would
allow me to go to some place less improper for my abode than Mowbray
Castle has long been.'

'And whither would you go, Miss Mowbray?'

'On that, my Lord, I wished to consult you. But since it is perhaps a
matter unworthy your attention; since it seems to signify little what
becomes of me; I must determine to hazard going to Mrs. Watkins's, who
will probably give me an asylum at least 'till I can find some one who
will receive me, or some means of providing for myself the necessaries
of life.'

'You then positively reject the overtures of Maloney?'

'Positively, my Lord--and for ever! I beg it may not be mentioned to me
again!'

'And who is Mrs. Watkins?'

'The sister of Mrs. Carey, my Lord.'

'Where does she live?'

'At Swansea in Glamorganshire; where she is accustomed to take in
boarders. She would, I believe, receive me.'

After a moment's consideration, Lord Montreville said, 'that perhaps may
do, since you absolutely refuse the other plan; I would have you
therefore prepare to go thither; but I must insist on no more morning
interviews with Mr. Delamere, and that whither you are going may be kept
unknown to him. But tell me,' continued he, 'what I am to say to poor
Maloney?'

'That you are astonished at his insolence in daring to lift his eyes to
a person bearing the name of Mowbray; and shocked at his falsehood in
presuming to assert that I ever encouraged his impertinent pretensions!'

This effort of spirit exhausted all the courage Emmeline had been able
to raise. She arose, and attempted to reach the door; but overcome by
the violence of her agitation, was obliged to sit down in a chair near
it.

She could no longer restrain the tears which were extorted from her by
the mortifying scene she had passed through: and her deep sighs, which
seemed ready to burst her heart, excited the compassion of Lord
Montreville; who, where his ambition was not in question, was not void
of humanity. The violent and artless sorrow of a beautiful young woman,
whose fate seemed to be in his power, affected him.

He took her hand with kindness, and told her 'he was sorry to have said
any thing that appeared harsh.'

His Lordship added, 'that he would have her write to Mrs. Watkins; that
a servant should be sent with the letter; and that on condition of her
concealing her abode from Delamere, she should be supplied with an
annual income equal to all her wants.'

Then hearing Delamere's gun, which he always discharged before he
entered the house, he hastened Emmeline away, desiring she would remain
in her own apartment; where every thing necessary should be sent to
her.



CHAPTER V


Delamere and Fitz-Edward soon after entered the parlour where Lord
Montreville remained. He received his son with a coldness to which, tho'
little accustomed to it, Delamere paid no attention.

Despotic as this beloved son had always been in the family, he felt not
the least apprehension that he had really offended his father; or
feeling it, knew that his displeasure would be so short liv'd that it
was not worth any concern.

'Here, Fitz-Edward,' said he--'here is my father angry with me for
making love to my cousin Emmy. Faith, Sir,' (turning to Lord
Montreville,) 'I think I have the most reason to be angry at being
brought into such dangerous company; tho' your Lordship well knows how
devilishly susceptible I am, and that ever since I was ten years old I
have been dying for some nymph or other.'

'I know that you are a strange inconsiderate boy,' answered Lord
Montreville, very gravely;--'but I must beg, Frederic, to hear no more
idle raillery on the subject of Miss Mowbray.'

To this, Delamere gave some slight answer; and the discourse was led by
his Lordship to some other topic.

Fitz-Edward, who was about five years older than Delamere, concealed,
under the appearance of candour and non-chalance, the libertinism of his
character. He had entered very young into the army; the younger son of
an Irish peer; and had contracted his loose morals by being thrown too
early into the world; for his heart was not originally bad.

With a very handsome person, he had the most insinuating manners, and an
address so truly that of a man of fashion, as immediately prejudiced in
his favour those by whom he wished to be thought well of. Where he
desired to please, he seldom failed of pleasing extremely; and his
conversation was, in the general commerce of the world, elegant and
attractive.

Delamere was very fond of his company; and Lord Montreville encouraged
the intimacy: for of whatever fashionable vices Fitz-Edward was guilty,
he contrived, by a sort of sentimental hypocrisy, to prevent their being
known to, or at least offensive to those, whose good opinion it was his
interest to cultivate.

Delamere was of a character very opposite. Accustomed from his infancy
to the most boundless indulgences, he never formed a wish, the
gratification of which he expected to be denied: and if such a
disappointment happened, he gave way to an impetuosity of disposition
that he had never been taught to restrain, and which gave an appearance
of ferocity to a temper not otherwise bad.

He was generous, candid, and humane; and possessed many other good
qualities, but the defects of his education had obscured them.

Lady Montreville, who beheld in her only son the last male heir of a
very ancient and illustrious house, and who hoped to see all its glories
revive in him, could never be prevailed upon to part with him. He had
therefore a tutor in the house; and his parents themselves accompanied
him abroad. And the weakness of Lady Montreville in regard to her son,
encreased rather than diminished with his encreasing years.

Her fondness was gratified in seeing the perfections of his person,
(which was a very fine one) while to the imperfections of his temper she
was entirely blind.

His father was equally fond of him; and looked up to the accumulated
titles and united fortunes of his own and his wife's families, as the
point where all his ambitious views would attain their consummation.

To watch over the conduct of this only son, seemed now to be the sole
business of his Lordship's life: and 'till now, he had no reason to fear
that his solicitude for his final establishment would be attended with
so little effect. Except a few youthful indiscretions, which were
overlooked or forgiven, Delamere had shewn no inclinations that seemed
inimical to his father's views; and Lord Montreville hoped that his
present passion for Emmeline would be forgotten as easily as many other
transient attachments which his youth, and warmth of temper, had led him
into.

At dinner, Delamere enquired 'whether his charming cousin was always to
remain a prisoner in her own room?'

To which Lord Montreville answered, 'that it had been her custom; and as
there was no lady with them, it was better she should continue it.'

He then changed the discourse; and contrived to keep Delamere in sight
the whole afternoon; and by that means prevented any further enquiries
after Emmeline; who now, entirely confined to her turret, impatiently
awaited the return of the messenger who had been sent to Swansea.

Delamere, in the mean time, had lingered frequently about the
housekeeper's room, in hopes of seeing Emmeline; but she never appeared.

He applied to Mrs. Garnet for intelligence of her: but she had received
orders from Lord Montreville not to satisfy his enquiries. He employed
his servants therefore to discover where she was usually to be found,
and by their means was at length informed in what part of the castle her
apartment lay; and that there was a design actually on foot to send her
away, but whither he could not learn.

The answer brought from Mrs. Watkins, by the man who had been sent to
Swansea, expressed her readiness to take the boarder offered her.

This intelligence Lord Montreville communicated himself to Emmeline; who
received it with such artless satisfaction, that his Lordship, who had
before doubted whether some degree of coquetry was not concealed under
the apparent ingenuous innocence of his niece, now believed he had
judged too hastily.

It remained to be considered how she could be conveyed from Mowbray
Castle without the knowledge of Delamere. She was herself ignorant of
every thing beyond its walls, and could therefore be of no use in the
consultation. His Lordship had, however, entrusted Fitz-Edward with his
uneasiness about Delamere; at which the former only laughed; and said he
by no means believed that any serious consequences were to be
apprehended: that it was mere badinage; of which he was sure Delamere
would think no more after they left Mowbray Castle; and that it was not
a matter which his Lordship should allow to make him uneasy.

Lord Montreville however, who thought he could not too soon remedy his
own indiscretion in introducing Emmeline to his son, determined to
embrace the opportunity of putting an end to any future correspondence
between them: he therefore insisted on a promise of secresy from
Fitz-Edward; and had recourse to Headly, who from a frequent residence
among the great was the most accommodating and obsequious of their
servants.

As he was about to leave the castle in a few days, he offered his
services to convey Miss Mowbray from thence, in a chaise of which he was
master. This proposal was eagerly accepted by Lord Montreville. And
enjoining Mr. Headly also to secresy, it was fixed that their journey
should begin the next morning save one.

Emmeline had notice of this arrangement, which she received with the
liveliest joy. She immediately set about such preparations as were
necessary for her journey, in which she employed that and the remaining
day; which had been destined by Lord Montreville to visit another estate
that he possessed, at the distance of about twelve miles; whither
Delamere and the whole party accompanied him.

Delamere had discovered, by his servants, that to remove Emmeline was in
agitation; and he determined to see her again in spite of his father's
precaution (which in fact only served to encrease his desire of
declaring his sentiments); but he had no idea that she was to depart so
soon, and therefore was content to go with his father, at his particular
request.

It was late in the evening preceding that on which Emmeline was to leave
the castle, before they returned to it; and she was still busied in
providing for her journey; in doing which, she was obliged to open one
of the caskets left her by Mrs. Carey. It contained miniatures of her
father and her mother, which had been drawn at Paris before her birth;
and several letters written by Mrs. Mowbray, her grandmother, to her
mother, in consequence of the fatal step she had taken in quitting the
protection of that lady, who had brought her up, to accompany Mr.
Mowbray abroad.

These, Emmeline had never yet seen; nor had she now courage entirely to
peruse them. The little she read, however, filled her heart with the
most painful sensations and her eyes with tears.

While she was employed in her little arrangements, time passed
insensibly away. She heard the hollow sound of shutting the great doors
at the other end of the castle, as was usual before the servants retired
for the night: but attentive only to what was at present her greatest
concern, (making room for some favourite books in the box she meant to
take with her,) she heeded not the hour.

A total silence had long reigned in the castle, and her almost
extinguished candle told her it was time to take some repose, when, as
she was preparing to do so, she thought she heard a rustling, and
indistinct footsteps in the passage near her room.

She started--listened--but all was again profoundly silent; and she
supposed it had been only one of those unaccountable noises which she
had been used to hear along the dreary avenues of the castle. She began
anew to unpin her hair, when a second time the same noise in the passage
alarmed her. She listened again; and while she continued attentive, the
great clock struck two.

Amazed to find it so late, her terror encreased; yet she endeavoured to
reason herself out of it, and to believe that it was the effect of
fancy: she heard it no more; and had almost determined to go out into
the passage to satisfy herself that her fears were groundless, when just
as she approached the door, the whispers were renewed; she saw the lock
move, and heard a violent push against it.

The door, however, was locked. Which was no sooner perceived by the
assailant, than a violent effort with his foot forced the rusty decayed
work to give way, and Mr. Delamere burst into the room!

Emmeline was infinitely too much terrified to speak: nor could her
trembling limbs support her. She sat down;--the colour forsook her
cheeks;--and she was not sensible that Delamere had thrown himself at
her feet, and was pouring forth the most vehement and incoherent
expressions that frantic passion could dictate.

Recovering her recollection, she beheld Delamere kneeling before her,
holding her hands in his; and Millefleur standing behind him with a
candle. She attempted to speak; but the words died away on her lips:
while Delamere, shocked at the situation into which he had thrown her,
protested that he meant her not the smallest offence; but that having
learnt, by means of his valet, that she was to go the next morning, and
that his father intended to keep him ignorant of her future destiny, he
could not bear to reflect that he might lose her for ever; and had
therefore taken the only means in his power to speak to her, in hopes of
engaging her pity, for which he would hazard every thing.

'Leave me, Sir! leave me!' said Emmeline, in a voice scarcely
articulate. 'Leave me instantly, or I will alarm the house!'

'That is almost impossible!' replied Delamere; 'but I will not terrify
you more than I have done already. No, Emmeline, I wish not to alarm
you, and will quit you instantly if you will tell me that wheresoever
you are, you will permit me to see you; and will remember me with pity
and regard! My father shall not--cannot controul my conduct; nor shall
all the power on earth prevent my following you, if you will yourself
permit me. Tell me, Emmeline,--tell me you will not forget me!'

'As what, Sir, should I remember you, but as my persecutor? as one who
has injured me beyond reparation by your wild and cruel conduct; and who
has now dared to insult me by a most unparallelled outrage.--Leave me,
Sir! I repeat to you that you must instantly quit the room!'

She arose, and walked with tottering steps to the end of it. Delamere
followed her. She turned; and came towards the door, which was still
open, and then recollected, that as she knew the passages of the castle,
which she was convinced neither Delamere or his servant did, she might
possibly escape, and find Lord Montreville's room, which she knew to be
at the end of the East gallery.

Delamere was a few steps behind her when she reached the door; which
hastily throwing quite open, she ran lightly thro' the passage, which
was very long and dark.

He pursued her, imploring her to hear him but a moment; and the
Frenchman as hastily followed his master with the candle. But at the end
of the passage, a flight of broken steps led to a brick hall, which
opened to other stair-cases and galleries.

A gust of wind blew out the candle; and Emmeline, gliding down the
steps, turned to the right, and opening a heavy nailed door, which led
by a narrow stairs to the East gallery, she let it fall after her.

Delamere, now in total darkness, tried in vain to follow the sound. He
listened--but no longer heard the footsteps of the trembling fugitive;
and cursing his fate, and the stupidity of Millefleur, he endeavoured to
find his way back to Emmeline's room, where he thought a candle was
still burning. But his attempt was vain. He walked round the hall only
to puzzle himself; for the door by which he had entered it, he could not
regain.

In the mean time Emmeline, breathless with fear, had reached the
gallery, and feeling her way 'till she came as she supposed to the door
of the room where Lord Montreville slept, she tapped lightly at it.

A man's voice asked who it was?

'It is I, my Lord,' cried Emmeline, hardly able to make herself
heard.--'Mr. Delamere pursues me.'

Somebody opened the door.--But there was no light; and Emmeline retiring
a step from it, the person again asked who it was?

'It is Emmeline,' replied she; who now first recollected that the voice
was not that of Lord Montreville.--She flew therefore towards the next
door, with exclamations of encreased terror; but Lord Montreville, who
was now awakened, appeared at it with a lamp in his hand; and Emmeline,
in answer to his question of what is the matter? endeavoured to say that
she was pursued by Mr. Delamere; but fear had so entirely overcome her,
that she could only sigh out his name; and gasping like a dying person,
sat down on a bench which was near the door.

Fitz-Edward, who was the person she had first spoken to, had by this
time dressed himself, and came to her with a glass of water out of his
room; while Lord Montreville, hearing his son's name so inarticulately
pronounced, and seeing the speechless affright in which Emmeline sat
before him, conceived the most alarming apprehensions, and believed that
his son was either dead or dying.

With great difficulty he summoned up courage enough, again to beg for
heaven's sake she would tell him what had occasioned her to leave her
room at such an hour?

She again exclaimed, 'it is Mr. Delamere, my Lord!'

'What of Mr. Delamere?--what of my son?' cried he, with infinite
agitation.

'Save me from him my Lord!' answered Emmeline, a little recovered by the
water she had drank.

'Where is he then?' said his Lordship.

'I know not,' replied Emmeline; 'but he came to my room with his
servant, and I flew hither to implore your protection.'

Fitz-Edward intreated Lord Montreville to be more calm, and to give Miss
Mowbray time to recollect herself. He offered to go in search of
Delamere; but his Lordship was in too much anxiety to be satisfied with
any enquiries but his own.

He therefore said he would go down himself; but Emmeline catching his
hand, entreated him not to leave her.

At this moment the voices of Delamere and his man were heard echoing
through the whole side of the castle; for wearied with their fruitless
attempts to escape, they both called for lights in no very gentle tone.

Lord Montreville easily distinguished from whence the noise came; and
followed by Emmeline, whom Fitz-Edward supported, he descended into the
brick hall from whence Emmeline had effected her escape, where he found
Delamere trembling with passion, and Millefleur with fear.

Lord Montreville could not conceal his anger and resentment.--

'How comes it, Sir,' cried he, addressing himself to his son, 'that you
dare thus to insult a person who is under my protection? What excess of
madness and folly has tempted you to violate the retirement of Miss
Mowbray?'

'I mean not, my Lord,' answered Delamere, 'to attempt a concealment of
my sentiments. I love Miss Mowbray; passionately love her; and scorn to
dissimulate. I know you had a design to send her from hence;
clandestinely to send her; and I determined that she should not go 'till
I had declared my attachment to her, which I found you endeavoured
assiduously to prevent. You may certainly remove her from hence; but I
protest to you, that wherever she is, there I will endeavour to see her,
in spite of the universe.'

Lord Montreville now felt all the force of the error he had committed in
that boundless indulgence to which he had accustomed his son. In the
first instance of any consequence in which their wishes differed, he saw
him ready to throw off the restraint of paternal authority, and daring
to avow his resolution to act as he pleased.

This mortifying reflection arose in his mind, while, with a look of
mingled anger and amazement, he beheld Delamere, who having ordered
Millefleur to light his candle, snatched it from him, and hastily
retired.

Emmeline, who had stood trembling the whole time behind Lord
Montreville, besought him to ring up the housekeeper, and direct her to
stay with her for the rest of the night; for she declared she would on
no account remain in her own room alone.

His Lordship recommending her to the care of Fitz-Edward, went himself
in search of the housekeeper; and Emmeline refusing to seek a more
commodious apartment, sat down in one of the windows of the hall to wait
his return.

Fitz-Edward, to whom she had yet hardly spoken, now entertained her with
a profusion of compliments, almost as warm as those she had heard from
Delamere; but her spirits, quite exhausted by the terror which had so
lately possessed them, could no longer support her; she was unable to
give an answer of common civility, and was very glad to see Lord
Montreville return with Mrs. Garnet; who, extremely discomposed at being
disturbed and obliged to appear in her night-cap, followed her,
grumbling, into her room; where, as Emmeline refused to go to it
herself, she took possession of her bed, and soon falling into a
profound sleep, left its melancholy owner to her sad reflections.

She had not been many minutes indulging them, and wishing for the return
of light, before somebody was again at the door. Emmeline still
apprehending Delamere, stepped to it; and was astonished to see Lord
Montreville himself.

He entered the room; and told her, that as his son knew of her journey
in the morning, he would probably try some means to prevent it, or at
least to trace out her abode; that it was therefore absolutely necessary
for her to be ready by day break or before, for which he had prepared
Mr. Headly; who was up, and getting ready to set out as soon as there
was light enough to make it safe.

Emmeline, who thought she could not be gone too soon, now hastily
finished the remainder of her packing; and having dressed herself for
her journey, which notwithstanding her sleepless night she rejoiced to
find so near, she waited with impatience 'till Mr. Headly summoned her
to go.



CHAPTER VI


The sun no sooner appeared above the horizon, than her conductor was
ready with his one-horse chair: and Emmeline being seated in it, and her
little baggage adjusted, she left the door of the castle; where Maloney,
who saw his favourite hopes vanish as he feared for ever, stood with a
rueful countenance to behold her departure.

However desirous she was of quitting a residence which had long been
uneasy to her, and which was now become so extremely improper, such is
the force of early habit, that she could not bid it adieu without being
greatly affected.

There she had passed her earliest infancy, and had known, in that period
of unconscious happiness, many delightful hours which would return no
more.

It was endeared to her by the memory of that good friend who had
supplied to her the place of a parent; from whom alone she had ever
heard the soothing voice of maternal solicitude. And as she passed by
the village church, which had been formerly the chapel of the monastery,
and joined the castle walls, she turned her eyes, filled with tears,
towards the spot where the remains of Mrs. Carey were deposited, and
sighed deeply; a thousand tender and painful recollections crouding on
her heart.

As she left the village, several women and children, who had heard she
was going that day, were already waiting to bid her farewell;
considering her as the last of that family, by whom they had been
employed when in health, and relieved when in sickness; they lamented
her departure as their greatest misfortune.

The present possessor of the castle bore not the name of Mowbray, and
was not at all interested for the peasantry, among whom he was a
stranger; they therefore, in losing Emmeline, seemed to lose the last of
the race of their ancient benefactors.

Emmeline, affected by their simple expressions of regret, returned their
good wishes with tears; and as soon as the chaise drove out of the
village, again fixed her eyes on the habitation she had quitted.

Its venerable towers rising above the wood in which it was almost
embosomed, made one of the most magnificent features of a landscape,
which now appeared in sight.

The road lay along the side of what would in England be called a
mountain; at its feet rolled the rapid stream that washed the castle
walls, foaming over fragments of rock; and bounded by a wood of oak and
pine; among which the ruins of the monastery, once an appendage to the
castle, reared its broken arches; and marked by grey and mouldering
walls, and mounds covered with slight vegetation, it was traced to its
connection with the castle itself, still frowning in gothic
magnificence; and stretching over several acres of ground: the citadel,
which was totally in ruins and covered with ivy, crowning the whole.
Farther to the West, beyond a bold and rocky shore, appeared the sea;
and to the East, a chain of mountains which seemed to meet the clouds;
while on the other side, a rich and beautiful vale, now variegated with
the mellowed tints of the declining year, spread its enclosures, 'till
it was lost again among the blue and barren hills.

Headly declaimed eloquently on the charms of the prospect, which
gradually unveiled itself as the autumnal mist disappeared. But
Emmeline, tho' ever alive to the beauties of nature, was too much
occupied by her own melancholy reflections to attend to the
animadversions of her companion.

_She_ saw nothing but the castle, of which she believed she was now
taking an eternal adieu; and her looks were fixed on it, 'till the road
winding down the hill on the other side, concealed it from her sight.

Headly imputed her sadness to a very different cause than that of an
early and long attachment to a particular spot. He supposed that regret
at being obliged to leave Delamere, to whose passion he could not
believe her insensible, occasioned the melancholy that overwhelmed her.
He spoke to her of him, and affected to lament the uneasiness which so
violent and ungovernable a temper in an only son, might occasion to his
family. He then talked of the two young ladies, his sisters, whom he
described as the finest young women in the country, and as highly
accomplished. Emmeline sighed at the comparison between _their_
situation and her own.

After some hours travelling through roads which made it very fatigueing,
they arrived at a little obscure house of entertainment, and after some
refreshment, continued their journey unmolested.

Delamere arose early, and calling for Millefleur, enquired at what hour
Miss Mowbray was to go. On hearing that she had left the castle more
than an hour, his rage and vexation broke through all the respect he
owed his father; who being acquainted by his valet of his resolution
immediately to follow the chaise, entered the room. He remonstrated with
him at first with great warmth; but Delamere, irritated by
contradiction, obstinately adhered to his resolution of immediately
pursuing the travellers.

Lord Montreville, finding that opposition rather encreased than remedied
the violence of his son's passionate sallies, determined to try what
persuasion would do; and Delamere, whose temper was insensible to the
threats of anger, yielded to remonstrance when softened by paternal
affection; and consented to forego his intention if Lord Montreville
would tell him where Emmeline was gone.

His Lordship, who probably thought this one of those instances in which
falsehood is excuseable if not meritorious, told him, with affected
reluctance, that she was gone to board at Bridgenorth, with Mrs.
Watkins, the sister of old Carey.

As this account was extremely probable, Delamere readily believed it;
and having with some difficulty been prevailed upon to pass his word
that he would not immediately take any steps to see her, tranquillity
was for the present restored to the castle.

Emmeline in the mean time, after a long and weary journey, arrived at
Swansea. Mrs. Watkins, who expected her, received her in a little but
very neat habitation, which consisted of a small room by way of
parlour, not unlike the cabin of a packet boat, and a bed-chamber over
it of the same dimensions. Of these apartments, Emmeline took
possession. Her conductor took leave of her; and she now wished to be
able to form some opinion of her new hostess; whose countenance, which
extremely resembled that of Mrs. Carey, had immediately prejudiced her
in her favour.

Being assured by Lord Montreville of every liberal payment for the board
and lodging of Miss Mowbray, she received her with a degree of civility
almost oppressive: but Emmeline, who soon found that she possessed none
of that warmth of heart and lively interest in the happiness of others
which so much endeared to her the memory of her former friend, was very
glad when after a few days the good woman returned with her usual
avidity to the regulation of her domestic matters, and suffered Emmeline
to enjoy that solitude which she knew so well how to employ.

Delamere, still lingering at the castle, where he seemed to stay for no
other reason than because he had there seen Emmeline, was pensive,
restless, and absent; and Lord Montreville saw with great alarm that
this impression was less likely to be effaced by time and absence than
he had supposed.

Fitz-Edward, obliged to go to Ireland to his regiment for some time, had
taken leave of them; and the impatience of Lord Montreville to return to
town was encreased by repeated letters from his wife.

Delamere however still evaded it; hoping that his father would set out
without him, and that he should by that means have an opportunity of
going to Bridgenorth, where he determined to solicit Emmeline to consent
to a Scottish expedition, and persuaded himself he should not meet a
refusal.

At length Lady Montreville, yet more alarmed at the delay, directed her
eldest daughter to write to his Lordship, and to give such an account of
her health as should immediately oblige the father and son to return.

Delamere, after such a letter, could not refuse to depart; and
comforting himself that he might be able soon to escape from the
observation of his family, and put his project in execution, he
consented to begin his journey. He determined, however, to write to Miss
Mowbray, and to desire her to direct her answer under cover to a friend
in London.

He did so; and addressed it to her at Mrs. Watkins's, at Bridgenorth:
but soon after his arrival in town, the letter was returned to the place
from which it was dated; having been opened at the office in consequence
of no such person as Miss Mowbray or Mrs. Watkins being to be found
there.

Delamere saw he had been deceived; but to complain was fruitless: he had
therefore no hope of discovering where Emmeline was, but by lying in
wait for some accidental intelligence.

The family usually passed the Christmas recess at their seat in Norfolk;
whither Delamere, who at first tried to avoid being of the party, at
length agreed to accompany them, on condition of his being allowed to
perform an engagement he had made with Mr. Percival for a fortnight.
Part of this time he determined to employ in seeing Headly, who did not
live above thirty miles from thence; hoping from him to obtain
intelligence of Emmeline's abode. And that no suspicion might remain on
the mind of his father, he affected to reassume his usual gaiety, and
was to all appearance as volatile and dissipated as ever.

While the family were in Norfolk, their acquaintance was warmly renewed
with that of Sir Francis Devereux, who was lately returned from a
residence on the Continent, whither he had been to compleat the
education of his two daughters, heiresses to his fortune, on the
embellishment of whose persons and manners all the modern elegancies of
education had been lavished.

They were rather pretty women; and of a family almost as ancient and
illustrious as that of Mr. Delamere. Their fortunes were to be immense;
and either of them would have been a wife for Delamere, the choice of
whom would greatly have gratified the families on both sides.

Infinite pains were taken to bring the young people frequently together;
and both the ladies seemed to allow that Delamere was a conquest worthy
their ambition.

As he never refused to entertain them with every appearance of gallantry
and vivacity, Lord Montreville flattered himself that at length Emmeline
was forgotten; and ventured to propose to his son, a marriage with
whichever of the Miss Devereux's he should prefer.

To which, Delamere, who had long foreseen the proposal, answered coldly,
'that he was not inclined to marry at all; or if he did, it should not
be one of those over-educated puppets.'

So far were their acquisitions from having made any impression on his
heart, that the frivolous turn of their minds, the studied ornaments of
their persons, and the affected refinement of their manners, made him
only recollect with more passionate admiration, that native elegance of
person and mind which he had seen only in the Orphan of Mowbray Castle.



CHAPTER VII


There was, in the person and manner of Emmeline, something so
interesting, that those who were little accustomed to attach themselves
to any one, were insensibly disposed to love her, and to become
solicitous for her welfare.

Even the insensibility with which long and uninterrupted prosperity had
encased the heart of Lord Montreville, was not entirely proof against
her attractive powers; and when he no longer apprehended the effect of
her encreasing charms on his son, he suffered himself to feel a degree
of pity and even of affection for her.

He therefore heard with pleasure that she was contented in her present
situation; and was convinced she had kept her word in not giving any
intelligence of her residence to Delamere. To shew his approbation of
her conduct, he directed a person in town to send her down a small
collection of books; some materials for drawing; and other trifles which
he thought would be acceptable.

Emmeline, charmed with such acquisitions, felt the most lively gratitude
for her benefactor; and having fitted up her little cabin extremely to
her satisfaction; she found, in the occupation these presents afforded
her, all that she wished, to engage her attention; and gratify her
taste.

Sensible of the defects of her education, she applied incessantly to her
books; for of every useful and ornamental feminine employment she had
long since made herself mistress without any instruction.

She endeavoured to cultivate a genius for drawing, which she inherited
from her father; but for want of knowing a few general rules, what she
produced had more of elegance and neatness than correctness and
knowledge.

She knew nothing of the science of music; but her voice was soft and
sweet, and her ear exquisite. The simple songs, therefore, she had
acquired by it, she sung with a pathos which made more impression on her
hearers than those studied graces learned by long application, which
excite wonder rather than pleasure.

Time, thus occupied, passed lightly away; Spring arrived almost
imperceptibly, and brought again weather which enabled Emmeline to
reassume her walks along the shore or among the rocks, and to indulge
that contemplative turn of mind which she had acquired in the solitude
of Mowbray Castle.

It was on a beautiful morning of the month of April, that, taking a book
with her as usual, she went down to the sea side, and sat reading for
some hours; when, just as she was about to return home, she saw a lovely
little boy, about five years old, wandering towards the place where she
was, picking up shells and sea weeds, and appearing to be so deeply
engaged in his infantine pursuit, that he did not see her 'till she
spoke to him.

'Whose sweet little boy are you, my love?' said she.

The child looked at her with surprise.

'I am my mamma's boy,' said he, 'and so is Henry,' pointing towards
another who now approached, and who seemed hardly a year younger.

The second running up to his brother, caught his hand, and they both
walked away together, looking behind at the strange lady with some
degree of alarm.

Their dress convinced Emmeline that they belonged to a stranger; and as
they seemed to have nobody with them, she was under some apprehension
for their safety, and therefore arose to follow them, when on turning
round the point of a rock whose projection had concealed the shore to
the left, she saw a lady walking slowly before her, whom the two little
boys had now rejoined. In her hand she held a little girl, who seemed
only learning to walk; and she was followed by a nursery maid, who held
in her arms another, yet an infant at the breast.

The stranger, near whom Emmeline was obliged to pass, curtsyed to her as
she went by. And if Emmeline was surprised at the early appearance of
company at a time when she knew it to be so unusual, the stranger was
much more so at the uncommon elegance of her form and manner: she was
almost tempted to believe the fable of the sea nymphs, and to fancy her
one of them.

Emmeline, on regaining her apartment, heard from the hostess, whom she
found with another neighbour, that the lady she had seen arrived the
evening before, and had taken lodgings at the house of the latter, with
an intention of staying great part of the summer.

The next day Emmeline again met the stranger; who accosting the fair
orphan with all that ease which characterises the address of those who
have lived much in good company, they soon entered into conversation,
and Emmeline almost as soon discovered that her new acquaintance
possessed an understanding as excellent as her person and address were
captivating.

She appeared to be not more than five or six and twenty: but her person
seemed to have suffered from sorrow that diminution of its charms, which
time could not yet have effected. Her complexion was faded and wan; her
eyes had lost their lustre; and a pensive and languid expression sat on
her countenance.

After the first conversation, the two ladies found they liked each other
so well, that they met by agreement every day. Emmeline generally went
early to the lodgings of Mrs. Stafford, and stayed the whole day with
her; charmed to have found in her new friend, one who could supply to
her all the deficiencies of her former instructors.

To a very superior understanding, Mrs. Stafford added the advantages of
a polished education, and all that ease of manner, which the commerce of
fashion can supply. She had read a great deal; and her mind, originally
elegant and refined, was highly cultivated, and embellished with all the
knowledge that could be acquired from the best authors in the modern
languages. Her disposition seemed to have been naturally chearful; for a
ray of vivacity would frequently light up her countenance, and a lively
and agreeable conversation call forth all its animated gaiety. But it
seldom lasted long. Some settled uneasiness lay lurking in her heart;
and when it recurred forcibly to her, as it frequently did in the midst
of the most interesting discourse, a cloud of sorrow obscured the
brilliancy of her countenance and language, and she became pensive,
silent, and absent.

Emmeline observed this with concern; but was not yet intimate enough
with her to enquire or discover the cause.

Sometimes, when she was herself occupied in drawing, or some other
pursuit in which Mrs. Stafford delighted to instruct her, she saw that
her friend, believing herself unobserved, gave way to all the melancholy
that oppressed her heart; and as her children were playing round her,
she would gaze mournfully on them 'till the tears streamed down her
cheeks.

By degrees the utmost confidence took place between them on every
subject but one: Mrs. Stafford never dwelt on the cause, whatever it
was, which occasioned her to be so frequently uneasy; nor did she ever
complain of being so: but she listened with the warmest interest to the
little tale Emmeline had to relate, and told her in return as much of
her own history as she thought it necessary for her to know.

Emmeline found that she was not a widow, as she had at first supposed;
for she spoke sometimes of her husband, and said she expected him at
Swansea. She had been married at a very early age; and they now
generally resided at an house which Mr. Stafford's father, who was still
living, had purchased for them in Dorsetshire.

'I came hither,' said she, 'thus early in the year, at Mr. Stafford's
request, who is fond of improvements and alterations, and who intends
this summer to add considerably to our house; which is already too
large, I think, for our present fortune. I was glad to get away from the
confusion of workmen, to which I have an aversion; and anxious to let
Charles and Henry, who had the measles in the Autumn and who have been
frequently ill since, have a long course of sea-bathing. I might indeed
have gone to Weymouth or some nearer place; but I wish to avoid general
company, which I could not have done where I am sure of meeting so many
of my acquaintance. I rejoice now at my preference of Swansea, since it
has been the means of my knowing you, my dear Emmeline.'

'And I, Madam,' returned Emmeline, 'have reason to consider the
concurrence of circumstances that brought you here as the most fortunate
for me. Yet I own to you, that the charm of such society is accompanied
with great pain, in anticipating the hour when I must again return to
that solitude I have 'till now considered as my greatest enjoyment.'

'Ah! my dear girl!' replied Mrs. Stafford, 'check in its first
appearance a propensity which I see you frequently betray, to anticipate
displeasing or unfortunate events. When you have lived a few years
longer, you will, I fear, learn, that every day has evils enough of its
own, and that it is well for us we know nothing of those which are yet
to come. I speak from experience; for I, when not older than you now
are, had a perpetual tendency to fancy future calamities, and embittered
by that means many of those hours which would otherwise have been really
happy. Yet has not my pre-sentiments, tho' most of them have been
unhappily verified, enabled me to avoid one of those thorns with which
my path has been thickly strewn.'

Emmeline hoped now to hear what hand had strewn them.

Mrs. Stafford, sighing deeply, fell into a reverie; and continuing long
silent, Emmeline could not resolve to renew a conversation so evidently
painful to her.

It was now six weeks since she had first seen Mrs. Stafford, and the
hours had passed in a series of felicity of which she had 'till then
formed no idea.

Mrs. Stafford, delighted with the lively attachment of her young friend,
was charmed to find herself capable of adorning her ingenuous and tender
mind with all that knowledge which books or the world had qualified her
to impart.

They read together every day: Emmeline, under the tuition of her
charming preceptress, had made some progress in French and Italian; and
she was amazed at her own success in drawing since she had received from
Mrs. Stafford rules of which she was before ignorant.

As the summer advanced, a few stragglers came in, and it was no longer
wonderful to see a stranger. But Mrs. Stafford and Miss Mowbray,
perfectly satisfied with each other, sought not to enlarge their
society. They sometimes held short conversations with the transient
visitants of the place, but more usually avoided those walks where it
was likely they should meet them.

Early one morning, they were returning from the bathing place together,
muffled up in their morning dresses. They had seen at a distance two
gentlemen, whom they did not particularly notice; and Emmeline, leaning
on the arm of her friend, was again anticipating all she should suffer
when the hour came which would separate them, and recollecting the
different company and conversation to which she had been condemned from
the death of Mrs. Carey to her quitting Mowbray Castle--

'You have not only taught me, my dear Mrs. Stafford,' said she, 'to
dread more than ever being thrown back into such company; but you have
also made me fear that I shall never relish the general conversation of
the world. As I disliked the manners of an inferior description of
people when I first knew them, because they did not resemble those of
the dear good woman who brought me up; so I shall undoubtedly be
disappointed and dissatisfied with the generality of those acquaintance
I may meet with; for I am afraid there are as few Mrs. Staffords in your
rank of life as there were Mrs. Careys in hers. However, there is no
great likelihood, I believe, at present, of my being convinced how
little they resemble you; for it is not probable I shall be taken from
hence.'

'Perhaps,' answered Mrs. Stafford, 'you might be permitted to stay some
months next winter with me. I shall pass the whole of it in the country;
the greatest part of it probably alone; and such a companion would
assist in charming away many of those hours, which now, tho' I have more
resources than most people, sometimes are heavy and melancholy. My
children are not yet old enough to be my companions; and I know not how
it is, but I have often more pain than pleasure in being with them. When
I remember, or when I feel, how little happiness there is in the world,
I tremble for their future destiny; and in the excess of affection,
regret having introduced them into a scene of so much pain as I have
hitherto found it. But tell me, Emmeline, do you think if I apply to
Lord Montreville he will allow you to pass some time with me?'

'Dear Madam,' said Emmeline, eagerly, 'what happiness do you offer me!
Lord Montreville would certainly think me highly honoured by such an
invitation.'

'Shall I answer for Lord Montreville,' said a voice behind them, 'as his
immediate representative?'

Emmeline started; and turning quickly, beheld Mr. Delamere and
Fitz-Edward.

Delamere caught her hands in his.

'Have I then found you, my lovely cousin?' cried he.--'Oh! happiness
unexpected!'

He was proceeding with even more than his usual vehemence; but
Fitz-Edward thought it necessary to stop him.

'You promised, Frederic, before I consented to come with you, that you
would desist from these extravagant flights. Come, I beg Miss Mowbray
may be permitted to speak to her other acquaintance; and that she will
do us both the honour to introduce us to her friend.'

Emmeline had lost all courage and recollection on the appearance of
Delamere. Mrs. Stafford saw her distress; and assuming a cold and
distant manner, she said--'Miss Mowbray, I apprehend from what this
gentleman has said, that he has a message to you from Lord Montreville.'

'Has my Lord, Sir,' said Emmeline to Delamere,--'has my Lord Montreville
been so good as to honour me with any commands?'

'Cruel girl!' answered he; 'you know too well that my father is not
acquainted with my being here.'

'Then you certainly ought not to be here,' said Emmeline, coolly; 'and
you must excuse me, Sir, if I beg the favor of you not to detain me, nor
attempt to renew a conversation so very improper, indeed so cruelly
injurious to me.'

Mrs. Stafford had Emmeline's arm within her own, from the commencement
of this conversation; and she now walked hastily on with her.

Delamere followed them, intreating to be heard; and Fitz-Edward,
addressing himself on the other side to Mrs. Stafford, besought her in a
half whisper to allow his friend only a few moments to explain himself
to Miss Mowbray.

'No, Sir, I must be excused,' answered she--'If Miss Mowbray does me the
honour to consult me, I shall certainly advise her against committing
such an indiscretion as listening to Mr. Delamere.'

'Ah! Madam!' said the colonel, throwing into his eyes and manner all
that insinuation of which he was so perfect a master, 'is it possible,
that with a countenance where softness and compassion seem to invite the
unhappy to trust you with their sorrows, you have a cruel and unfeeling
heart? Lay by for a moment your barbarous prudence, in favour of my
unfortunate friend; upon my honour, nothing but the conviction that his
life was at stake, would have induced me to accompany him hither; and I
pledge myself for the propriety of his conduct. He only begs to be
forgiven by Miss Mowbray for his improper treatment of her at Mowbray
Castle; to be assured she is in health and safety; and to hear that she
does not hate him for all the uneasiness he has given her; and having
done so, he promises to return to his family. Upon my soul,' continued
he, laying his hand upon his breast, 'I know not what would have been
the consequence, had I not consented to assist him in deceiving his
family and coming hither: but I have reason to think he would have made
some wild attempt to secure to himself more frequent interviews with
Miss Mowbray; and that a total disappointment of the project he had
formed for seeing her, would have been attended with a violence of
passion arising even to phrenzy.--Madness or death would perhaps have
been the event.'

Mrs. Stafford turned her eyes on Fitz-Edward, with a look sufficiently
expressive of incredulity--'Does a modern man of fashion pretend to talk
of madness and death? You certainly imagine, Sir, that you are speaking
to some romantic inhabitant of a Welch provincial town, whose ideas are
drawn from a circulating library, and confirmed by the conversation of
the captain in quarters.'

'Ah, madam,' said he, 'I know not to whom I have the honour of
addressing myself,' (though he knew perfectly well;) 'but I feel too
certainly that madness and death would be preferable to the misery such
coldness and cruelty as your's would inflict on me, was it my misfortune
to love as violently as Delamere; and indeed I tremble, lest in
endeavouring to assist my friend I have endangered myself.'

Of this speech, Mrs. Stafford, who believed he did not know her, took
very little notice; and turning towards Emmeline, who had in the mean
time been listening in trembling apprehension to the ardent declarations
of Delamere, said it was time to return home.

Delamere, without attending to her hint, renewed his importunities for
her friendship and interest with Miss Mowbray; to which, as soon as he
would allow her to answer, she said very gravely--'Sir, as Miss Mowbray
seems so much alarmed at your pursuing her hither, and as you must be
yourself sensible of it's extreme impropriety, I hope you will not
lengthen an interview which can only produce uneasiness for you both.'

'Let us go home, for heaven's sake!' whispered Emmeline.

'They are determined, you see, to follow us,' replied her friend; 'we
will however go.'

By this time they were near the door; and Mrs. Stafford wishing the two
gentlemen a good morning, was hurrying with Emmeline into the house; but
Fitz-Edward took hold of her arm.

'One word, only, madam, and we will intrude upon you no farther at
present: say that you will suffer us to see you again to-morrow.'

'Not if I can help it, be assured, Sir.'

'Then, madam,' said Delamere, 'you must allow me to finish now what I
have to say to Miss Mowbray.'

'Good heaven! Sir,' exclaimed Emmeline, 'why will you thus persist in
distressing me? You are perhaps known to Mrs. Watkins; your name will be
at least known to her; and intelligence of your being here will be
instantly sent to Lord Montreville.'

Emmeline, by no means aware that this speech implied a desire of
concealment, the motives of which might appear highly flattering to
Delamere, was soon made sensible of it's import by his answer.

'Enough, my adorable Emmeline!' cried he eagerly, 'if I am worthy of a
thought of that sort, I am less wretched than I believed myself. I will
not now insist on a longer audience; but to-morrow I must see you
again.--Your amiable friend here will intercede for me.--I must not be
refused; and will wish you a good day before you can form so cruel a
resolution.'

So saying, he bowed to Mrs. Stafford, kissed Emmeline's hand, and
departed with Fitz-Edward from the door.



CHAPTER VIII


The two fair friends no sooner entered the house, than Emmeline threw
herself into a chair, and burst into tears.

'Ah! my dear madam,' said she, sobbing, 'what will now become of me?
Lord Montreville will believe I have corresponded with his son; he will
withdraw all favour and confidence from me; and I shall be undone!'

'Do not thus distress yourself,' said Mrs. Stafford, tenderly taking her
hand--'I hope the rash and cruel conduct of this young man will not have
the consequences you apprehend. Lord Montreville, from your former
conduct, will easily credit your not having encouraged this visit.'

'Ah! my dear Mrs. Stafford,' replied Emmeline, 'you do not know Lord
Montreville. He hastily formed a notion that I made an appointment with
Mr. Delamere at Mowbray Castle, when I had not even seen him above once;
and though, from my eagerness to leave it, I believe he afterwards
thought he had been too hasty, yet so strong was that first impression,
that the slightest circumstance would, I know, renew it as forcibly as
ever: for he has one of those tempers, which having once entertained an
idea of a person's conduct or character, never really alters it, though
they see the most convincing evidence of it's fallacy. Having once
supposed I favoured the addresses of Mr. Delamere, as you know he did,
at Mowbray Castle, the present visit will convince him he was right, and
that I am the most artful as well as the most ungrateful of beings.'

Mrs. Stafford hesitated a moment, and then said, 'I see all the evil you
apprehend. To convince Lord Montreville of your ignorance of Delamere's
design, and your total rejection of his clandestine addresses, suppose I
were to write to him? He must be prejudiced and uncandid indeed, if
after such information he is not convinced of your innocence.'

To this proposal, Emmeline consented, with assurances of the liveliest
gratitude; and Mrs. Stafford returning to her lodgings, wrote the
following letter to Lord Montreville:


                                                   _Swansea, June 20._

  'My Lord,

    'A short abode at this place, has given me the pleasure of knowing
  Miss Mowbray, to whose worth and prudence I am happy to bear
  testimony. At the request of this amiable young woman, I am now to
  address your Lordship with information that Mr. Delamere came hither
  yesterday with Mr. Fitz-Edward, and has again renewed those
  addresses to Miss Mowbray which she knows to be so disagreeable to
  your Lordship, and which cannot but be extremely prejudicial to her.
  Circumstanced as she is at this place, she cannot entirely avoid
  him; but she hopes your Lordship will be convinced how truly she
  laments the pain this improper conduct of Mr. Delamere will give
  you, and she loses not a moment in beseeching you to write to him,
  or otherwise to interfere, in prevailing on him to quit Swansea; and
  to prevent his continuing to distress her by a pursuit so unwelcome
  to you, and so injurious to her honour and repose.

                                       I have the honour to be,
                                                         my Lord,
                                                    your Lordship's
                                               most obedient servant,
                                                          C. STAFFORD.'


This letter being extremely approved of by Emmeline, was put into the
next day's post; and the two ladies set out for their walk at a very
early hour, flattering themselves they should return before Delamere and
Fitz-Edward (who was lately raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel)
were abroad. But in this they deceived themselves. They were again
overtaken by their importunate pursuers, who had now agreed to vary the
mode of their attack. Fitz-Edward, who knew the power of his insidious
eloquence over the female heart, undertook to plead for his friend to
Emmeline, while Delamere was to try to interest Mrs. Stafford, and
engage her good offices in his behalf.

They no sooner joined the ladies, than Delamere said to the
latter--'After the discouraging reception of yesterday, nothing but
being persuaded that your heart will refuse to confirm the rigour you
think yourself obliged to adopt, could make me venture, Madam, to
solicit your favour with Miss Mowbray. I now warmly implore it; and
surely'----

'Can you believe, Sir,' said Mrs. Stafford, interrupting him, 'that _I_
shall ever influence Miss Mowbray to listen to you; knowing, as I do,
the aversion of your family to your entertaining any honourable views?
and having reason to believe you have yourself formed those that are
very different?'

'You have no reason to believe so, Madam,' interrupted Delamere in his
turn; 'and must wilfully mistake me, as an excuse for your cold and
unkind manner of treating me. By heaven! I love Emmeline with a passion
as pure as it is violent; and if she would but consent to it, will marry
her in opposition to all the world. Assist me then, dear and amiable
Mrs. Stafford! assist me to conquer the unreasonable prejudice she has
conceived against a secret marriage!'

'Never, Sir, will I counsel Miss Mowbray to accept such a proposal!
never will I advise her to unite herself with one whose family disdain
to receive her! and by clandestinely stealing into it, either disturb
it's peace, or undergo the humiliation of living the wife of a man who
dares not own her!'

'And who, Madam, has said that I dare not own her? Does not the same
blood run in our veins? Is she not worthy, from her personal merit, of a
throne if I had a throne to offer her? And do you suppose I mean to
sacrifice the happiness of my whole life to the narrow policy or selfish
ambition of my father?'

'Wait then, Sir, 'till time shall produce some alteration in your
favour. Emmeline is yet very young, too young indeed to marry. Perhaps,
when Lord and Lady Montreville are convinced that she only can make you
happy, they may consent to your union.'

'You little know, Madam, the hopelessness of such an expectation. Were
it possible that any arguments, any motives could engage my father to
forego all the projects of aggrandizing his family by splendid and rich
alliances, my mother will, I know, ever be inexorable. She will not hear
the name of Emmeline. Last winter she incessantly persecuted me with
proposals of marriage, and is now bent upon persuading me to engage my
hand to Miss Otley, a relation of her own, who possesses indeed an
immense fortune, and is of rank; but who of all women living would make
me the most miserable. The fatigueing arguments I have heard about this
match, and the fruitless and incessant solicitude of my mother, convince
me I cannot, for both our sakes, too soon put an end to it.'

Mrs. Stafford, notwithstanding the vehement plausibility of Delamere,
still declined giving to Emmeline such advice as he wished to engage her
to offer; and tho' aware of all the advantages such a marriage would
procure her friend, she would not influence her to a determination her
heart could not approve.

While Delamere therefore was pleading vainly to her, Fitz-Edward was
exhausting in his discourse with Emmeline, all that rhetoric on behalf
of his friend, which had already succeeded so frequently for himself.
Tho' he had given way to Delamere's eagerness, and had accompanied him
in pursuit of Miss Mowbray, after a few feeble arguments against it, he
never intended to encourage him in his resolution of marrying her; which
he thought a boyish and romantic plan, and one, of which he would
probably be weary before it could be executed. But as it was a military
maxim, that in love and war all stratagems are allowable, he failed not
to lay as much stress on the honourable intentions of Delamere, as if he
had really meant to assist in carrying them into effect.

Emmeline heard him in silence: or when an answer of some kind seemed to
be extorted from her, she told him that she referred herself entirely to
Mrs. Stafford, and would not even speak upon the subject but before her,
and as she should dictate.

In this way several meetings passed between Delamere, the colonel, and
the two ladies; for unless the latter had wholly confined themselves,
there was no possible way of avoiding the importunate assiduity of the
gentlemen. Fitz-Edward had a servant who was an adept in such
commissions, and who was kept constantly on the watch; so that they were
traced and followed, in spite of all their endeavours to avoid it.

Mrs. Stafford, however, persuaded Emmeline to be less uneasy at it, as
she assured her she would never leave her; and that there could be no
misrepresentation of her conduct while they were together.

Every day they expected some consequence from Mrs. Stafford's letter to
Lord Montreville; but for ten days, though they had heard nothing, they
satisfied themselves with conjectures.

Ten days more insensibly passed by; and they began to think it very
extraordinary that his Lordship should give no attention to an affair,
which only a few months before seemed to have occasioned him so much
serious alarm.

In this interval, Delamere saw Emmeline every day; and Fitz-Edward, on
behalf of his friend's views, attached himself to Mrs. Stafford with an
attention as marked and as warm as that of Delamere towards Miss
Mowbray.

He was well aware of the power a woman of her understanding must have
over an heart like Emmeline's; so new to the world, so ingenuous, and so
much inclined to indulge all the delicious enthusiasm of early
friendship.

He had had a slight acquaintance with Mrs. Stafford when she was first
married; and knew enough of her husband to be informed of the source of
that dejection, which, through all her endeavours to conceal it,
frequently appeared; and having lived always among those who consider
attachments to married women as allowable gallantries, and having had
but too much success among them, Fitz-Edward thought he could take
advantage of Mrs. Stafford's situation, to entangle her in a connection
which would make her more indulgent to the weakness of her friend for
Delamere.

But such was the awful, yet simple dignity of her manner, and so sacred
the purity of unaffected virtue, that he dared not hazard offending her;
while aware of the tendency of his flattering and incessant assiduity,
she was always watchful to prevent any diminution of the respect she had
a right to exact; and without affecting to shun his society, which was
extremely agreeable, she never suffered him to assume, in his
conversation with her, those freedoms which often made him admired by
others; nor allowed him to avow that libertinism of principle which she
lamented that he possessed.

Fitz-Edward, who had at first undertaken to entertain her merely with a
view of favouring Delamere's conversation with Emmeline, almost
imperceptibly found that it had charms on his own account. He could not
be insensible of the graces of a mind so highly cultivated; and he felt
his admiration mingled with a reverence and esteem of which he had never
before been sensible: but his vanity was piqued at the coldness with
which she received his studied and delicate adulation; and, for the
first time in his life, he was obliged to acknowledge to himself, that
there might be a woman whose mind was superior to it's influence.

Not being disposed very tranquilly to submit to this mortifying
conviction, he became more anxious to secure that partiality from Mrs.
Stafford, which, since he found it so hard to acquire, became necessary
to his happiness; and, in the hope of obtaining it, he would probably
long have persisted, had not his attention been soon afterwards diverted
to another object.

It wanted only a few days of a month since Mrs. Stafford's letter was
dispatched to Lord Montreville. But the carelessness of the servant who
was left in charge of the house in Berkley-square was the only reason of
his not noticing it.

Immediately after the birth-day, his Lordship had quitted London on a
visit to a nobleman in Buckinghamshire, whither his son had attended
him, and where they parted. Delamere, under pretence of seeing his
friend Percival, really went into Berkshire; and Lord Montreville,
having insisted on Delamere's joining him at the house of Lady Mary
Otley, beyond Durham, where Lady Montreville and her two daughters were
already gone, set out himself for that place, where they intended to
pass the months of July and August. He had many friends to visit on the
road; and when his Lordship arrived there, he found all his letters had,
instead of following him as he had directed, been sent immediately
thither; and instead of finding his son, or an account of his intended
arrival, he had the mortification of reading Mrs. Stafford's
information.

Delamere had, indeed, passed a few days with Mr. Percival, and had
written to his father from thence; but he had also seen Headly, from
whom he had extorted the secret of Emmeline's residence.

Fitz-Edward, to whose sister Mr. Percival was lately married, had joined
Delamere at the house of his brother-in-law: and Delamere persisting in
his resolution of seeing Emmeline, had, without much difficulty,
prevailed on Fitz-Edward, (who had some weeks on his hands before he was
to join his regiment in Ireland, and who had no aversion to any plan
that looked like an intrigue) to accompany him.

They contrived to gain Mr. Percival: and Delamere, by inclosing letters
to him, which were forwarded to his father as if he had been still
there, imagined that he had prevented all probability of discovery.
Could he have persuaded Emmeline to a Scottish marriage, (which he very
firmly believed he should) he intended as soon as they were married, to
have taken her to the house of Lady Mary Otley, and to have presented
her to his father, his mother, his sisters, and Lady Mary and her
daughter, who were also his relations, as his wife.

Lord Montreville, on reading Mrs. Stafford's letter, shut himself up in
his own apartment to consider what was to be done.

He knew Delamere too well to believe that writing, or the agency of any
other person, would have on him the least effect.

He was convinced therefore he must go himself; yet to return
immediately, without giving Lady Montreville some very good reason, was
impossible; nor could he think of any that would content her, but the
truth. Though he would very willingly have concealed from her what had
happened, he was obliged to send for her, and communicate to her the
intelligence received from Mrs. Stafford.

Her Ladyship, whose pride was, if possible, more than adequate to her
high blood, and whose passions were as strong as her reason was feeble,
received this information with all those expressions of rage and
contempt which Lord Montreville had foreseen.

Though the conduct of Emmeline was such as all her prejudice could not
misunderstand, she loaded her with harsh and injurious appellations, and
blamed his Lordship for having fostered a little reptile, who was now
likely to disgrace and ruin the family to which she pretended to belong.
She protested, that if Delamere dared to harbour so degrading an idea as
that of marrying her, she would blot him for ever from her affection,
and if possible from her memory.

Lord Montreville was obliged to wait 'till the violence of her first
emotion had subsided, before he ventured to propose going himself to
recall Delamere. To this proposal, however, her Ladyship agreed; and
when she became a little cooler, consented readily to conceal, if
possible, from Lady Mary Otley, the reason of Lord Montreville's abrupt
departure, which was fixed for the next day; for the knowledge of it
could not have any good effect on the sentiments of Lady Mary and her
daughter; the former of whom was at present as anxious as Lady
Montreville for an union of their families.

After some farther reflection, Lord Montreville thought that as Delamere
was extremely fond of his youngest sister, her influence might be of
great use in detaching him from his pursuit. It was therefore settled
that she should accompany his Lordship; making the most plausible story
they could, to account for a departure so unexpected; and leaving Lady
Montreville and Miss Delamere as pledges of their intended return, Lord
Montreville and his daughter Augusta set out post for London, in their
way to Swansea.



CHAPTER IX


Emmeline had, for some days, complained of a slight indisposition; and
being somewhat better, had determined to walk out in the evening; but
having rather favoured and indulged her illness, as it gave her a
pretext for avoiding Delamere, whose long and vehement assiduities began
to give great uneasiness to both the ladies, she still answered to their
enquiries that she was too ill to leave her room, and in consequence of
this message, she and Mrs. Stafford, who came to sit with her, soon
afterwards saw the Colonel and Delamere ride by as if for their evening
airing. They kissed their hands as they passed; and as soon as the
ladies believed them quite out of sight, and had observed the way they
had gone, Emmeline, who had confined herself three days to her room, and
who languished for air, proposed a short walk the opposite way, to which
Mrs. Stafford consented; and as soon as the heat was a little abated,
they set out, and enjoyed a comfortable and quiet walk for near an hour;
from which they were returning, when they saw Delamere and Fitz-Edward
riding towards them.

They dismounted, and giving their horses to their servants, joined them;
Delamere reproaching Emmeline for the artifice she had used, yet
congratulating himself on seeing her again. But his eyes eagerly running
over her person, betrayed his extreme anxiety and concern at observing
her pale and languid looks, and the lassitude of her whole frame.

Fitz-Edward, in a whisper, made the same remarks on her appearance to
Mrs. Stafford; who answered, 'that if Mr. Delamere persisted in pursuing
her, she did not doubt but that it would end in her going into a
decline.'

'Say rather,' answered Fitz-Edward artfully, 'that the interesting
languor on the charming countenance of your friend, arises from the
sensibility of her heart. She cannot surely see Delamere, dying for her
as he is, without feeling some disposition to answer a passion so ardent
and sincere: I know it is impossible she should. It is only your Stoic
prudence, your cold and unfeeling bosom, which can arm itself against
all the enthusiasm of love, all the tenderness of friendship. Miss
Mowbray's heart is made of softer materials; and were it not for the
inhuman reserve you have taught her, poor Delamere had long since met a
more suitable return to an attachment, of which, almost any other woman
would glory in being the object.'

There was something in this speech particularly displeasing to Mrs.
Stafford; who answered, 'that he could not pay her a compliment more
gratifying, than when he told her she had been the means of saving Miss
Mowbray from indiscretion; though she was well convinced, that her own
excellent understanding, and purity of heart, made any monitor
unnecessary.'

'However,' continued she, 'if you think that _my_ influence has
prevented her entering into all the wild projects of Mr. Delamere,
continue to believe, that while I am with her the same influence will
invariably be exerted to the same purpose.'

Delamere and Emmeline, who were a few paces before them while this
dialogue was passing, were now met by Parkinson, the colonel's servant,
who addressing himself to Delamere, told him that Lord Montreville and
one of the young ladies were that moment alighted from their carriage at
the inn, and had sent to his lodgings to enquire for him.

Mrs. Stafford advancing, heard the intelligence, and looked anxiously at
Emmeline, who turned paler than death at the thoughts of Lord
Montreville.

Delamere was alternately red and pale. He hesitated, and tried to
flatter himself that Parkinson was mistaken; while Fitz-Edward, who
found he should be awkwardly situated between the father and son,
silently meditated his defence.

Mrs. Stafford, who saw Emmeline ready to sink with the apprehension of
being seen walking with Delamere, intreated the gentlemen to leave them
and go to Lord Montreville; which she at length prevailed on them to do;
Delamere pressing Emmeline's hand to his lips, and protesting, with a
vehemence of manner particularly his own, that no power on earth should
oblige him to relinquish her.

Mrs. Stafford got the trembling Emmeline home as well as she could;
where she endeavoured to strengthen her resolution and restore her
spirits, by representing to her the perfect rectitude with which she had
acted.

But poor Delamere, who had no such consolatory reflections, felt very
uneasy, and would willingly have avoided the immediate explanation which
he saw must now take place with his father.

He determined, however, to temporize no longer; but being absolutely
fixed in his resolution of marrying Emmeline, to tell his father so, and
to meet all the effects of his anger at once.

In this disposition, he desired Fitz-Edward to leave him; and he entered
alone the parlour of the inn where Lord Montreville waited for him. His
countenance expressed a mixture of anger and confusion; while that of
his Lordship betrayed yet sterner symptoms of the state of his mind.

Augusta Delamere, her eyes red with weeping, and her voice faultering
through agitation, arose, and met her brother half-way.

'My dear brother!' said she, taking his hand.

He kissed her cheek; and bowing to his father, sat down.

'I have taken the trouble to come hither, Sir,' said Lord Montreville,
'in consequence of having received information of the wicked and
unworthy pursuit in which you have engaged. I command you, upon your
duty, instantly to return with me, and renounce for ever the scandalous
project of seducing an innocent young woman, whom _you_ ought rather to
respect and whom _I_ will protect.'

'I intend ever to do both, Sir; and when she is my wife, you will be
released from the task of protecting her, and will only have to love her
as much as her merit deserves. Be assured, my Lord, I have no such
designs against the honour of Miss Mowbray as you impute to me. It is my
determined and unalterable intention to marry her. Would to God your
Lordship would conquer the unreasonable prejudice which you have
conceived against the only union which will secure the happiness of your
son, and endeavour to reconcile my mother to a marriage on which I am
resolved.'

Having pronounced these words in a resolute tone, he arose from his
seat, bowed slightly to his father, and waving his hand to his sister,
as if to prevent her following him, he walked indignantly out of the
room.

Lord Montreville made no effort to stop him. But the recollection of the
fatal indulgence with which he had been brought up recurred forcibly to
his Lordship's mind; and he felt his anger against his son half subdued
by the reproaches he had to make himself. The very sight of this darling
son, was so gratifying, that he almost forgot his errors when he beheld
him.

After a moment's pause, Lord Montreville said to his daughter, 'You see,
Augusta, the disposition your brother is in. Violent measures will, I
fear, only make him desperate. We must try what can be done by Miss
Mowbray herself, who will undoubtedly consent to elude his pursuit, and
time may perhaps detach him from it entirely. For this purpose, I would
have _you_ see Emmeline to-morrow early; and having talked to her, we
can consider on what to determine. To night, try to recover your
fatigue.'

'Let me go to night, Sir,' said his daughter.--'It is not yet more than
eight o'clock, and I am sensible of no fatigue that should prevent my
seeing the young lady immediately.'

Lord Montreville assenting, Miss Delamere, attended by a servant, walked
to the house of Mrs. Watkins.

The door was opened by the good woman herself; and on enquiry for Miss
Mowbray, she desired the lady to walk in, and sit down in her little
room, while she went up to let Miss know.--'For I can't tell,' said she,
(folding up a stocking she was knitting) 'whether she be well enough to
see a strange gentlewoman. She have been but poorly for this week; and
to night, after she came from walking, she was in such a taking, poor
thing, we thought she'd a had a fit; and so Madam Stafford, who is just
gone, bid her she should lie down a little and keep quiet.'

This account, added to the disquiet of the fair mediatrix; who fancied
the heart of Emmeline could hardly fail of being of Delamere's party,
and that uneasiness at his father's arrival occasioned the agitation of
her spirits which Mrs. Watkins described.

Mrs. Watkins returned immediately, saying that Miss Emmy would be down
in a moment.

Emmeline instantly guessed who it was, by the description of the young
Lady and the livery of the servant who attended her: and now, with a
beating heart and uncertain step, she entered the room.

Miss Delamere had been prepared to see a very beautiful person: but the
fair figure whom she now beheld, though less dazlingly handsome than she
expected, was yet more interesting and attractive than she would have
appeared in the highest bloom of luxuriant beauty. Her late illness had
robbed her cheeks of that tender bloom they usually boasted; timidity
and apprehension deprived her of much of the native dignity of her
manner; yet there was something in her face and deportment that
instantly prejudiced Miss Delamere in her favour, and made her
acknowledge that her brother's passion had at least personal charms for
it's excuse.

A silent curtsey passed between the two ladies--and both being seated,
Miss Delamere began.--

'I believe, Miss Mowbray, you know that my father, Lord Montreville, in
consequence of a letter received from Mrs. Stafford, who is, he
understands, a friend of your's, arrived here this morning.'

'The letter, madam, was written at my particular request; that my Lord
did not notice it sooner, has, believe me, given me great concern.'

'I do sincerely believe it; and every body must applaud your conduct in
this affair. My father was, by accident, prevented receiving the letter
for some weeks: as soon as it reached him, we set out, and he has now
sent me to you, my dear cousin (for be assured I am delighted with the
relationship) to consult with you on what we ought to do.'

Emmeline, consoled yet affected by this considerate speech, found
herself relieved by tears.

'Though I am unable, madam,' said she, recovering herself, 'to advise,
be assured I am ready to do whatever you and Lord Montreville shall
dictate, to put an end to the projects your brother so perseveringly
attempts. Ah! Miss Delamere; my situation is singularly distressing. It
demands all your pity; all your father's protection!'

'You have, you shall have both, my dear Emmeline! as well as our
admiration for your noble and heroic conduct; and I beg you will not, by
being thus uneasy, injure your health and depress your spirits.'

This and many other consoling speeches, delivered in the persuasive
voice of friendly sympathy, almost restored Emmeline to her usual
composure; and after being together near an hour, Miss Delamere took her
leave, charmed with her new acquaintance, and convinced that she would
continue to act with the most exact obedience to the wishes of Lord
Montreville.



CHAPTER X


Lord Montreville, on hearing from his daughter what had passed between
her and Emmeline, was disposed to hope, that since she was so willing to
assist in terminating for ever the views of Delamere, they should be
able to prevail on him to relinquish them.

While Miss Delamere was with Emmeline, his Lordship had himself waited
on Mrs. Stafford, to whom he thought himself obliged.

He thanked her for the letter with which she had favoured him; and said,
'that having heard of the great regard with which she honoured Miss
Mowbray, he waited on her to beg her advice in the present difficult
circumstance. Since Mr. Delamere has pursued her hither,' said his
Lordship, 'she cannot remain here; but to find a situation that will be
proper for her, and concealed from him, I own appears so difficult, that
I know not on what to determine.'

'My Lord,' answered Mrs. Stafford, 'I intended to have asked your
Lordship's permission to have been favoured with Miss Mowbray's company
for some months; and still hope to be indulged with it when I return
home. But could I go thither now, which I cannot, (my house not being in
a condition to receive me,) it would be impossible to prevent Mr.
Delamere's knowledge of her abode, if she was with me. But surely Mr.
Delamere will leave this place with you, and will not oblige Miss
Mowbray to quit her home to avoid him.'

'Ah, madam!' answered Lord Montreville, 'you do not yet know my son. The
impetuosity of his temper, which has never been restrained, it is now
out of my power to check; whatever he determines on he will execute, and
I have too much reason to fear that opposition only serves to strengthen
his resolution. While Emmeline is here, it will be impossible to prevail
on him to quit the place: and though her behaviour has hitherto been
irreproachable and meritorious, how can I flatter myself that so young a
woman will continue steadily to refuse a marriage, which would not only
relieve her at once from the difficulties and dependance of her
situation, but raise her to an elevated rank, and a splendid fortune.'

'To which,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'she would do honour. I do not, however,
presume to offer my opinion to your Lordship. You have, undoubtedly,
very strong reasons for your opposition to Mr. Delamere's wishes: and
his affluent fortune and future rank certainly give him a right to
expect both the one and the other in whoever he shall marry. But a more
lovely person, a better heart, a more pure and elegant mind, he will no
where meet with. Miss Mowbray will reflect as much credit as she can
borrow, on any family to which she may be allied.'

'I acknowledge, madam, that Miss Mowbray is a very amiable young woman;
but she never can be the wife of my son; and you I am sure are too
considerate to give any encouragement to so impossible an idea.'

After some farther conversation, Mrs. Stafford promised to endeavour to
recollect a proper situation for Miss Mowbray, where she might be
secured from the importunities of Delamere; and his Lordship took his
leave.

By six o'clock the next morning, Delamere was at Mrs. Watkins's door;
and nobody being visible but the maid servant, he entered the parlour,
and told her he wanted to speak with Miss Mowbray; but would wait until
she arose.

The maid told her mistress, who immediately descended; and Delamere, who
was known to her as a young Lord who was in love with Miss Emmy, was
courteously invited to her own parlour, and she offered to go up with
any message he should be pleased to send.

He begged she would only say to Miss Mowbray that a gentleman desired to
speak to her on business of consequence.

But the good woman, who thought she could do more justice to her
employer, told Emmeline, who was dressing herself, that 'the handsome
young Lord, as used to walk every night with her and Madam Stafford, was
below, and wanted to speak to her directly.'

At this information, Emmeline was extremely alarmed. She considered
herself as particularly bound by what had passed the evening before
between her and Augusta Delamere, to avoid her brother; and such an
interview as he now demanded must have an appearance to Lord Montreville
of which she could not bear to think. She desired Mrs. Watkins,
therefore, to let the gentleman know that she was not well, and could
not see any body.

'Why, Lord, Miss!' exclaimed the officious landlady, 'what can you mean
now by that? What! go for to refuse seeing such an handsome young man,
who is a Lord, and the like of that? I am sure it is so foolish, that I
shan't carry no such message.'

'Send Betty with it then,' answered Emmeline coldly; 'let her inform the
gentleman I cannot be seen.'

'Well,' said Mrs. Watkins, as she descended, 'it is strange nonsense, to
my fancy; but some folks never knows what they would be at.'

She then returned to the parlour, and very reluctantly delivered the
answer to Mr. Delamere; who asked if Emmeline was really ill?

'Ill,' said the complaisant hostess, 'I see nothing that ails her: last
night, indeed, she was in a desperate taking, and we had much ado to
hinder her from going into a fit; but to day I am sure she looks as if
she was as well as ever.'

Delamere asked for a pen and ink, with which she immediately furnished
him; and as she officiously offered to get him some breakfast, he
accepted it to gain time. While it was preparing he sent up to Emmeline
the following note:


    'I came hither to entreat only one quarter of an hour's
  conversation, which you cruelly deny me! You determine then,
  Emmeline, to drive me to despair!

    'You may certainly still refuse to see me; but you cannot oblige
  me to quit this place, or to lose sight of your abode. My father
  will, therefore, gain nothing by his ill-judged journey hither.

    'But if you will allow me the interview I solicit, and after it
  still continue to desire my absence, I will give you my promise to
  go from hence to-morrow.

                                                        F. DELAMERE.'


The maid was sent up with this billet to Emmeline; who, after a moment's
consideration, determined to send it to Miss Delamere, and to tell her,
in an envelope, how she was situated.

Having enclosed it therefore, and desired the maid to go with it without
saying whither she was going, she bid her, as she went through the
house, deliver to Mr. Delamere another note, which was as follows:


  'Sir,

    'Your request of an interview, I think myself obliged on every
  account to refuse. I am extremely sorry you determine to persevere
  in offering me proposals, to which, though they do me a very high
  and undeserved honour, I never ought to listen; and excuse me if I
  add, that I never will.

                                                  EMMELINE MOWBRAY.'


Emmeline had not before so positively expressed her rejection of
Delamere's addresses. The peremptory stile, therefore, of this billet,
added to his extreme vexation at being overtaken by his father, and the
little hope that seemed to remain for him any way, operated altogether
on his rash and passionate disposition, and seemed to affect him with a
temporary phrenzy. He stamped about the room, dashed his head against
the wainscot, and seizing Mrs. Watkins by the arm, swore, with the most
frightful vehemence, that he would see Miss Mowbray though death were in
the way.

The woman concluding he was mad, screamed out to her husband, who
descending from his chamber in astonishment, put himself between his
wife and the stranger, demanding his business?

'Alack-a-day!' cried Mrs. Watkins, 'tis the young Lord. He is gone mad,
to be sure, for the love of Miss up stairs!'

Emmeline, who in so small a house could not avoid hearing all that
passed, now thought it better to go down; for she knew enough of
Delamere to fear that the effects of his fit of passion might be very
serious; and was certain that nothing could be more improper than so
much confusion.

She therefore descended the stairs, with trembling feet, and entered
Mrs. Watkins's parlour; where she saw Delamere, his eyes flashing fire
and his hands clenched, storming round the room, while Watkins followed
him, and bowing in his awkward way, 'begged his Honour would only please
to be pacified.'

There was something so terrifying in the wild looks of the young man,
that Emmeline having only half opened the door, retreated again from it,
and was hastening away. But Delamere had seen her; and darting out after
her, caught her before she could escape out of the passage, and she was
compelled to return into the room with him; where, on condition of his
being more composed, she agreed to sit down and listen to him.

Watkins and his wife having left the room, Delamere again renewed his
solicitations for a Scottish expedition. 'However averse,' said he, 'my
father and mother may at present be to our marriage, I know they will be
immediately reconciled when it is irrevocable. But if you continue to
harden your heart against me, of what advantage will it be to them?
Their ambition will still suffer; for I here swear by all that is
sacred, that then I never will marry at all; and by my dying without
posterity, their views will for ever be abortive, and their projects
disappointed.'

To this, and every other argument Delamere used, Emmeline answered,
'that having determined never to accept of his hand, situated as she at
present was, nothing should induce her to break through a determination
which alone could secure her the approbation of her own heart.'

He then asked her, 'whether, if the consent of Lord and Lady Montreville
could be obtained, she would continue averse to him?'

This question she evaded, by saying, 'that it was to no purpose to
consider how she should act in an event so unlikely to happen.'

He then again exerted all the eloquence which love rather than reason
lent him. But Emmeline combated his arguments with those of rectitude
and honour, by which she was resolutely bent to abide.

This steadiness, originating from principles he could not controvert or
deny, seemed, while it shewed him all its hopelessness, to give new
force to his passion. He became again almost frantic, and was anew
acting the part of a madman, when Mrs. Stafford and Miss Delamere
entered the house, and enquiring for Miss Mowbray, were shewn into the
room where she was with Delamere; who, almost exhausted by the violence
of those emotions he had so boundlessly indulged, had now thrown himself
into a chair, with his head leaning against the wainscot; his hair was
dishevelled, his eyes swoln, and his countenance expressed so much
passionate sorrow, that Augusta Delamere, extremely shocked, feared to
speak to him; while Emmeline, on the opposite side of the room, sat with
her handkerchief to her eyes; and as soon as she saw Mrs. Stafford, she
threw herself into her arms and sobbed aloud.

Delamere looked at Mrs. Stafford and his sister, but spoke to neither;
till Augusta approaching him, would have taken his hand; but he turned
from her.

'Oh, Frederic!' cried she, 'I beseech you to consider the consequence of
all this.'

'I consider nothing!' said he, starting up and going to the window.

His sister followed him.

'Go, go,' said he, turning angrily from her--'Go, leave me, leave me!
assist Lord Montreville to destroy his only son! go, and be a party in
the cruel policy that will make you and Fanny heiresses!'

The poor girl, who really loved her brother better than any thing on
earth, was quite overwhelmed by this speech; and her tears now flowed as
fast as those of Emmeline, who continued to weep on the bosom of Mrs.
Stafford.

Delamere looked at them both with a stern and angry countenance; then
suddenly catching his sister by the hand, which he eagerly grasped, he
said, in a low but resolute voice--'Tears, Augusta, are of no use. Do
not lament me, but try to help me. I am now going out for the whole day;
for I will not see my father only to repeat to him what I have already
said. Before I return, see what you can do towards persuading him to
consent to my marriage with Miss Mowbray; for be assured that if he does
not, the next meeting, in which I expect his answer, will be the last we
shall have.'

He then snatched up his hat, and disengaging himself from his sister,
who attempted to detain him, he went hastily out of the house; leaving
Mrs. Stafford, Miss Mowbray, and his sister, under great uneasiness and
alarm.

They thought it necessary immediately to inform Lord Montreville of the
whole conversation, and Miss Delamere dispatched a note to Fitz-Edward,
desiring him to attend to the motions of his friend.

Fitz-Edward was at breakfast with Lord Montreville; who took the first
opportunity of their being alone, to reproach him with some severity for
what he had done.

The Colonel heard him with great serenity; and then began to justify
himself, by assuring his Lordship that he had accompanied Delamere only
in hopes of being able to detach him from his pursuit, and because he
thought it preferable to his being left wholly to himself. He declared
that he meant to have given Lord Montreville information, if there had
appeared the least probability of Delamere's marriage; but that being
perfectly convinced, from the character of Emmeline, that there was
nothing to apprehend, he had every day hoped his friend would have
quitted a project in which there seemed not the least likelihood of
success, and would have returned to his family cured of his passion.

Though this was not all strictly true, Fitz-Edward possessed a sort of
plausible and insinuating eloquence, which hardly ever failed of
removing every impression, however strong, against him; and Lord
Montreville was conversing with him with his usual confidence and
friendship, when the note from Miss Delamere was brought in.

His Lordship, ever anxious for his son, gazed eagerly at it while
Fitz-Edward read it; and trembling, asked from whom it came?

Fitz-Edward put it into his hand; and having ran it over in breathless
terror, his Lordship hurried out, directing all his servants to go
several ways in search of Delamere; while he entreated Fitz-Edward to
run to whatever place he was likely to be in; and went himself to Mrs.
Stafford's lodging, who was by this time returned home.

What he heard from her of the scene of the morning, contributed to
encrease his alarm. The image of his son in all the wildness of
ungovernable passion, shook his nerves so much, that he seemed ready to
faint, yet unable to move to enquire where he was. As he could attend to
nothing else, Mrs. Stafford told him how anxiously she had thought of a
situation for Emmeline, and that she believed she had at length found
one that would do, 'if,' said she, 'your Lordship cannot prevail on him
to quit Swansea, which I think you had better attempt, though from the
scene of this morning I own I despair of it more than ever.

'The person with whom I hope to be able to place Miss Mowbray is Mrs.
Ashwood, the sister of Mr. Stafford. She has been two years a widow,
with three children, and resides at a village near London. She has a
very good fortune; and would be happy to have with her such a companion
as Miss Mowbray, 'till I am so fortunate as to be enabled to take her
myself. As her connections and acquaintance lie in a different set of
people, and in a remote part of the country from those of Mr. Delamere,
it is improbable, that with the precaution we shall take, he will ever
discover her residence.'

Lord Montreville expressed his sense of Mrs. Stafford's kindness in the
warmest terms. He assured her that he should never forget the friendly
part she had taken, and that if ever it was in his power to shew his
gratitude by being so happy as to have the ability to serve her or her
family, he should consider it as the most fortunate event of his life.

Mrs. Stafford heard this as matter of course; and would have felt great
compassion for Lord Montreville, whose state of mind was truly
deplorable, but she reflected that he had really been the author of his
own misery: first, by bringing up his son in a manner that had given
such boundless scope to his passions; and now, by refusing to gratify
him in marrying a young woman, who was, in the eye of unprejudiced
reason, so perfectly unexceptionable. She advised him to try once more
to prevail on his son to leave Swansea with him; and he left her to
enquire whether Fitz-Edward had yet found Delamere, whose absence gave
him the most cruel uneasiness.

Fitz-Edward, after a long search, had overtaken Delamere on an
unfrequented common, about a mile from the town, where he was walking
with a quick pace; and seeing Fitz-Edward, endeavoured to escape him.
But when he found he could not avoid him, he turned fiercely towards
him--'Why do you follow me, Sir? Is it not enough that you have broken
through the ties of honour and friendship in betraying me to my father?
must you still persecute me with your insidious friendship?'

Fitz-Edward heard him with great coolness; and without much difficulty
convinced him that Miss Mowbray herself had given the information to
Lord Montreville by means of Mrs. Stafford.

This conviction, while it added to the pain and mortification of
Delamere, greatly reconciled him to Fitz-Edward, whom he had before
suspected; and after a long conversation, which Fitz-Edward so managed
as to regain some degree of power over the passions of his impetuous
friend, he persuaded him to go and dine with Lord Montreville; having
first undertaken for his Lordship that nothing should be said on the
subject which occupied the thoughts of the father; on which condition
only the son consented to meet him.



CHAPTER XI


Notwithstanding the steadiness Emmeline had hitherto shewn in rejecting
the clandestine addresses of Delamere, he still hoped they would
succeed. A degree of vanity, pardonable in a young man possessing so
many advantages of person and fortune, made him trust to those
advantages, and to his unwearied assiduity, to conquer her reluctance.
He determined therefore to persevere; and did not imagine it was likely
he could again lose sight of her by a stratagem, against which he was
now on his guard.

As he fancied Lord Montreville and his sister designed to carry her with
them when they went, he kept a constant eye on their motions, and set
his own servant, and Fitz-Edward's valet, to watch the servants of Lord
Montreville.

Fitz-Edward, who had been so near losing the confidence of both the
father and son, found it expedient to observe a neutrality, which it
required all his address to support; being constantly appealed to by
them both.

Lord Montreville, he advised to adhere to moderate measures and gentle
persuasions, and to trust to Emmeline's own strength of mind and good
conduct; while to Delamere he recommended dissimulation; and advised him
to quit Swansea at present, which would prevent Emmeline's being removed
from thence, and leave it in his power at any time to see her again.

Lord Montreville, on cooler reflection, was by no means satisfied with
Fitz-Edward. To encourage his son's project, and even to accompany him
in it, in the vain hope of detaching him from Emmeline before an
irrevocable engagement could be formed, seemed to be at least very
blameable; and if he had seen the connection likely to take place on a
less honourable footing, his conduct was more immoral, if not so
impolitic.

Either way, Lord Montreville felt it so displeasing, that he determined
not to trust Fitz-Edward in what he now meditated, which was, to remove
Emmeline from Swansea before he and his daughter quitted it, and to
place her with the sister of Mr. Stafford; who being now arrived, had
engaged to obtain his sister's concurrence with their plan.

A female council therefore was held on the means of Emmeline's removal;
and it was settled that a post-chaise should, on the night fixed, be in
waiting at the distance of half a mile from the town; where Emmeline
should meet it; and that a servant of Mr. Stafford should accompany her
to London, who was from thence to return to his master's house in
Dorsetshire.

This arrangement being made three days after the arrival of Lord
Montreville, and his faithful old valet being employed to procure the
chaise, the hour arrived when poor Emmeline was again to abandon her
little home, where she had passed many tranquil and some delightful
days; and where she was to bid adieu to her two beloved friends,
uncertain when she should see them again.

Her friendship for Mrs. Stafford was enlivened by the warmest gratitude.
To her she owed the acquisition of much useful knowledge, as well as
instruction in those elegant accomplishments to which she was naturally
so much attached, but which she had no former opportunity of acquiring.
The charms of her conversation, the purity of her heart, and the
softness of her temper, made her altogether a character which could not
be known without being beloved; and Emmeline, whose heart was open to
all the enchanting impressions of early friendship, loved her with the
truest affection. The little she had seen of Augusta Delamere, had given
that young lady the second place in her heart. They were of the same
age, within a few weeks. Augusta Delamere extremely resembled the
Mowbray family: and there was, in figure and voice, a very striking
similitude between her and Emmeline Mowbray.

Lady Montreville, passionately attached to her son, as the heir and
representative of her family, and partial to her eldest daughter for her
great resemblance to herself, seemed on them to have exhausted all her
maternal tenderness, and to have felt for Augusta but a very inferior
share of affection.

Of the haughty and supercilious manners which made Lady Montreville
feared and disliked, she had communicated no portion to her younger
daughter; and if she had acquired something of the family pride, her
good sense, and the sweetness of her temper, had so much corrected it,
that it was by no means displeasing.

Elegantly formed as she was, and with a face, which, tho' less fair than
that of Emmeline was almost as interesting, her mother had yet always
expressed a disapprobation of her person; and she had therefore herself
conceived an indifferent opinion of it; and being taught to consider
herself inferior in every thing to her elder sister, she never fancied
she was superior to others; nor, though highly accomplished, and
particularly skilled in music, did she ever obtrude her acquisitions on
her friends, or anxiously seek opportunities of displaying them.

Her heart was benevolent and tender; and her affection for her brother,
the first of it's passions. She could never discover that he had a
fault; and the error in regard to Emmeline, which his father so much
dreaded, appeared to his sister a virtue.

She was deeply read in novels, (almost the only reading that young women
of fashion are taught to engage in;) and having from them acquired many
of her ideas, she imagined that Delamere and Emmeline were born for each
other; though she dared not appear to encourage hopes so totally
opposite to those of her family, she found, after she had once seen and
conversed with Emmeline, that she never could warmly oppose an union
which she was convinced would make her brother happy.

She fancied that Emmeline could not be insensible to Delamere's love;
she even believed she saw many symptoms of regard for him in her manner,
and that she made the most heroic sacrifice of her love to her duty,
when she resigned him: a sacrifice which heightened, almost to
enthusiasm, the pity and esteem felt for her by Augusta Delamere; and
though they had known each other only a few days, a sisterly affection
had taken place between them.

But from these two friends, so tenderly and justly beloved, Emmeline was
now to depart, and to be thrown among strangers, where it was improbable
she would meet with any who would supply the loss of them. Her duty
however demanded this painful effort; and she determined to execute it
with courage and resolution.

Delamere was so perpetually about his father, that it was judged
improper for him to hold any private conference with Emmeline, lest
something should be suspected.

His Lordship therefore sent her by Mrs. Stafford a bank note of fifty
pounds; with his thanks for the propriety of her conduct, and an
assurance, that while she continued to merit his protection, he should
consider her as his daughter, and take care to supply her with money,
and every thing else she might wish for. He desired she would not write;
lest her hand should be known, and her abode traced; but said, that in a
few weeks he would see her himself, and wished her all possible health
and happiness.

On the night of her departure, instead of retiring to rest at the usual
hour, Emmeline dressed herself in a travelling dress, and passed some
melancholy hours waiting for the signal of her departure.

At half past two in the morning, every thing being profoundly quiet, she
saw, from her window, her two friends, who had declared they would not
leave her 'till they saw her in the chaise.

She took with her only a small parcel of linen, Mrs. Stafford having
engaged to forward the rest to an address agreed upon; and softly
descending the stairs for fear of alarming Mrs. Watkins, she opened the
door; and each of her friends taking an arm, they passed over two
fields, into a lane where the chaise was waiting with the servant who
was to go with her.

The tears had streamed from her eyes during the little walk, and she was
unable to speak. The servant now opened the chaise door and let down the
step; and Emmeline kissing the hand of Mrs. Stafford, and then that of
Augusta Delamere, went hastily into it--'God bless you both!' said she,
in a faint and inarticulate voice. The servant shut the door, mounted a
post horse, and the chaise was in an instant out of sight; while the two
ladies, who at any other time would have been alarmed at being obliged
to take so late a walk, thought not of themselves; but full of concern
for poor Emmeline, went back in tears; and Miss Delamere, who had agreed
to remain the rest of that night at the lodgings of Mrs. Stafford,
retired not to rest, but to weep for the departure of her friend and the
distress of her brother.

Emmeline, thus separated from every body she loved, pursued her journey
melancholy and repining.

The first hour, she wept bitterly, and accused her destiny of caprice
and cruelty. But tho' to the unfortunate passion of Delamere she owed
all the inconvenience she had lately experienced, she could not resolve
to hate him; but found a degree of pity and regard perpetually mingled
itself with his idea in her heart. Yet she was not in love; and had
rather the friendship of a sister for him than any wish to be his wife.

Had there been no impediments to their union, she would have married
him, rather to make him happy than because she thought it would make
herself so; but she would have seen him married to another, and have
rejoiced at it, if he had found felicity.

An attachment like his, which had resisted long absence, and was
undiminished by insuperable difficulties, could hardly fail of having
it's effect on the tender and susceptible mind of Emmeline. But whatever
affection she felt, it by no means arose to what a romantic girl would
have perhaps fancied it; and she was much more unhappy at quitting the
dear Augusta than at the uncertainty she was in whether she should ever
again see Delamere.

The parting was extremely embittered by the prohibition she had received
in regard to writing to her. But painful as it was, she determined to
forbear; and steadily to adhere to that line of duty, however difficult
to practice, that only could secure the peace of her mind, by the
acquittal of her conscience; which, as she had learned from Mrs.
Stafford, as well as from her own experience, short as it was, could
alone support her in every trial to which she might be exposed.

She reflected on her present situation, compared to what it would have
been had she been prevailed upon to become the wife of Delamere against
the consent of his family.

Splendid as his fortune was, and high as his rank would raise her above
her present lot of life, she thought that neither would reconcile her to
the painful circumstance of carrying uneasiness and contention into his
family; of being thrown from them with contempt, as the disgrace of
their rank and the ruin of their hopes; and of living in perpetual
apprehension lest the subsiding fondness of her husband should render
her the object of his repentance and regret.

The regard she was sensible of for Delamere did not make her blind to
his faults; and she saw, with pain, that the ungovernable violence of
his temper frequently obscured all his good qualities, and gave his
character an appearance of ferocity, which offered no very flattering
prospect to whosoever should be his wife.

By thus reasoning with herself, she soon became more calm, and more
reconciled to that destiny which seemed not to design her for Delamere.

She met with no remarkable occurrence in her journey; and on the evening
of the third day arrived in town; where the servant who attended her was
ordered to dismiss the chaise, and to procure her an hackney coach, in
which she proceeded to the house of Mrs. Ashwood.

This residence, situated in a populous village three miles from London,
bore the appearance of wealth and prosperity. The iron gate, which gave
entrance into a large court, was opened by a servant in a laced livery,
to whom Emmeline delivered the letter she had brought from Mrs.
Stafford, and after a moment's waiting the lady herself came out to
receive her.

Emmeline, by the splendour of her dress, concluded she had left a large
company: but being ushered into a parlour, found she had been drinking
tea alone; of which, or of any other refreshment, Miss Mowbray was
desired to partake.

Her reception of her visitor was perfectly cordial; and Emmeline soon
recovering her easy and composed manner, Mrs. Ashwood seemed very much
pleased with her guest; for there was in her countenance a passport to
all hearts.

Mrs. Ashwood, tho' not in the bloom of life, and tho' she never had been
handsome, was so unconscious of her personal disadvantages, that she
imagined herself the object of admiration of one sex and of the
imitation of the other. With the most perfect reliance on the graces of
a figure which never struck any other person as being at all remarkable,
she dressed with an exuberance of expence; and kept all the company her
neighbourhood afforded.

Where her ruling passions, (the love of admiration and excessive vanity)
did not interfere, she was sometimes generous and sometimes friendly.
But her ideas of her own perfections, both of person and mind, far
exceeding the truth, she had often the mortification to find that others
by no means thought of them as she did; and then her good humour was far
from invincible.

Though Emmeline soon found her conversation very inferior to what she
had of late been accustomed to, she thought herself fortunate in having
found an asylum, the mistress of which seemed desirous of making it
agreeable; and to which she was introduced by the kindness of her
beloved Mrs. Stafford.

But while serenity was returning to the bosom of Emmeline, that of poor
Delamere was torn with the cruellest tempest. The morning after
Emmeline's departure, Delamere, who expected no such thing, arose at his
usual hour and rode out alone, as he had frequently done. As he passed
her window, he looked up to it, and seeing it open, concluded she was in
her room.

On his return, his father met him, and asked him to breakfast; but he
designed to attend the tea-table of Mrs. Stafford, where he thought he
should meet Emmeline, and therefore excused himself; and Lord
Montreville, who wished the discovery to be delayed to as late an hour
of the day as possible, let him go thither, where he breakfasted; and
then proposed a walk to Mrs. Stafford, which he hoped would include a
visit to Emmeline, or at least that Mrs. Stafford would not walk without
her. She excused herself, however, on pretence of having letters to
write; and Delamere went in search of Fitz-Edward, whom he could not
find.

It was now noon, and he grew impatient at not having had even a glimpse
of Emmeline the whole morning, when he met Fitz-Edward's man, and asked
him hastily where his master was?

The man hesitated, and looked as if he had a secret which he contained
with some uneasiness. 'Sir,' said he, 'have you seen Miss Mowbray
to-day?'

'No--why do you ask?'

'Because, Sir,' said the fellow, 'I shrewdly suspect that she went away
from here last night. I can't tell your Honour why I thinks so; but you
may soon know the truth on't.'

The ardent imagination of Delamere instantly caught fire. He took it for
granted that Fitz-Edward had carried her off: and without staying to
reflect a moment, he flew to the inn where his horses were, and ordered
them to be saddled; then rushing into the room where his father and
sister were sitting together, he exclaimed--'she is gone, Sir--Emmeline
is gone!--but I will soon overtake her; and the infamous villain who has
torn her from me!'

Lord Montreville scorned to dissimulate. He answered, 'I know she is
gone, and it was by my directions she went. You cannot overtake her; nor
is it probable you will ever see her again. Endeavour therefore to
recollect yourself, and do not forget what you owe to your family and
yourself.'

Delamere attended but little to this remonstrance; but still
prepossessed with the idea of Fitz-Edward's being gone with her, he
swore perpetual vengeance against him, and that he would pursue him
through the world.

With this resolution on his lips, and fury in his eyes, he quitted his
father's apartment, and at the door met Fitz-Edward himself, coming to
enquire after him.

He was somewhat ashamed of the hasty conclusion he had made, and was
therefore more disposed to hear what Fitz-Edward had to say, who
presently convinced him that he was entirely ignorant of the flight of
Emmeline.

Delamere now insisted, that as a proof of his friendship he would
instantly set out with him in pursuit of her.

Fitz-Edward knew not what to do; but however seemed to consent; and
saying he would order his servant to get his horse, left him, and went
to Lord Montreville, to whom he represented the impracticability of
stopping Delamere.

His Lordship, almost certain that Emmeline was out of the possibility of
his overtaking her, as she had now been gone thirteen hours, thought it
better for Fitz-Edward, if he could not prevent his departure, to go
with him: but he desired him to make as many artificial delays as
possible.

Delamere, in the mean time, had been to Mrs. Stafford, and tried to
force from her the secret of Emmeline's route. But she was inexorable;
and proof against his phrenzy as well as his persuasion. She held him,
however, as long as she could, in discourse. But when he found she only
tried to make him lose time, he left her, in an agony of passion, and
mounting his horse, while his trembling servants were ordered to follow
him on pain of instant dismission, he rode out of the town without
seeing his father, leaving a message for Fitz-Edward that he had taken
the London road, and expected he would come after him instantly.

Lord Montreville intreated Fitz-Edward to lose not a moment; and bidding
an hasty adieu to his Lordship, he ordered his horses to the door of
Mrs. Stafford, where he took a formal leave of her and her husband,
entreating permission to renew his acquaintance hereafter. Then getting
on horseback, he made as much speed as possible after Delamere; whom
with difficulty he overtook some miles forward on the London road.

This way Delamere had taken on conjecture only; but after proceeding
some time, he had met a waggoner, whom he questioned. The man told him
of a post chaise he had met at four o'clock in the morning; and
encouraged by that to proceed, he soon heard from others enough to make
him believe he was right.

The horses, however, at the end of forty miles, were too much fatigued
to keep pace with Delamere's impatience. He was obliged to wait three
hours before post horses could be found for himself and Fitz-Edward. His
servants were obliged to remain yet longer; and the horses which were
at length procured, were so lame and inadequate to the journey, that it
was six hours before they reached the next stage; where the same
difficulty occurred; and Delamere, between the fatigue of his body and
anxiety of his mind, found himself compelled to take some rest.

The next day he still traced Emmeline from stage to stage, and imagined
himself very near her: but the miserable horse on which he rode, being
unable to execute his wish as to speed, and urged beyond his strength,
fell with him in a stage about sixty miles from London; by which
accident he received a contusion on his breast, and was bruised so much
that Fitz-Edward insisted on his being blooded and put to bed; and then
went to the apothecary of the village near which the accident happened,
and procuring a phial of laudanum, infused it into the wine and water
which Delamere drank, and by that artifice obtained for him the repose
he otherwise would not have been prevailed on to take.

After having slept several hours, he desired to pursue his journey in a
post chaise; but Fitz-Edward had taken care that none should be
immediately to be had. By these delays only it was that Emmeline reached
London some hours before him.

However, when he renewed his journey, he still continued to trace her
from stage to stage, till the last postillion who drove her was found.

He said, that he was ordered to stop at the first stand of coaches, into
one of which the lady went, and, with the servant behind, drove away;
but the lad neither knew the number of the coach, or recollected the
coachman, or did he remember whither the coach was ordered to go.

Delamere passed two days, questioning all the coachmen on the stand; and
in consequence of information pretended to be given by some of them, he
got into two or three quarrels by going to houses they pointed out to
him. And after offering and giving rewards which only seemed to redouble
his difficulties, he appeared to be farther than ever from any
probability of finding the fair fugitive he so anxiously sought.

Lord Montreville and his daughter staid only two days at Swansea after
his departure. They travelled in very indifferent spirits to London;
where they found Delamere ill at the lodgings of Fitz-Edward in
Hill-street.

Lord Montreville found there was nothing alarming in his son's
indisposition; but could not persuade him to accompany him to Lady Mary
Otley's.

His Lordship and Miss Augusta Delamere set out therefore for that place;
leaving Delamere to the care of Fitz-Edward, who promised not to quit
him 'till he had agreed either to go to the Norfolk estate or to Mr.
Percival's.

Lord Montreville was tolerably satisfied that he could not discover
Emmeline; and Delamere having for above a fortnight attended at all
public places without seeing her, and having found every other effort to
meet her fruitless, reluctantly agreed to go to his father's estate in
Norfolk.

It was now almost the end of August; and Fitz-Edward, after seeing him
part of the way, took his leave of him, and again went to attend his
duty in the North of Ireland.



CHAPTER XII


While Delamere, in the deepest despondence, which he could neither
conquer or conceal, made a vain effort to divert his mind with those
amusements for which he no longer had any relish, Emmeline, at her new
residence, attracted the attention of many of Mrs. Ashwood's visitors.

A widow, in possession of an handsome jointure, and her children amply
provided for, Mrs. Ashwood was believed to entertain no aversion to a
second marriage: and her house being so near London, was frequented by a
great number of single men; many of whom came there because it was a
pleasant jaunt from the city, where most of them resided; and others,
with hopes of amending their fortunes by an alliance with the lady
herself.

These latter, however, were chiefly the younger sons of merchants; and
though pleased with their flattery and assiduity, Mrs. Ashwood, who had
an almost equal share of vanity and ambition, had yet given no very
decided preference to any; for she imagined her personal attractions, of
which she had a very high idea, added to the advantages of a good
income, good expectations, and opulent connections, entitled her to
marry into an higher line of life than that in which her father had
first engaged her.

Her acquaintance, however, was yet very limited among persons of
fashion; and it was not wholly without hopes of encreasing it that she
had consented to receive Miss Mowbray, whose relationship to Lord
Montreville would, she imagined, be the means of introducing her to his
Lordship's notice and to that of his family.

Her civility and kindness to Emmeline were unbounded for some time. And
as she was not easily convinced of her own want of beauty, she never
apprehended that she ran some risk of becoming a foil, instead of the
first figure, as she expected generally to be.

The extreme simplicity of Emmeline's appearance, who notwithstanding the
remonstrances of Mrs. Ashwood continued to dress nearly as she did in
Wales; and her perfect ignorance of fashionable life and fashionable
accomplishments, gave her, in the eyes of many of Mrs. Ashwood's
visitors, the air of a dependant; and those who visited with a view to
the fortune of the latter, carefully avoided every appearance of
preference to Emmeline, and kept her friend in good humour with herself.

But there were, among those who frequented her house, some men of
business; who being rather in middle life, and immensely rich, had no
other views in going thither than to pass a few hours in the country,
when their mercantile engagements prevented their leaving London
entirely; and who loved pleasure better than any thing but money.

With one or two of these, Mrs. Ashwood and her father had at different
times encouraged overtures of marriage. But they knew and enjoyed the
pleasure their fortune and single state afforded them too well to give
those indulgences up for the advantage of increasing their incomes,
unless the object had possessed greater attractions than fell to the
share of Mrs. Ashwood; and her father could not be prevailed upon to
give her (at least while he lived) a sum of money large enough to tempt
their avarice. These overtures therefore had ended in nothing more than
an intercourse of civility.

But Emmeline no sooner appeared, than one of these gentlemen renewed his
visits with more than his original assiduity.

The extreme beauty of her person, and the _naivetè_ of her manners, gave
her, to him, the attractive charms of novelty; while the mystery there
seemed to be about her, piqued his curiosity.

It was known that she was related to a noble family; but Mrs. Ashwood
had been so earnestly entreated to conceal as much as possible her real
history, lest Delamere should hear of and discover her, that she only
told it to a few friends, and it had not yet reached the knowledge of
Mr. Rochely, who had become the attendant of Mrs. Ashwood's tea table
from the first introduction of Emmeline.

Mr. Rochely was nearer fifty than forty. His person, heavy and badly
proportioned, was not relieved by his countenance, which was dull and
ill-formed. His voice, monotonous and guttural, was fatiguing to the
ear; and the singularity of his manners, as well as the oddness of his
figure, often excited a degree of ridicule, which the respect his riches
demanded could not always stifle.

With a person so ill calculated to inspire affection, he was very
desirous of being a favourite with the ladies; and extremely sensible of
their attractions. In the inferior ranks of life, his money had procured
him many conquests, tho' he was by no means lavish of it; and much of
the early part of his time had been passed in low amours; which did not,
however, impede his progress to the great wealth he possessed. He had
always intended to marry: but as he required many qualifications in a
wife which are hardly ever united, he had hesitated till he had long
been looked upon as an old bachelor.

He was determined to chuse beauty, but expected also fortune. He desired
to marry a woman of family, yet feared the expensive turn of those
brought up in high life; and had a great veneration for wit and
accomplishments, but dreaded, lest in marrying a woman who possessed
them, he should be liable to be governed by superior abilities, or be
despised for the mediocrity of his own understanding.

With such ideas, his relations saw him perpetually pursuing some
matrimonial project; but so easily frightened from his pursuit, that
they relied on his succession with the most perfect confidence.

When first he beheld Emmeline, he was charmed with her person; her
conversation, at once innocent and lively, impressed him with the most
favourable ideas of her heart and understanding; and, brought up at a
great distance from London, she had acquired no taste for expences, no
rage for those amusements and dissipations which he so much apprehended
in a wife.

When he came to Mrs. Ashwood's, (which was almost every afternoon)
Emmeline, who was generally at work, or drawing in the dressing-room,
never discomposed herself; but sat quietly to what she was doing;
listening with the most patient complaisance to the long and
uninteresting stories with which he endeavoured to entertain her; an
attention which greatly contributed to win the heart of Rochely; and he
was as much in love as so prudent a man could be, before he ventured to
ask himself what he intended? or what was the family and what the
fortune of the person who now occupied most of his time and a great
portion of his thoughts?

Mrs. Ashwood, frequently engaged at the neighbouring card-tables, from
which Emmeline almost always excused herself, often left her and Mr.
Rochely to drink tea together; and when she was at home, would sometimes
make her party in another room, where the subject of laughter with her
own admirers, was the growing passion of the rich banker for the fair
stranger.

Emmeline did not, when present, escape ridicule on this subject: but as
she had not the least idea that a man so much older than herself had any
intention of offering himself as an husband, she bore it with great
tranquillity, and continued to behave to Mr. Rochely with the attentive
civility dictated by natural good breeding; while she heard, without any
concern but on his account, the perpetual mirth and loud bursts of
laughter which followed his compliments and attentions to her.

If he was absent a few days, the door of Mrs. Ashwood was crouded with
servants and porters with game from Mr. Rochely. And his assiduities
became at every visit more marked.

As it was now late in the autumn, Mrs. Ashwood was desirous of shewing
Miss Mowbray some of those public places she had not yet seen; and
Emmeline (not apprehending there was any reason to fear meeting Mr.
Delamere at a season when she knew field sports kept him altogether in
the country) made no difficulty to accompany her.

Mr. Rochely no sooner heard a party to the play proposed, than he
desired to join it; and Mrs. Ashwood, Miss Galton, (an intimate friend
of her's), with Miss Mowbray, Mr. Hanbury, (one of Mrs. Ashwood's
admirers), and Mr. Rochely, met at Drury-Lane Theatre; where Emmeline
was extremely well entertained.

When the play was over, the box was filled with several of Mrs.
Ashwood's acquaintance, who talked to _her_, while their eyes were fixed
on her young friend; an observation that did not greatly lighten up her
countenance.

The most conspicuous among these was a tall, thin, but extremely awkward
figure, which in a most fashionable undress, and with a glass held to
his eye, strided into the box, and bowing with a strange gesture to Mrs.
Ashwood, exclaimed--'Oh! my dear Mrs. A!--here I am!--returned from Spa
only last night; and already at your feet. So here you are? and not yet
enchained by that villainous fellow Hymen? You are a good soul, not to
give yourself away while I was at Spa. I was horridly afraid, my dear
widow! you would not have waited even to have given me a wedding
favour.'

To this speech, as it required no answer, Mrs. Ashwood gave very little;
for besides that she was not pleased with the matter, the manner
delighted her still less. The speaker had, during the whole of it,
leaned almost across the person who was next to him, to bring his glass
nearly close to Emmeline's face.

Emmeline, extremely discomposed, drew back; and Mr. Rochely, who sat
near her, putting away the glass softly with his hand, said very calmly
to the leaning beau--'Sir, is there any occasion to take an account of
this lady's features?'

'Ah! my friend Rochely!' answered he familiarly, 'what are you the
lady's Cicisbeo? as we say in Italy. Here is indeed beauty enough to
draw you from the contemplation of three per cent. consols, India bonds,
omnium, scrip, and douceurs. But prithee, my old friend, is this young
lady your ward?'

'My ward! no,' answered Rochely, 'how came you to think she was?'

Mr. Elkerton, who fancied he had vastly the advantage in point of wit,
as well as of figure, over his antagonist, now desired to know, 'whether
the lady was his niece? though if I had not recollected' said he, 'that
you never was married, I should have taken her for your grand daughter.'

This sarcasm had, on the features of Rochely, all the effect the
travelled man expected. But while he was preparing an answer, at which
he was never very prompt, the coach was announced to be ready, and
Emmeline, extremely weary of her situation, and disgusted even to
impatience with her new acquaintance, hastily arose to go.

Elkerton offered to take her hand; which she drew from him without
attempting to conceal her dislike; and accepting the arm of Rochely,
followed Mrs. Ashwood; while Elkerton, determined not to lose sight of
her, seized the hand of Miss Galton, who being neither young, handsome,
or rich, had been left to go out alone: they followed the rest of the
party to the coach, where Mrs. Ashwood and Miss Mowbray were already
seated, with Mr. Hanbury; who, as he resided with his mother in the
village where Mrs. Ashwood lived, was to accompany them home.

The coach being full, seemed to preclude all possibility of Elkerton's
admittance. But he was not so easily put off: and telling Mrs. Ashwood
he intended to go home to sup with her, he stepped immediately in, and
ordered his servant, who waited at the coach door with a flambeau, to
direct his vis-a-vis to follow.

Rochely, who meant to have wished them a good night after seeing them to
their carriage, was too much hurt by this happy essay of assurance not
to resolve to counteract it's consequences. Elkerton, though not a
very young man, was near twenty years younger than Rochely; besides the
income of his business (for he was in trade) he had a large independent
fortune, of which he was extremely lavish; his equipages were splendid;
his house most magnificently furnished; and his cloaths the most
expensive that could be bought.

Rochely, whose ideas of elegance, manners, or taste, were not very
refined, had no notion that the absurdity of Elkerton, or his
disagreeable person, would prevent his being a very formidable rival. He
therefore saw him with great pain accompany Emmeline home; and though he
had formed no positive designs himself, he could not bear to suppose
that another might form them with success.

Directing therefore his chariot to follow the coach, he was set down at
the door a few minutes after Mrs. Ashwood and her party; where Emmeline,
still more displeased with Elkerton, and having been teized by his
impertinent admiration the whole way, looked as if she could have burst
into tears.

Mrs. Ashwood, in a very ill humour, hardly attended to his flourishing
speeches with common civility; he had therefore recourse to Miss Galton,
to whom he was giving the history of his travels, which seemed to take
up much of his thoughts.

Miss Galton, who by long dependance and repeated disappointments had
acquired the qualifications necessary for a patient hearer, acquiesced
in smiling silence to all his assertions; looked amazed in the right
place; and heard, with great complacency, his wonderful success at
cards, and the favour he was in with women of the first fashion at Spa.

The entrance of Mr. Rochely gave no interruption to his discourse. He
bowed slightly to him without rising, and then went on, observing that
he had now seen every part of Europe worth seeing, and meant, at least
for some years, to remain in England; the ladies of which country he
preferred to every other, and therefore intended taking a wife among
them. Fortune was, he declared, to him no object; but he was determined
to marry the handsomest woman he could meet with, for whom he was now
looking out.

As he said this, he turned his eyes towards Emmeline; who affecting not
to hear him, tho' he spoke in so loud a tone as to make it unavoidable,
was talking in a low voice to Mr. Rochely.

Rochely placing himself close to her, had thrown his arm over the back
of her chair; and leaning forward, attended to her with an expression in
his countenance of something between apprehension and hope, that gave it
the most grotesque look imaginable.

Mrs. Ashwood, who had been entertained apart by Mr. Hanbury, now hurried
over the supper; during which Elkerton, still full of himself, engrossed
almost all the conversation; gave a detail of the purchases he had made
abroad, and the trouble he had to land them; interspersed with _bon
mots_ of French Marquises and German Barons, and witty remarks of an
English Duke with whom he had crossed the water on his return. But
whatever story he told, himself was still forwardest in the picture; his
project of marrying an handsome wife was again repeated; and he told the
party how charming a house he had bought in Kent, and how he had
furnished his library.

Rochely, who lay in wait to revenge himself for all the mortifications
he had suffered from him during the evening, took occasion to say, in
his grave, cold manner, 'to be sure a man of your taste and erudition,
Mr. Elkerton, cannot do without a library; but for my part, I think you
will find no books can say so much to the purpose as those kept by your
late father in Milk-street, Cheapside.'

Elkerton turned pale at this sneer; but forcing a smile of contempt,
answered, 'You bankers have no ideas out of your compting-houses; and
rich as ye are, will never be any thing but _des bourgeois les plus
grossieres_! For my part I see no reason why--why a man's being in
business, should prevent his enjoying the _elegancies_ and _agréments_
of life, especially if he can _afford_ it; as it is well known, I
believe, even to _you_, Sir, _that I can_.'

'Oh! Sir,' replied Rochely, 'I know your late father was _reputed_ to
have died rich, and that no body has made a better _figure about town_
than _you_ have, ever since.'

'As to figure, Sir,' returned the other, 'it is true I like to have
every thing about me _comme il faut_. And though I don't make fifty per
cent. of money, as _some_ gentlemen do in _your_ way of business, I
assure you, Sir, I do nothing that I cannot very well afford.'

Mrs. Ashwood, who thought it very likely a quarrel might ensue, here
endeavoured to put an end to such very unpleasant discourse; and
prevented Mr. Hanbury, who equally hated them both, from trying to
irritate them farther, to which he maliciously inclined.

The hints, however, of fatigue, given by her and Miss Mowbray, obliged
Mr. Rochely to ring that his chariot might be called, which had waited
at the door; while Elkerton, who had a pair of beautiful pied horses in
his vis-à-vis, desired to have them sent for from a neighbouring
inn--'for _I_' said he, rising and strutting round the room, 'never
suffer _my_ people or _my_ horses to wait in the streets.'

He then leant over Emmeline's chair, and began in a court tone to renew
his compliments. But she suddenly arose; and begging Mrs. Ashwood would
give her leave to retire, wished Mr. Rochely and ladies a good night;
and slightly curtseying to Elkerton, who was putting himself into the
attitude for a speech and a bow, she tripped away.

Rochely, as soon as she was gone, hastened to his chariot; and Elkerton,
whose people were in no haste to leave the ale-house, begged to sit down
'till they came.

Mrs. Ashwood had been the whole evening particularly out of humour, and
being no longer able to command it, answered peevishly, 'that her house
was much at his service, but that she was really so much fatigued she
must retire--however,' said she, 'Miss Galton, you will be so good as to
stay with Mr. Elkerton--good night to you, Sir!'

He was no sooner alone with Miss Galton, than he desired her, after a
speech (which he endeavoured to season with as much flattery as it would
bear) to tell him who Emmeline was?

'Upon my word, Sir,' answered she, 'it is more than I know. Her name is
Mowbray; and she is somehow connected with the family of Lord
Montreville; but _what_ relation,' (sneeringly answered she) 'I really
cannot pretend even to guess.'

'A relation of Lord Montreville!' cried Elkerton; 'why I knew his
Lordship intimately when I was abroad three or four years ago. He was at
Naples with his son, his lady, and two daughters; and I was
domesticated, absolutely domesticated, among them. But pray what
relation to them can this Miss Mowbray be?'

'Probably,' said Miss Galton, 'as you know his Lordship, you may know
what connections and family he has. I suppose she may be his cousin--or
his niece--or his----.'

Here she hesitated and smiled; and Elkerton, whose carriage was now at
the door, and who had a clue which he thought would procure him all the
information he wanted, took leave of Miss Galton; desiring her to tell
Mrs. Ashwood that he should wait upon her again in a few days.



CHAPTER XIII


Delamere continued in Norfolk only a few weeks after his father and the
family came thither. During that time, he appeared restless and
dissatisfied; his former vivacity was quite lost; he shunned society;
and passed almost all his time in the fields, under pretence of hunting
or shooting, tho' the greatest satisfaction those amusements now
afforded him was the opportunity they gave him of absenting himself from
home. He seldom returned thither 'till six or seven o'clock; dined alone
in his own apartment; and affected to be too much fatigued to be able to
meet the party who assembled to cards in the evening.

Lady Mary Otley and her daughter, a widow lady of small fortune in the
neighbourhood, with Lord and Lady Montreville and their eldest daughter,
made up a party without him. Augusta Delamere had been left in their way
from the North, with a relation of his Lordship's who lived near
Scarborough, with whom she was to remain two months.

The party at Audley-Hall was soon encreased by Sir Richard Crofts and
his eldest son, who came every autumn on a visit to Lord Montreville,
and who was his most intimate friend.

Lord Montreville, during the short time he studied at the Temple, became
acquainted with Sir Richard, then clerk to an attorney in the city; who,
tho' there was a great difference in their rank, had contrived to gain
the regard and esteem of his Lordship (then Mr. Frederic Mowbray) and
was, when he came to his estate, entrusted with it's management; a trust
which he appeared to execute with such diligence and integrity, that he
soon obtained the entire confidence of his patron; and by possessing
great ductility and great activity, he was soon introduced into a higher
line of life, and saw himself the companion and friend of those, to
whom, at his setting out, he appeared only an humble retainer.

Born in Scotland, he boasted of his ancestry, tho' his immediate
predecessors were known to be indigent and obscure; and tho' he had
neither eminent talents, nor any other education than what he had
acquired at a free-school in his native town, he had, by dint of a very
common understanding, steadily applied to the pursuit of one point; and
assisted by the friendship of Lord Montreville, acquired not only a
considerable fortune, but a seat in Parliament and a great deal of
political interest, together with the title of a Baronet.

He had less understanding than cunning; less honesty than industry; and
tho' he knew how to talk warmly and plausibly of honour, justice, and
integrity, he was generally contented only to talk of them, seldom so
imprudent as to practice them when he could get place or profit by their
sacrifice.

He had that sort of sagacity which enabled him to enter into the
characters of those with whom he conversed: he knew how to humour their
prejudices, and lay in wait for their foibles to turn them to his own
advantage.

To his superiors, the cringing parasite; to those whom he thought his
inferiors, proud, supercilious, and insulting; and his heart hardening
as his prosperity encreased, he threw off, as much as he could, every
connection that reminded him of the transactions of his early life, and
affected to live only among the great, whose luxuries he could now
reach, and whose manners he tried to imitate.

He had two sons by an early marriage with a woman of small fortune, who
was fortunately dead; for had she lived, she would probably have been
concealed, lest she should disgrace him.

To his sons, however, he had given that sort of education which was
likely to fit them for places under government; and he had long secretly
intended the eldest for one of the Miss Delameres.

Delamere, all warmth and openness himself, detested the narrow-minded
and selfish father; and had shewn so much coolness towards the sons,
that Sir Richard foresaw he would be a great impediment to his designs,
and had therefore the strongest motive for trying to persuade Lord
Montreville, that to send him on another tour to the Continent, would be
the best means of curing him of what this deep politician termed 'a
ridiculous and boyish whim, which his Lordship ought at all events to
put an end to before it grew of a more dangerous consequence.'

Mr. Crofts, as he was no sportsman, passed his mornings in riding out
with Miss Delamere and Miss Otley, or attending on the elder ladies in
their airings: while Delamere, who wished equally to shun Miss Otley,
whom he determined never to marry, and Crofts, whom he despised and
hated, lived almost alone, notwithstanding the entreaties of his father
and the anger of his mother.

Her Ladyship, who had never any command over her passions, harrassed
him, whenever they met, with sarcasms and reflections. Lady Mary,
scorning _to_ talk to a young man who was blind to the merits of her
daughter, talked _at_ him whenever she found an opportunity; and
exclaimed against the disobedience, dissipation, and ill-breeding of
modern young men: while Miss Otley affected a pretty disdain; and
flirted violently with Mr. Crofts, as if to shew him that she was
totally indifferent to his neglect.

The temper of Delamere was eager and irritable; and he bore the
unpleasantness of this society, whenever he was forced to mix in it,
with a sort of impatient contempt. But as he hourly found it more
irksome, and the idea of Emmeline press every day more intensely on his
heart, he determined, at the end of the third week, to go to London.

Not chusing to have any altercation with either Lord or Lady
Montreville, he one evening ordered his man to have his horses ready at
five o'clock the next day, saying he was to meet the foxhounds at some
distance from home; and having written a letter to his Lordship, in
which he told him he was going to London for a fortnight, (which letter
he left on the table in his dressing-room) he mounted his horse, and was
soon in town; but instead of going to the house of his father in
Berkley-square, he took lodgings in Pall-Mall.

Every night he frequented those public places which were yet open, in
hopes of finding Emmeline; and his servant was constantly employed for
the same purpose; but as he had no trace of her, all his enquiries were
fruitless.

On the night that Emmeline was at the play, he had been at Covent-garden
Theatre, and meant to have looked into the other house; but was detained
by meeting a young foreigner from whom he had received civilities at
Turin, 'till the house was empty. So narrowly did he miss finding her he
so anxiously sought.

Elkerton, in looking about for the happy woman who was worthy the
exalted situation of being his wife, had yet seen none whom he thought
so likely to succeed to that honour as Miss Mowbray; and if she was, on
enquiry, found to be as she was represented, (related to Lord
Montreville) it would be so great an additional advantage, that he
determined in that case to lay himself and his pied horses, his house in
Kent, his library, and his fortune, all at her feet immediately. Nor did
he once suffer himself to suspect that there was a woman on earth who
could withstand such a torrent of good fortune.

In pursuance therefore of this resolution, he determined to make enquiry
of Lord Montreville himself; of whom he had just known so much at Naples
as to receive cards of invitation to Lady Montreville's
_conversationes_.

There, he mingled with the croud; and was slightly noticed as an
Englishman of fortune; smiled at for his affectation of company and
manners, which seemed foreign to his original line of life; and then
forgotten.

But Elkerton conceived this to be more than introduction enough; and
dressing himself in what he thought _un disabille la plus imposante_,
and with his servants in their morning liveries, he stopped at the door
of Lord Montreville.

'Lord Montreville was not at home.'

'When was he expected?'

'It was uncertain: his Lordship was at Audley-hall, and might be in town
in a fortnight; or might not come up till the meeting of Parliament.'

'And are all the family there?' enquired Elkerton of the porter.

'No, Sir; Mr. Delamere is in town.'

'And when can I see Mr. Delamere?'

The porter could not tell, as he did not live in Berkley-square.

'Where, then, is he?'

'At lodgings in Pall-Mall:' (for Delamere had left his direction with
his father's servants.)

Elkerton therefore took the address with a pencil; and determined,
without farther reflection, to drive thither.

It was about four o'clock, and in the middle of November, when Delamere
had just returned to his lodgings, to dress before he met his foreign
friend, and some other young men, to dine at a tavern in St.
James's-street, when a loud rap at the door announced a visitor.

Millefleur having no orders to the contrary, and being dazzled with the
splendour of Elkerton's equipage, let him in; and he was humming an
Italian air out of tune, in Delamere's drawing-room, when the latter
came out in his dressing-gown and slippers to receive him.

Delamere, on seeing the very odd figure and baboonish face of Elkerton,
instead of that of somebody he knew, stopped short and made a grave bow.

Elkerton advancing towards him, bowed also profoundly, and said, 'I am
charmed, Sir, with being permitted the honour of paying you my devoirs.'

Delamere concluded from his look and bow, as well as from a foreign
accent, (which Elkerton had affected 'till it was become habitual) that
the man was either a dancing master or a quack doctor, sent to him by
some of his companions, who frequently exercised on each other such
efforts of practical wit. He therefore being not without humour, bowed
again more profoundly than before; and answered, 'that the honour was
entirely his, tho' he did not know how he had deserved it.'

'I was so fortunate, Sir,' resumed Elkerton, 'so fortunate as to--have
the honour--the happiness--of knowing Lord Montreville and Lady
Montreville a few years ago at Naples.'

Delamere, still confirmed in his first idea, answered, 'very probably,
Sir.'

'And, Sir,' continued Elkerton, 'I now waited upon _you_, as his
Lordship is not in town.'

'Indeed, Sir, you are too obliging.'

'To ask, Sir, a question, which I hope will not be deemed--be
deemed--' (a word did not immediately occur) 'be
deemed--improper--intrusive--impertinent--inquisitive--presuming----'

'I dare say, Sir, nothing improper, intrusive, impertinent, inquisitive,
or presuming, is to be apprehended from a gentleman of your appearance.'

Delamere expected something very ridiculous to follow this ridiculous
introduction, and with some difficulty forbore laughing.

Elkerton went on----

'It relates, Sir, to a Lady.'

'Pray, Sir, proceed. I am really impatient where a lady is concerned.'

'You are acquainted, Sir, with a lady of the name of Ashwood, who lives
at Clapham?'

'No, really Sir, I am not so happy.'

'I fancy then, Sir, I have been misinformed, and beg pardon for the
trouble I have presumed to give: but I understood that the young lady
who lives with her was a relation of Lord Montreville.'

A ray of fire seemed to flash across the imagination of Delamere, and to
inflame all his hopes. He blushed deeply, and his voice faultering with
anxiety, he cried--

'What?--who, Sir?--a young lady?--what young lady?'

'Miss Mowbray, they tell me, is her name; and I understand, Sir--but I
dare say from mistake--that she is of your family.'

Delamere could hardly breathe. He seemed as if he was in a dream, and
dared not speak for fear of awaking.

Elkerton, led on by the questions Delamere at length summoned resolution
to ask, proceeded to inform him of all he knew; how, where, and how
often, he had seen Emmeline, and of his intentions to offer himself a
candidate for her favour--'for notwithstanding, Sir,' said he, 'that Mr.
Rochely seems to be _fort avant en ses bon graces_, I think--I hope--I
believe, that his fortune--(and yet his fortune does not perhaps so much
exceed mine as many suppose)--his fortune will hardly turn the balance
against _me_; especially if I have the sanction of Lord Montreville; to
whom I suppose (as you seem to acknowledge some affinity between Miss
Mowbray and his Lordship) it will be no harm if I apply.'

Thro' the mind of Delamere, a thousand confused ideas rapidly passed. He
was divided between his joy at having found Emmeline, his vexation at
knowing she was surrounded by rivals, and his fear that his father
might, by the application of Elkerton to him, know that Emmeline's abode
was no longer a secret: and amidst these various sensations, he was able
only to express his dislike of Elkerton, whose presumption in thinking
of Emmeline appeared to cancel the casual obligation he owed to him for
discovering her.

'Sir,' said he haughtily, as soon as he could a little recover his
recollection, 'I am very well assured that Lord Montreville will not
hear any proposals for Miss Mowbray. His Lordship has, in fact, no
authority over her; and besides he is at present about to leave his
house in Norfolk, and I know not when he will be in town; perhaps not
the whole winter; he is now going to visit some friends, and it will be
impossible you can have any access to him for some months. As to myself,
you will excuse me; I am engaged to dine out.'

He rang the bell, and ordered the servant who entered to enquire for the
gentleman's carriage. Then bowing coolly to him, he went into his
dressing room, and left the mortified Elkerton to regret the little
success of an attempt which he doubted not would have excited, in the
hearts of all those related to Miss Mowbray, admiration at his
generosity, and joy for the good fortune of Emmeline: for he concluded,
by her being a companion to Mrs. Ashwood, that she had no fortune, or
any dependance but on the bounty of Lord Montreville.

Delamere, whose ardent inclinations, whatever turn they took, were never
to be a moment restrained, rang for his servants; and dispatching one of
them with an excuse to his friends, he sent a second for an
hackney-coach. Then ordering up a cold dinner, which he hardly staid to
eat, he got into the coach, and directed it to be driven as fast as
possible to Clapham Common; where he asked for the house of Mrs.
Ashwood, and was presently at the door.

The servant had that moment opened the iron gate, to let out a person
who had been to his mistress upon business. Delamere therefore enquiring
if Miss Mowbray was at home, entered without ringing, and telling the
servant that he had occasion to speak to Miss Mowbray only, the man
answered, 'that she was alone in the dressing room.' Thither therefore
he desired to be shewn; and without being announced, he entered the
room.

Instead of finding her alone, he saw her sit at work by a little table,
on which were two wax candles; and by her side, with his arm, as usual,
over the back of her chair, and gazing earnestly on her face, sat Mr.
Rochely.

Emmeline did not look up when he came in, supposing it was the servant
with tea. Delamere therefore was close to the table when she saw him.
The work dropped from her hands; she grew pale, and trembled; but not
being able to rise, she only clasped her hands together, and said
faintly, 'Oh! heaven!--Mr. Delamere!'

'Yes, Emmeline, it is Mr. Delamere! and what is there so extraordinary
in that? I was told you were alone: may I beg the favour of a few
minutes conversation?'

Emmeline knew not what to reply. She saw him dart an angry and
disdainful look at poor Rochely; who, alarmed by the entrance of a
stranger that appeared on such a footing of familiarity, and who
possessed the advantages of youth and a handsome person, had retreated
slowly towards the fire, and now surveyed Delamere with scrutinizing and
displeased looks; while Delamere said to Emmeline--'if you have no
particular business with this gentleman, will you go into some other
room, that I may speak to you on an affair of consequence?'

'Sit down' said Emmeline, recovering her surprize; 'sit down, and I will
attend you presently. Tell me, how is your sister Augusta?'

'I know not. She is in Yorkshire.'

'And Lord Montreville?'

'Well, I believe. But what is all this to the purpose? can I not speak
to you, but in the presence of a third person?'

Unequivocal as this hint was, Rochely seemed determined not to go, and
Delamere as resolutely bent to affront him, if he did not.

Emmeline therefore, who knew not what else to do, was going to comply
with his request of a private audience, when she was luckily relieved by
the entrance of Mrs. Ashwood and the tea table.

Mrs. Ashwood, surprized at seeing a stranger, and a stranger whose
appearance had more fashion than the generality of her visitors, was
introduced to Mr. Delamere; a ceremony he would willingly have dispensed
with; and having made his bow, and muttered something about having taken
the liberty to call on his relation, he sat down by Emmeline, and in a
whisper told her he must and would speak to her alone before he went.

Emmeline, to whose care the tea table was allotted when Miss Galton
happened not to be at Mrs. Ashwood's, now excused herself under pretence
of being obliged to make tea; and while it was passing, Mrs. Ashwood
made two or three attempts to introduce general conversation; but it
went no farther than a few insignificant sentences between her and Mr.
Rochely.

Delamere, wholly engrossed by the tumultuous delight of having recovered
Emmeline, and by contriving how to speak to her alone, thought nothing
else worthy his attention; and sat looking at her with eyes so
expressive of his love, that Rochely, who anxiously watched him, was
convinced his solicitude was infinitely stronger than his relationship
only would have produced.

He had at length learned, by constant attention to every hint and every
circumstance that related to Emmeline, who she was; and had even got
from Mrs. Ashwood a confused idea of Delamere's attachment to her, which
the present scene at once elucidated.

Rochely saw in him not only a rival, but a rival so dangerous that all
his hopes seemed to vanish at once. Unconscious, 'till then, how very
indiscreetly he was in love, he was amazed at the pain he felt from this
discovery; and with a most rueful countenance, sat silent and
disconcerted.

Mrs. Ashwood, used to be flattered and attended to, was in no good
humour with Mr. Delamere, who gave her so little of his notice: and
never perhaps were a party more uncomfortable, 'till they were enlivened
by the entrance of Miss Galton and Mr. Hanbury, with another gentleman.

They were hardly placed, and had their tea sent round, before a loud
ring was heard, and the servant announced 'Mr. Elkerton.'

Mr. Elkerton came dancing into the room; and having spoken to Mrs.
Ashwood and Emmeline, he slightly surveyed the company, and sat down.

He was very near sighted, and affected to be still more so; and Delamere
having drawn his chair out of the circle, sat almost behind Emmeline;
while the portly citizen who had accompanied Mr. Hanbury sat forward,
near the table; Delamere was therefore hardly seen.

Elkerton began to tell them how immoderately he was fatigued. 'I have
been over the whole town,' said he, 'to-day. In the morning I was
obliged to attend a boring appointment upon business relative to my
estate in Kent; and to meet my tenants, who disagreed with my steward;
and then, I went to call upon my old friend Delamere, Lord Montreville's
son, in Pall-Mall; we passed a very chearful hour discoursing of former
occurrences when we were together at Turin. Upon my word, he is a good
sensible young man. We have renewed our intimacy; and he has insisted
upon my going down with him to his father's house in Norfolk.'

Emmeline suspended her tea making, and looked astonished.

Mrs. Ashwood seemed surprized.

But Delamere, who had at first felt inclined to be angry at the folly
and forwardness of Elkerton, was now so struck with the ridicule of the
circumstance, that he broke into a loud laugh.

The eyes of the company were turned towards _him_, and Elkerton with
great indignation took his glass to survey who it was that had thus
violated the rules of good breeding; but great was his dismay and
astonishment, when he beheld the very Delamere, of whom he had spoken
with so much assurance, rise up, and advancing towards him, make a grave
bow.--

'Sir,' said Delamere, very solemnly, 'I cannot sufficiently express my
gratitude for your good opinion of me; nor my happiness to hear you
intend to honour me with a visit at Audley Hall. Upon my word you are
_too_ obliging, and I know not how I shall shew my gratitude!'

The ironical tone in which this was delivered, and the discomposed looks
of the distressed Elkerton, explained the matter to the whole company;
and the laugh became general.

Elkerton, tho' not easily disconcerted, could not stand it. After a sort
of apology to Delamere, he endeavoured to reassume his consequence. But
he had been too severely mortified; and in a few minutes arose, and
under pretence of being engaged to a rout in town, went away, nobody
attempting to stop him.

Rochely, who hated Elkerton, could not forbear to triumph in this
discomfiture. He spoke very severely of him as a forward, impertinent,
silly fellow, who was dissipating his fortune.

The old citizen heartily joined in exclaiming against such apostates
from the frugality of their ancestors. 'Sir,' said he to Rochely, 'we
all know that _you_ are a prudent man; and that cash at your house is,
as it were, in the Bank. Sir, you do honour to the city; but as to that
there Mr. Elkerton, one must be cautious; but for _my_ part, I wonder
how some people go on. To my certain knowledge his father didn't die so
rich as was supposed--no--not by a many thousands. Sir, I remember
him--(and I am not ashamed to say it, for every body knows _I_ have got
my money honestly, and that it's all of my own getting)--but, Sir, I
remember that man's father, and not a many years ago neither, carrying
out parcels, and sweeping the shop for old Jonathan Huggins. You knew
old Jonathan Huggins: he did not die, I think, 'till about the year
forty-one or two. You remember him, to be sure?'

Rochely, ever tremblingly alive when his age was called in question, yet
fearing to deny a fact which he apprehended the other would enter into a
convincing detail to prove, answered that 'he slightly remembered him
when he was quite a boy.'

But his evasion availed him nothing. The old citizen, Mr. Rugby, was now
got upon his own ground; and most inhumanly for the feelings of poor
Rochely, began to relate in whose mayoralty old Jonathan Huggins was
sheriff, and when he was mayor; who he married; who married his
daughters; and how he acquired an immense fortune, all by frugality at
setting out; and how one of his daughters, who had married a Lord
against the old man's will, had spent more in _one_ night than his
father did in a twelvemonth.

Delamere, who sat execrating both Jonathan Huggins and his historian, at
length lost all patience; and said to Emmeline, in an half whisper, 'I
can bear this no longer: leave these tedious old fools, and let me speak
to you for two minutes only.'

Emmeline knew not how to refuse, without hazarding some extravagance on
the part of Delamere. But as she did not like the appearance of leaving
the room abruptly, she desired Mrs. Ashwood would give her permission to
order candles in the parlour, as Mr. Delamere wished to speak with her
alone.

As soon as the servant informed her they were ready, she went down: and
Delamere followed her, having first wished Mrs. Ashwood a good night;
who was too much displeased with the little attention he had shewn her,
to ask him to supper, tho' she was very desirous of having a man of his
fashion in the list of her acquaintance.

Delamere and Emmeline were no sooner alone, than he began to renew, with
every argument he thought likely to move her, his entreaties for a
private marriage. He swore that he neither could or would live without
her, and that her refusal would drive him to some act of desperation.

Emmeline feared her resolution would give way; for the comparison
between the people she had lately been among, and Delamere, was
infinitely favourable to him. Such unabated love, in a man who might
chuse among the fairest and most fortunate of women, was very seducing;
and the advantages of being his wife, instead of continuing in the
precarious situation she was now in, would have determined at once a
mind more attentive to pecuniary or selfish motives.

But Emmeline, unshaken by such considerations, was liable to err only
from the softness of her heart.

Delamere unhappy--Delamere wearing out in hopeless solicitude the bloom
of life, was the object she found it most difficult to contend with: and
feeble would have been her defence, had she not considered herself as
engaged in honour to Lord Montreville to refuse his son, and still more
engaged to respect the peace of the family of her dear Augusta.

Strengthened by these reflections, she refused, tho' in the gentlest
manner, to listen to such proposals; reproached him, tho' with more
tenderness in her voice and manner than she had yet shewn, for having
left Audley Hall without the concurrence of Lord Montreville; and
entreated him to return, and try to forget her.

'Let me perish if I do!' eagerly answered Delamere. 'No, Emmeline; if
you determine to push me to extremities, to you only will be the misery
imputable, when my mistaken parents, in vain repentance, hang over the
tomb of their only son, and see the last of his family in an early
grave. It is in your power only to save me--You refuse--farewel, then--I
wish no future regret may embitter your life, and that you may find
consolation in being the wife of some one of those persons who are, I
see, offering you all that riches can bestow. Farewel, lovely, inhuman
girl! be happy if you can--after having sacrificed to a mistaken point
of honour, the repose and the life of him who lived only to adore you.'

So saying, he suddenly opened the door, and was leaving the room. But
Emmeline, who shuddered at the picture he had drawn of his despair, and
saw such traces of its reality on his countenance, caught his arm.

'Stay! Mr. Delamere,' cried she, 'stay yet a moment!'

'For what purpose?' answered he, 'since you refuse to hear me?'

He turned back, however, into the room; and Emmeline, who fancied she
saw him the victim of his unfortunate love, could no longer command her
tears.

Delamere threw himself at her feet, and embraced her knees.

'Oh Emmeline!' cried he, weeping also, 'hear me for the last time.
Either consent to be mine, or let me take an eternal adieu!'

'What would you have me do? good God! what is it you expect of me?'

'To go with me to Scotland to-morrow--to night--directly!'

'Oh, no! no!--Does not Lord Montreville depend upon my honour?--can I
betray a trust reposed in me?'

'Chimeras all; founded in tyranny on his part, and weakness on yours.
_He_ had no right to exact such a promise; _you_ had no right to give
it. But however, send to him again to say I have seen you--summons him
hither to divide us--you may certainly do so if you please; but Lord
Montreville will no longer have a son; at least England, nor Europe,
will contain him no longer--I will go where my father shall hear no more
of me.'

'Will it content you if I promise you _not_ to write to Lord
Montreville, nor to cause him to be written to; and to see you again?'

'When?'

'To-morrow--whenever you please.'

Delamere, catching at this faint ray of hope, promised, if she would
allow him to come thither when he would, he would endeavour to be calm.
He made her solemnly protest that she would neither write to Lord
Montreville, or procure another to do it; and that she would not leave
Mrs. Ashwood without letting him know when and whither she went; and if
by any accident his father heard of his having found her, that she would
enter into no new engagements to conceal herself from him.

Having procured from her these assurances, which he knew she would not
violate, and having obtained her consent to see him early the next
morning, he at her request agreed to take his leave; which he did with
less pain than he had ever before felt at quitting her; carrying with
him the delightful hope that he had made an impression on her heart, and
secure of seeing her the next day, he went home comparatively happy.

Emmeline, who had wept excessively, was very unfit to return to the
company; but she thought her not appearing again among them would be yet
more singular. She therefore composed herself as well as she could; and
after staying a few minutes to recollect her scattered spirits, she
entered the room where they were at cards.

Rochely, who was playing at whist with Mrs. Ashwood, Mr. Rugby, and Mr.
Hanbury, looked anxiously at her eyes; and presently losing all
attention to what he was about, and forgetting his game, he played so
extremely ill, that he lost the rubber.

The old cit, who had three half crowns depending, and who was a
determined grumbler at cards, fell upon him without mercy; and said so
many rude things, that Rochely could not help retorting; and it was with
some difficulty Mrs. Ashwood prevented the grossest abuse being lavished
from the enraged Rugby on the enamoured banker; who desiring to give his
cards to Miss Galton, got up and ordered his carriage.

Emmeline sat near the fire, with her handkerchief in her hand, which was
yet wet with tears.

Rochely, with a privilege he had been used to, and which Emmeline, from
a man old enough to be her father, thought very inconsequential, took
her hand and the handkerchief it held.

'So, Miss Mowbray,' said he, 'Mr. Delamere is your near relation?'

'Yes, Sir.'

'And he has brought you, I fear, some ill news of your family?'

'No, Sir,' sighed Emmeline.

'No death, I hope?'

'No, Sir.'

'Whence then, these tears?'

Emmeline drew her hand away.

'What a strange young man this is, to make you cry. What has he been
saying to you?'

'Nothing, Sir.'

'Ah! Miss Mowbray; such a lad as that is but an indifferent guardian;
pray where does his father live?'

Miss Mowbray, not aware of the purpose of this enquiry, and glad of any
thing that looked like common conversation, answered 'at Audley Hall, in
Norfolk; and in Berkley-Square.'

Some other questions, which seemed of no consequence, Rochely asked, and
Emmeline answered; 'till hearing his carriage was at the door, he went
away.

'_I_ don't like your Mr. Delamere at all, Miss Mowbray,' said Mrs.
Ashwood, as soon as the game ended. 'I never saw a prouder, more
disagreeable young man in my life.'

Emmeline smiled faintly, and said she was sorry he did not please her.

'No, nor me neither,' said Miss Galton. 'Such haughtiness indeed!--yet I
was glad he mortified that puppy Elkerton.'

Emmeline, who found the two friends disposed to indulge their good
nature at the expence of the company of the evening, complained of being
fatigued, and asked for a glass of wine and water: which having drank,
she retired to bed, leaving the lady of the house, who had invited Mr.
Hanbury and his friend to supper, to enjoy more stories of Jonathan
Huggins, and the pretty satyrical efforts of Miss Galton, who made her
court most effectually by ridiculing and villifying all their
acquaintance whenever it was in her power.



CHAPTER XIV


When Rochely got home, he set about examining the state of his heart
exactly as he would have examined the check book of one of his
customers.

He found himself most miserably in love. But avarice said, Miss Mowbray
had no fortune.

By what had passed in his bosom that evening, he had discovered that he
should be wretched to see her married to another.

But avarice enquired how he could offer to marry a woman without a
shilling?

Love, represented that her modest, reserved, and unambitious turn, would
perhaps make her, in the end, a more profitable match than a woman
educated in expence, who might dissipate more than she brought.

Avarice asked whether he could depend on modesty, reserve, and a retired
turn, in a girl not yet eighteen?

After a long discussion, Love very unexpectedly put to flight the agent
of Plutus, who had, with very little interruption, reigned despoticly
over all his thoughts and actions for many years; and Rochely determined
to write to Lord Montreville, to lay his circumstances before him, and
make a formal proposal to marry Miss Mowbray.

In pursuance of this resolution, he composed, with great pains, (for he
was remarkably slow in whatever he undertook) the following epistle.--


  'My Lord,

    'This serves to inform your Lordship, that I have seen Miss
  Mowbray, and like her well enough to be willing to marry her, if
  you, my Lord, have not any other views for her; and as to fortune, I
  will just give your Lordship a memorandum of mine.

    'I have sixty thousand pounds in the stocks; viz. eighteen in the
  three per cent. consols. twenty in Bank stock: ten in East India
  stock; and twelve in South Sea annuities.

    'I have about forty thousand on different mortgages; all good, as
  I will be ready at any time to shew you. I have houses worth about
  five more. And after the death of my mother, who is near eighty, I
  shall have an estate in Middlesex worth ten more. The income of my
  business is near three thousand pounds a year; and my whole income
  near ten thousand.

    'My character, my Lord, is well known: and you will find, if we
  agree, that I shall not limit Miss Mowbray's settlement to the
  proportion of what your Lordship may please to give her, (for I
  suppose you will give her something) but to what she ought to have
  as my widow, if it should so happen that she survives me.

    'I have reason to believe Miss Mowbray has no dislike to this
  proposal; and hope to hear from your Lordship thereon by return of
  post.

                                                   I am, my Lord,
                               your Lordship's very humble servant,
                                                   HUMPHREY ROCHELY.'

  _Lombard-street,
  Nov. 20th. 17--._


This was going to the point at once. The letter arrived in due time at
Audley-Hall; and was received by Lord Montreville with surprise and
satisfaction. The hint of Miss Mowbray's approbation made him hope she
was yet concealed from Delamere; and as he determined to give the
earliest and strongest encouragement to this overture, from a man worth
above an hundred thousand pounds, he called a council with Sir Richard
Crofts, who knew Rochely, and who kept cash with him; and it was
determined that Lord Montreville should go to town, not only to close at
once with the opulent banker, but to get Delamere out of the way while
the marriage was in agitation, which it would otherwise be impossible to
conceal from him. To persuade him to another continental tour was what
Sir Richard advised: and agreed to go to town with his Lordship, in
order to assist in this arduous undertaking.

Lord Montreville, however, failed not immediately to answer the letter
he had received from Mr. Rochely, in these terms--


  'Sir,

    'This day's post brought me the honour of your letter.

    'If Miss Mowbray is as sensible as she ought to be, of so
  flattering a distinction, be assured it will be one of the most
  satisfactory events of my life to see her form a connection with a
  gentleman truly worthy and respectable.

    'To hasten the completion of an event so desirable, I fully intend
  being in town in a very few days; when I will, with your permission,
  wait on you in Lombard-street.

    'I have the honour to be, with great esteem,

                                              Sir,
                                                 your most devoted,
                                           and most obedient servant,
                                                          MONTREVILLE.'

  _Audley-Hall, Nov. 23._


The haughty Peer, who derived his blood from the most antient of the
British Nobility, thus condescended to flatter opulence and to court the
alliance of riches. Nor did he think any advances he could make, beneath
him, when he hoped at once to marry his niece to advantage, and what was
yet more material, put an invincible bar between her and his son.

While this correspondence, so inimical to Delamere's hopes, was passing
between his father and Mr. Rochely, he was every hour with Emmeline;
intoxicated with his passion, indulging the most delightful hopes, and
forgetting every thing else in the world.

He had found it his interest to gain (by a little more attention, and
some fine speeches about elegance and grace,) the good opinion of Mrs.
Ashwood; who now declared she had been mistaken in her first idea of
him, and that he was not only quite a man of fashion, but possessed an
excellent understanding and very refined sentiments.

The sudden death of her father had obliged her to leave home some days
before: but as soon as she was gone, Emmeline, who foresaw that Delamere
would be constantly with her, sent for Miss Galton.

No remonstrance of her's could prevent his passing every day at the
house, from breakfast 'till a late hour in the evening.

On the last of these days, he was there as usual; and it was past eight
at night, when Emmeline, who had learned to play on the harp, by being
present when Mrs. Ashwood received lessons on that instrument, was
singing to Delamere a little simple air of which he was particularly
fond, and into which she threw so much pathos, that lost in fond
admiration, he 'hung over her, enamoured,' when she was interrupted by
the entrance of a servant, who said that a Lord, but he forgot the name,
was below, and desired to speak with Miss Mowbray.

If Emmeline was alarmed at the sight of Lord Montreville at Swansea,
when she had acted with the strictest attention to his wishes, she had
now much more reason to be so, when she felt herself conscious of having
given encouragement to Delamere, and had reason to fear her motives for
doing so would be misbelieved or misunderstood.

Tho' the servant had forgotten his name, Emmeline doubted not but it was
Lord Montreville; and she had hardly time to think how she should
receive him, before his Lordship (who had impatiently followed the
servant up stairs) entered the room.

Delamere, immovable behind Emmeline's chair, was the first object that
struck him.

He had hoped that her residence was yet unknown to his son; and
surprise, vexation, and anger, were marked in his countenance and
attitude.

'Miss Mowbray!' (advancing towards her) 'is it thus you fulfil the
promise you gave me? And you, Mr. Delamere--do you still obstinately
persist in this ridiculous, this unworthy attachment?'

'I left you, my Lord,' answered Delamere, 'without deceiving you as to
my motives for doing so. I came in search of Miss Mowbray. By a
fortunate accident I found her. I have never dissimulated; nor ever mean
it in whatever relates to her. Nothing has prevented my making her
irrevocably mine, but her too scrupulous adherence to a promise _she_
ought never to have given, and which your _Lordship_ ought never to have
extorted.'

Emmeline, gentle as she was, had yet that proper spirit which conscious
worth seldom fails of inspiring: and knowing that she had already
sacrificed much to the respect she thought Lord Montreville entitled to,
she was hurt at finding, from his angry and contemptuous tone, as well
as words, that she was condemned unheard, and treated with harshness
where she deserved only kindness and gratitude.

The courage of which her first surprise had deprived her, was restored
by these sensations; and she said, with great coolness, yet with less
timidity than usual, 'my Lord, I have yet done nothing in violation of
the promise I gave you. But the moment your Lordship doubts my adherence
to it, from that moment I consider it as dissolved.'

Delamere, encouraged by an answer so flattering to his hopes, now
addressed himself to his father, who was by this time seated; and spoke
so forcibly of his invincible attachment, and his determined purpose
never to marry any other woman, that the resolution of Lord Montreville
was shaken, and would perhaps have given way, if the violent and
clamorous opposition of his wife on one hand, and the ambitious projects
and artful advice of Sir Richard Crofts on the other, had not occurred
to him. He commanded himself so far as not to irritate Delamere farther,
by reflections on the conduct of Emmeline, which he found would not be
endured; and trying to stifle his feelings under the dissimulation of
the courtier, he heard with patience all he had to urge. He even
answered him with temper; made an apology to Emmeline for any
expressions that might have given her offence; and at length threw into
his manner a composure that elated Delamere to a degree of hope hitherto
unfelt. He fancied that his father, weary of hopeless opposition, and
convinced of the merit of Emmeline, would consent to his marriage: and
his quick spirit seizing with avidity on an idea so flattering,
converted into a confirmation of it, all Lord Montreville's discourse
for the remainder of the visit: in which, by dissimulation on one part,
and favourable expectations on the other, they both seemed to return to
some degree of good humour.

Delamere agreed to go home with his father; and Lord Montreville having
determined to return the next day to speak to Emmeline on the proposals
of Rochely, they parted; his Lordship meditating as he went home how to
prevent Delamere's interrupting the conference he wished to have on a
subject which was so near his heart.

On his arrival at his own house, he found Sir Richard Crofts waiting for
him, whom he detained to supper. Delamere, as soon as it was over, went
to his lodgings; which Lord Montreville did not oppose, as he wished to
be alone with Sir Richard; but he desired, that after that evening
Delamere would return to his apartments in Berkley-square; which he
partly promised to do.

Lord Montreville related to Sir Richard what had passed, and the
uneasiness he was under to find that Delamere, far from relaxing in his
determination, had openly renewed his addresses; and that Emmeline
seemed much less disposed to sacrifice his wishes to those of his
family, than he had yet found her.

Sir Richard, himself wholly insensible to the feelings of a father,
discouraged in Lord Montreville every tendency to forgive or indulge
this indiscreet passion. And equally incapable of the generous
sentiments of a gentleman towards a woman, young, helpless, dependant,
and unfortunate, he tried to harden the heart of Lord Montreville
against his orphan niece, and advised him peremptorily to insist on her
marrying Rochely immediately, or, as the alternative, to declare to her
that from the moment of her refusal she must expect from him neither
support or countenance.

This threat on one hand, and the affluence offered her by Rochely on the
other, must, he thought, oblige her to embrace his proposals. The
greatest difficulty seemed to be, to prevent Delamere's impetuosity from
snatching her at once out of the power of his father, by an elopement;
to which, if she preferred him to Rochely, it was very probable she
might be driven by harsh measures to consent; and that Delamere must
have in her heart a decided preference, there could be little doubt.

Lord Montreville was apprehensive that Delamere, who had, he found, for
many days lived entirely at Mrs. Ashwood's, would be there before him in
the morning, and preclude all possibility of a private conversation with
Emmeline.

Fitz-Edward, who could, and from the duplicity of his character would
perhaps have made a diversion in his favour, was not in town; and to
both the Mr. Crofts Delamere had an antipathy, which he took very little
pains to conceal; they therefore could not be employed to engage him.

In this difficulty, Sir Richard offered to go himself to Miss Mowbray,
that Lord Montreville might be at liberty to detain his son; pretences
for which could not be wanting.

His Lordship closed with this offer with pleasure; and felt himself
relieved from a painful task. His heart, though greatly changed by a
long course of good fortune, and by the habit of living among the great,
was yet not quite lost to the feelings of nature.

His brother, than whom he was only a year younger, and whom he had loved
thro' childhood and youth with singular attachment, was not wholly
forgotten; and the softened likeness, in the countenance of Emmeline, to
one whom he had so long been used to look up to with tenderness,
frequently said as much for her to his affection, as her unprotected and
helpless state did to his honour and his compassion. Nor, whatever pains
he took to stifle his pity for his son, could he entirely reconcile to
his own heart the part he was acting.

But of these feelings, meritorious as they were, he was ashamed, and
dared not avow them even to himself; while he was intimidated by the
supercilious spirit and unconquerable pride of Lady Montreville, and
tempted by the visions of encreasing splendour and accumulated riches
which Sir Richard perpetually presented to his imagination, and which
there was indeed but little doubt of realizing.

The Mowbray family were known to possess abilities. Those of the
deceased Mr. Mowbray were remarkably great, tho' he had thrown away his
time and health in a course of dissipation which had made them useless.

The talents of Lord Montreville, tho' less brilliant, were more solid.
And now in the meridian of life, with powerful connections and extensive
interest, he was courted to accept an eminent post in administration,
with a promise of a Marquisate being restored to him, which had long
lain dormant in his own family, and of the revival of which he was
extremely ambitious.

To support such a dignity, his son's future fortune, ample as it must
be, would not, he thought, be adequate; and could only be made so by his
marrying Miss Otley or some woman of equal fortune.

This, therefore, was the weight which entirely over-balanced all his
kindness for his niece, and confirmed his resolution to tear her from
Delamere at whatever price.



CHAPTER XV


It was much earlier than the usual hour for morning visits, when Sir
Richard Crofts was at the door of Mrs. Ashwood.

Miss Mowbray had given no orders to be denied; and he was, on enquiring
for her, shewn into the parlour.

As soon as the servant informed her a gentleman was below whom she found
was not Delamere, she concluded it was Lord Montreville; and with a
fearful and beating heart, went down.

She saw, with some surprise, a middle-aged man, of no very pleasant
countenance and person, to whom she was an entire stranger; and
concluding his business was with Mrs. Ashwood, she was about to retreat,
when the gentleman advancing towards her, told her he waited on her,
commissioned by Lord Montreville.

Emmeline sat down in silence, and Sir Richard began.

'Miss Mowbray, I have the honour to be connected with Lord Montreville,
and entirely in his Lordship's confidence: you will please therefore to
consider what I shall say to you as coming immediately, directly, and
absolutely, from himself; and as his Lordship's decided, and
unalterable, and irrevocable intentions.'

The abruptness of this speech shocked and distressed Emmeline. She grew
very pale; but bowing slightly to the speaker, he went on.

'My Lord Montreville hopes and supposes, and is willing to believe, that
you have not, in direct violation of your promise solemnly given,
encouraged Mr. Delamere in the absurd, and impossible, and impracticable
project of marrying you. But however that may have been, as it is his
Lordship's firm resolution and determination never to suffer such a
connection, you have, I suppose, too much sense not to see the mischief
you must occasion, and bring on, and cause to yourself, by encouraging a
giddy, and infatuated, and ignorant, and rash young man, to resist
paternal authority.'

Emmeline was still silent.

'Now here is an opportunity of establishing yourself in affluence, and
reputation, and fortune, beyond what your most sanguine hopes could
offer you; and I am persuaded you will eagerly, and readily, and
immediately embrace it. Lord Montreville insists upon it; the world
expects it; and Mr. Delamere's family demand it of you.'

'Sir!' said Emmeline, astonished at the peremptory tone and strange
purport of these words.

'It is my custom,' resumed Sir Richard, 'when I am upon business, to
speak plainly, and straitly, and to the point. This then is what I have
to propose--You are acquainted with Mr. Rochely, the great banker?'

'Yes, Sir.'

'He offers to my Lord Montreville to marry you; and to make settlements
on you equal to what you might have claimed, had you a right to be
considered as a daughter of the house of Mowbray. His real fortune is
very great; his annual income superior to that of many of the nobility;
and there _can_ be no reason, indeed none will be allowed, or listened
to, or heard of, why you should not eagerly, and instantly, and joyfully
accept a proposal so infinitely superior to what you have any claim, or
right, or pretence to.'

This was almost too much for poor Emmeline. Anger and disdain, which she
found fast rising in her bosom, restrained her tears: but her eyes
flashed indignantly on the unfeeling politician who thus so indelicately
addressed her.

He would not give her time to speak; but seemed determined to overwhelm
her imagination at once with the contrast he placed before her.

'If,' continued he, 'you will agree to become the wife of Mr. Rochely,
as soon as settlements can be prepared, my Lord Montreville, of whose
generosity, and greatness of mind, and liberality, too much cannot be
said, offers to consider you as being really his niece; as being really
a daughter of the Mowbray family; and, that being so considered, you may
not be taken by any man portionless, he will, on the day of marriage,
present, and settle on, and give you, three thousand pounds.

'Now, Miss Mowbray, consider, and weigh, and reflect on this well: and
give me leave, in order that you may form a just judgment, to tell you
the consequence of your refusal.

'My Lord Montreville, who is not obliged to give you the least
assistance, or support, or countenance, does by me declare, that if you
are so weak (to call it by no harsher name) as to refuse this
astonishing, and amazing, and singular good fortune, he shall consider
you as throwing off all duty, and regard, and attention to him; and as
one, with whose fate it will be no longer worth his while to embarrass,
perplex, and concern himself. From that moment, therefore, you must drop
the name of Mowbray, to which in fact you have no right, and take that
of your mother, whatever it be; and you must never expect from my Lord
Montreville, or the Mowbray-Delamere family, either countenance, or
support, or protection.

'Now, Miss Mowbray, your answer. The proposition cannot admit of
deliberation, or doubt, or hesitation, and my Lord expects it by me.'

The presence of mind which a very excellent understanding and a very
innocent heart gave to Emmeline, was never more requisite than on this
occasion. The rude and peremptory manner of the speaker; the dreadful
alternative of Rochely on one side, and indigence on the other, thus
suddenly and unexpectedly brought before her; was altogether so
overcoming, that she could not for a moment collect her spirits enough
to speak at all. She sighed; but her agitation was too great for tears;
and at length summoning all her courage, she replied--

'My Lord Montreville, Sir, would have been kinder, had he delivered
himself his wishes and commands. Such, however, as I now receive them,
they require no deliberation. _I will not_ marry Mr. Rochely, tho'
instead of the fortune you describe, he could offer me the world.--Lord
Montreville _may_ abandon me, but he _shall not_ make me wretched. Tell
him therefore, Sir,' (her spirit rose as she spoke) 'that the daughter
of his brother, unhappy as she is, yet boasts that nobleness of mind
which her father possessed, and disclaims the mercenary views of
becoming, from pecuniary motives, the wife of a man whom she cannot
either love or esteem. Tell him too, that if she had not inherited a
strong sense of honour, of which at least her birth does not deprive
her, she might now have been the wife of Mr. Delamere, and independant
of his Lordship's authority; and it is improbable, that one who has
sacrificed so much to integrity, should now be compelled by threats of
indigence to the basest of all actions, that of selling her person and
her happiness for a subsistence. I beg that _you, Sir_, who seem to have
delivered Lord Montreville's message, with such scrupulous exactness,
will take the trouble to be as precise in my answer; and that his
Lordship will consider it as final.'

Having said this, with a firmness of voice and manner which resentment,
as well as a noble pride, supplied; she arose, curtseyed composedly to
Sir Richard, and went out of the room; leaving the unsuccessful
ambassador astonished at that strength of mind, and dignity of manner,
which he did not expect in so young a woman, and somewhat mortified,
that his masculine eloquence, on which he was accustomed to pride
himself, and which he thought generally unanswerable, had so entirely
fallen short of the effect he expected.

Unwilling however to return to Lord Montreville without hopes of
success, he thought he might obtain at least some information from Mrs.
Ashwood of the likeliest means to move her untractable and high spirited
friend. He therefore rang the bell, and desired to speak with that lady.
But as she was not yet returned from the house of her father, where a
family meeting was held to inspect his will, Sir Richard failed of
attempting to secure her agency; and was obliged, however reluctantly,
to depart.

Emmeline, whose command of herself was exerted with too much violence
not to shake her whole frame with it's effects, no sooner reached her
own chamber than she found all her courage gone, and a violent passion
of tears succeeded.

Her deep convulsive sighs reached the ears of Miss Galton; who entered
the room, and began, in the common mode of consolation, first to enquire
why she wept?

Emmeline answered only by weeping the more.

Miss Galton enquired if that gentleman was Lord Montreville.

Emmeline was unable to reply; and Miss Galton finding no gratification
to her curiosity, which, mingled with envious malignity, had long been
her ruling passion, was obliged to quit the unhappy Emmeline; which was
indeed the only favour she could do her.

The whole morning had passed before Miss Mowbray was able to come down
stairs, and when she did, her languor and dejection were excessive. Miss
Galton only dined with her; if it might be called dining, for she eat
nothing; but just as the cloth was removed, a coach stopped, and Mrs.
Ashwood appeared, led by her brother, Mr. Stafford.

Emmeline, who had not very lately heard from her beloved friend, now
eagerly enquired after her, and learned that the illness of one of her
children had, together with her being far advanced in her pregnancy,
prevented her coming to London with Mr. Stafford; who, tho' summoned
thither immediately on his father's death, had only arrived the evening
before; the messenger that went having missed him at his own house, and
having been obliged to follow him into another county.

He delivered to Miss Mowbray a letter from Mrs. Stafford, with which
Emmeline, eager to read it, retired--


    'Trust me, Emmeline, no abatement in my tender regard, has
  occasioned my omitting to write to you: but anxiety of mind so
  great, as to deprive me of all power to attend to any thing but
  it's immediate object.--Your poor little friend Harry, who looked
  so much recovered, and so full of health and spirits, when you left
  him at Swansea, was three weeks ago seized again with one of those
  fevers to which he has so repeatedly been liable, and for many days
  his life appeared to be in the most immediate danger. You know how
  far we are from a physician; and you know my anxiety for this first
  darling of my heart; judge then, my Emmeline, of the miserable
  hours I have known, between hope and fear, and the sleepless nights
  I have passed at the bed side of my suffering cherub; and in my
  present state I doubly feel all this anxiety and fatigue, and am
  very much otherwise than well. Of myself, however, I think not,
  since Harry is out of danger, and Dr. Farnaby thinks will soon be
  entirely restored; but he is still so very weak, that I never quit
  him even a moment. The rest of my children are well; and all who
  are capable of recollection, remember and love you.

    'And now, my dear Miss Mowbray, as the visitors who have been with
  me ever since my return from Swansea, are happily departed and no
  others expected, and as Mr. Stafford will be engaged in town almost
  all the winter, in consequence of his father's death, will you not
  come to me? _You_ only can alleviate and share a thousand anxieties
  that prey on my spirits; _you_ only can sweeten the hour of my
  confinement, which will happen in January; and before _you_ only I
  can sigh at liberty and be forgiven.

    'Ah! Emmeline--the death of Mr. Stafford's father, far from
  producing satisfaction as increasing our fortune, brings to me only
  regret and sorrow. He loved me with great affection; and I owe him a
  thousand obligations. The family will have reason to regret his
  loss; tho' the infirmities of the latter part of his life were not
  much alleviated by their attendance or attention.

    'Come to me, Emmeline, if possible; come, if you can, with Mr.
    Stafford; or if he is detained long in town, come without him. I
  will send my post-chaise to meet you at Basingstoke. Lord
  Montreville cannot object to it; and Delamere, whom you have never
  mentioned, has, I conclude, given way to the peremptory commands of
  his father, and has determined to forget my Emmeline.

    'Is it then probable any one can forget her? I know not of what
  the volatile and thoughtless Delamere may be capable; but I know
  that of all things it would be the most impossible to her truly
  attached and affectionate,

                                                        C. STAFFORD.'

  _Woodfield, Nov. 30._


This letter gave great relief to the mind of the dejected Emmeline. That
her first and dearest friend, opened at this painful crisis her
consolatory bosom to receive and pity her; and that she should have the
power to share her fatigue, and lessen the weight of her anxiety during
the slow recovery of her child; seemed to be considerations which
softened all the anguish she had endured during the day.

She was however too much disordered to go down to tea; and told Mrs.
Ashwood, who civilly came up to enquire after her, that she had a
violent pain in her head and would go to bed.

Mrs. Ashwood, full of her increased fortune, and busied in studying to
make her deep mourning as becoming as possible, let her do as she would,
and thought no more about her.

She had therefore time to meditate at leisure on her wayward fate: and
some surprise that Delamere had not appeared the whole day, mingled
itself with her reflections.

Poor Delamere was not to blame. Lord Montreville had sent him very early
in the morning to desire to see him for five minutes on business of
consequence.

Delamere, who from what had passed the evening before had indulged,
during the night, the fondest dreams of happiness, obeyed the summons
not without some hopes that he should hear all his favourable presages
confirmed. When he came, however, his father, waving all discourse that
related to Emmeline or himself, affected to consult him on a proposal he
had received for his eldest sister, which the family were disposed to
promote; and after detaining him as long as he could on this and on
other subjects, he desired him to send to his lodgings for Millefleur,
and to dress as expeditiously as possible, in order to accompany him to
dine at Lord Dornock's, a Scottish nobleman, with whom his Lordship was
deeply engaged in the depending negociation with Ministry; and who was
at his seat, about nine miles from London.

Delamere reluctantly engaged in such a party. But however short his
father's discourse fell of what he hoped, he yet determined to get the
better of his repugnance and obey him; still flattering himself that
Lord Montreville would lead to the subject nearest his heart, or that in
the course of the day he should at least have an opportunity of
introducing it.

They therefore set out together, on the most amicable terms, in Lord
Montreville's coach. But as they had taken up on their way a gentleman
who held a place under Lord Dornock, his presence prevented any
conversation but on general subjects, during their short journey.

The dinner passed as such dinners generally do--too much in the secret
to touch on politics, all such discourse was carefully avoided at the
table of Lord Dornock.

In literature they had no resource; and therefore the conversation
chiefly turned on the pleasure they were then enjoying--that of the
luxuries of the table. They determined on the merits of the venison of
the past season; settled what was the best way of preparing certain
dishes; and whose domain produced the most exquisite materials for
others. And on these topics a society of cooks could not have more
learnedly descanted.

Delamere, not yet of an age to be initiated into the noble science of
eating, and among whose ideas of happiness the delights of gratifying
his palate had not yet been numbered, heard them with impatience and
disgust.

He was obliged, however, to stay while the wines were criticised as
eloquently as the meats had been; and to endure a long harangue from the
master of the house, on _cote roti_ and _lacryma Christi_; and after the
elder part of the company had adjusted their various merits and
swallowed a sufficient quantity, the two noblemen retired to a private
conference; and Delamere, obliged to move into a circle of insipid
women, took refuge in cards, which he detested almost as much as the
entertainment he had just quitted.

The hours, however slowly, wore away, and his patience was almost
exhausted: soon after ten o'clock he ventured to send to his father, to
know whether he was ready to return to town? but he received a message
in reply, 'that he had determined to stay all night where he was.'

Vexed and angry, Delamere began to suspect that his father had some
design in thus detaining him at a distance from Emmeline; and fired by
indignation at this idea, equally scorning to submit to restraint or to
be detained by finesse, he disengaged himself from the card table,
fetched his hat, and without speaking to any body, walked to the next
village, where he got into a post-chaise and was presently in London;
but as it was almost twelve o'clock, he forbore to visit Emmeline that
night.



CHAPTER XVI


As soon as there was any probability of Emmeline's being visible the
next morning, Delamere was at Clapham.

The servant of whom he enquired for her, told him, that Miss Mowbray had
not yet rung her bell, and that as it was later than her usual hour, she
was afraid it was owing to her being ill.

Alarmed at this intelligence, Delamere eagerly questioned her further;
and learned that the preceding morning, a gentleman who had never been
there before, had been to see Miss Mowbray, and had staid with her about
three quarters of an hour, during which he had talked very loud; and
that after he was gone, she had hastened to her own room, crying sadly,
and had seemed very much vexed the whole day afterwards. That when she
went to bed, which was early in the evening, she had sighed bitterly,
and said she was not well. The servants, won by the sweetness and
humanity with which Emmeline treated them, all seemed to consider her
health and happiness as their own concern; and the girl who delivered
this intelligence to Delamere, had been very much about her, and knowing
her better, loved her more than the others.

Delamere could not doubt the truth of this account; yet he could not
conjecture who the stranger could be, in whose power it was thus to
distress Emmeline. But dreading lest some scheme was in agitation to
take her from him, he sat in insupportable anxiety 'till she should
summons the maid.

Her music book lay open on a _piano forte_ in the breakfast parlour. A
song which he had a few days before desired her to learn, as being one
which particularly charmed him, seemed to have been just copied into it,
and he fancied the notes and the writing were executed with more than
her usual elegance. Under it was a little _porte feuille_ of red
morocco. Delamere took it up. It was untied; and two or three small
tinted drawings fell out. He saw the likeness of Mrs. Stafford, done
from memory; one yet more striking of his sister Augusta; and two or
three unfinished resemblances of persons he did not know, touched with
less spirit than the other two. A piece of silver paper doubled together
enclosed another; he opened it--it was a drawing of himself, done with a
pencil, and slightly tinged with a crayon; strikingly like; but it
seemed unfinished, and somewhat effaced.

Though among so many other portraits, this could not be considered as a
very flattering distinction, Delamere, on seeing it, was not master of
his transports. He now believed Emmeline (whom he could never induce to
own that her partiality for him exceeded the bounds of friendship) yet
cherished in her heart a passion she would not avow.

While he was indulging these sanguine and delicious hopes, he heard a
bell ring, and flew to enquire if it was that of Emmeline?

The maid, who crossed the hall to attend it's summons, told him it was.
He stepped softly up stairs behind the servant, and waited at the door
of the chamber while she went in.

To the question, from the maid, 'how she did?' Emmeline answered, 'much
better.'

'Mr. Delamere is here, Madam, and begs to know whether he may see you?'

Emmeline had expected him all the day before, and was not at all
surprised at his coming now. But she knew not what she should say to
him. To dissimulate was to her almost impossible; yet to tell him what
had passed between her and Sir Richard Crofts was to create dissentions
of the most alarming nature between him and his father; for she knew
Delamere would immediately and warmly resent the harshness of Lord
Montreville.

She could not however determine to avoid seeing Delamere; and she
thought his Lordship was not entitled to much consideration, after the
indelicate and needless shock he had given her, by employing the
peremptory, insolent, and unfeeling Sir Richard Crofts.

After a moment's hesitation, she told Nanny to let Mr. Delamere know
that as soon as she was dressed she would be with him in the parlour.

Delamere, who heard the message, stepped softly down stairs, replaced
the drawings, and waited the entrance of Emmeline; who neither requiring
or accustoming herself to borrow any advantage from art or ornament, was
soon dressed in her usual simple undress.

But to give some appearance of truth to what she intended to alledge, a
cold, in excuse for her swollen eyes and languid looks, she wrapt a
gauze hood over her head, and tied a black ribband round her throat; for
tho' she could not wholly conceal the truth from Delamere, she wished to
prevent his seeing how much it had affected her.

When she entered the room, Delamere, who was at the door to meet her,
was astonished at the alteration he saw in her countenance.

'You are ill, Emmeline?' said he, taking her hand.

'I am not quite well--I have a violent cold coming.'

'A cold?' eagerly answered Delamere, 'you have been crying--who was the
person who called on you yesterday?'

It was now in vain to attempt concealment if she had intended it.

'He did not tell me his name, for our conversation was very short; but
his servants told those of Mrs. Ashwood that his name is Sir Richard
Crofts.'

'And what business could Sir Richard Crofts possibly have with you?'

Emmeline related the conversation with great fidelity and without
comment.

Delamere had hardly patience to hear her out. He protested he would
immediately go to Sir Richard Crofts, and not only force him to
apologize for what had passed, but promise never again to interfere
between Lord Montreville and his family.

From executing this violent measure, Emmeline by earnest entreaty
diverted him. She had not yet recovered the shock given her by the
unwelcome interview of the preceding day; and though she had a very
excellent constitution, her sensibility of mind was so great, that when
she suffered any poignant uneasiness, it immediately affected her frame.
In the present state of her spirits, she could not hear Delamere's
vehement and passionate exclamations without tears; and when he saw how
much she was hurt, he commanded himself; spoke more calmly; and by a
rapid transition from rage to tenderness, he wept also, and bathed her
hands with his tears.

He was not without hopes that this last effort of Lord Montreville would
effect a change in his favour; and he pleaded again for an elopement
with the warmest eloquence of love.

But Emmeline, though she felt all the force of his arguments, had still
the courage to resist them; and all he could obtain from her was a
renewal of her former promise, neither to leave Mrs. Ashwood unknown to
him or to conceal the place of her residence; to consent to see him
wherever she should be, and positively to reject Mr. Rochely's offer.

In return, she expected from Delamere some concessions which nothing but
the sight of her uneasiness would have induced him to grant. At length
she persuaded him to promise that he would not insult Sir Richard
Crofts, or commit any other rashness which might irritate Lord
Montreville.

Nothing was a stronger proof of the deep root which his passion had
taken in his heart, than the influence Emmeline had obtained over his
ungovernable and violent spirit, hitherto unused to controul, and
accustomed from his infancy to exert over his own family the most
boundless despotism.

Emmeline, tranquillized and consoled by his promises, then entreated him
to go; as the state of Mrs. Ashwood's family made visitors improper. In
this, too, he obeyed her. And as soon as he was gone, Emmeline sat down
to write to Mrs. Stafford, related briefly what had lately happened, and
told her, that as soon as Lord Montreville could be induced to settle
some yearly sum for her support, (which notwithstanding his threats she
still thought he would do, on condition of her engaging never, without
his consent, to marry Delamere,) she would set out for Woodfield.

Lord Montreville, absorbed in politics and in a negociation with
ministry, had, on the evening when he and his son were at Lord
Dornock's, forgotten the impatient temper and particular situation of
Delamere. His non appearance at supper occasioned an enquiry, and it was
found he had left the house. It was too late for Lord Montreville to
follow him that night, and would, indeed, have been useless; but early
the next morning he was in Berkley-square, where he heard nothing of his
son.

He received a letter from Sir Richard Crofts, relating the ill success
of his embassy; but adding, that he would bring Rochely to his Lordship
the next day, to consider together what was next to be done. A letter
also soon after arrived from Lady Montreville, to let his Lordship know
that herself and her daughter, with Lady Mary and Miss Otley, were
coming to town the next evening.

Delamere, the tumult of whose spirits was too great immediately to
subside, took, for the first time in his life, some pains to conquer
their violence, in consideration of Emmeline.

He sent his servants to Berkley-square, to enquire among the domestics
what had passed. He thence learned that his father had returned in the
morning from Lord Dornock's in very ill humour, and that his mother was
expected in town. An interview with either, would, he was conscious,
only be the occasion of that dissention he had promised Emmeline to
avoid. His mother, he knew, came to town determined to keep no terms
with him; and that she would incessantly harrass him with reproaches or
teize him with entreaties. He therefore determined to avoid entirely all
conversation with both; and after a short reflection on the best means
to do so, he ordered Millefleur to discharge the lodgings; told him and
his other two servants that he was going out of town, and should not
take either them or his horses; therefore would have them go to
Berkley-square, and wait there his return. He bade his valet tell Lord
Montreville that he should be absent ten days or a fortnight. Then
ordering an hackney coach, he directed it to drive to Westminster
Bridge, as if he meant there to take post: instead of which he dismissed
it at the end of Bridge-street; and walking over to the Surry side, he
presently provided himself with lodgings under the name of Mr. Oswald, a
gentleman just come from Ireland; and all traces of Mr. Delamere were
lost.


    END OF THE FIRST VOLUME



VOLUME II



CHAPTER I


Sir Richard Crofts brought Mr. Rochely to Lord Montreville at the time
appointed; and in consequence of the conversation then held, his
Lordship was confirmed in his resolution of persisting in the plan Sir
Richard had laid down, to force Emmeline to accept the good fortune
offered her. Lord Montreville had sent as soon as he got to town to
Delamere's lodgings, whose servants said that he had slept there, but
was then gone out. His Lordship concluded he was gone to Clapham; but as
he could not remedy his uneasiness on that head, he was obliged to
endure it. About twelve o'clock Delamere had arranged matters for his
concealment; and about three, as Lord Montreville was dressing to go
out, Millefleur, together with Delamere's footman and groom, came as
they had been ordered to Berkley-square. This circumstance was no sooner
related to Lord Montreville by his valet de chambre, than he ordered
Millefleur to be sent up. The Frenchman related to his Lordship, that
his master was certainly gone to Mr. Percival's; but Lord Montreville
concluded he was gone to Scotland, and, in a tempest of anger and
vexation, cursed the hour when he had listened to the advice of Sir
Richard Crofts, the harshness of whose proceedings had, he imagined,
precipitated the event he had so long dreaded. He was so entirely
persuaded that this conjecture was the truth, that he first gave orders
for a post-chaise and four to be ready directly; then recollecting that
if he overtook his son he had no power to force him back, he thought it
better to take with him some one who could influence Emmeline. His
youngest daughter was still in Yorkshire; Mrs. Stafford he knew not
where to find; but he supposed that Mrs. Ashwood, with whom she had
lived some months, might have power to persuade her; and not knowing
what else to do, indeed hardly knowing what he expected from the visit,
he ordered his coachman to be as expeditious as possible in conveying
him to the house of that lady.

Mrs. Ashwood, her brother, and four or five other persons related to the
family, were at dinner. Lord Montreville entered the room; spoke to
those he knew with as much civility as he could; but not seeing Emmeline
among them, his apprehensions were confirmed. He desired they would not
disturb themselves; and declined sharing their repast; but being unable
to conceal his emotion till it was over, he said to Mrs. Ashwood--'I am
sorry, Madam, to trouble you on this unhappy business. I did hope you
would have had the goodness at least to inform me of it. What can I do?'
exclaimed he, breaking suddenly from his discourse and rising--'Good
God, what can I do?'

The company were silent, and amazed.

Mrs. Ashwood, however, said, 'I am sorry that any thing, my Lord, has
disturbed your Lordship. I am sure I should have been happy, my Lord,
could I have been of any service to your Lordship in whatever it is.'

'Disturbed!' cried he, striking his forehead with his hand, 'I am
distracted! When did she go? How long has she been gone?'

'Who, my Lord?'

'Miss Mowbray--Emmeline--Oh! it will be impossible to overtake them!'

'Gone! my Lord?'

'Gone with Delamere!--Gone to Scotland!'

'Miss Mowbray was however in the house not an hour ago,' said Miss
Galton; 'I saw her myself go up the garden just as we sat down to
dinner.'

'Then she went to meet him!--then they went together!'--exclaimed Lord
Montreville, walking round the room.

An assertion so positive staggered every one. They rose from table in
confusion.

'Let us go up,' said Mrs. Ashwood; 'I can hardly think it possible, my
Lord, that Miss Mowbray is gone, unless your Lordship absolutely saw
them.'

Yet Mrs. Ashwood remembered that Delamere had been there in the morning,
and that Emmeline had dined early alone, and had remained by herself all
the rest of the day, under pretence of sickness; and she began to
believe that all this was done to give her time to elope with Delamere.

She went up stairs; and Lord Montreville, without knowing what he did,
followed her. The stairs were carpetted; any one ascending was hardly
heard; and Mrs. Ashwood suddenly throwing open the door of her chamber,
Lord Montreville saw her, with her handkerchief held to her face,
hanging over a packet of papers which lay on the table before her.

Emmeline did not immediately look up--an exclamation from Lord
Montreville made her take her handkerchief from her eyes.

She arose; tried to conceal the sorrow visible in her countenance yet
wet with tears, and assuming as much as she could her native ease and
sweetness, she advanced towards his Lordship, who still stood at the
door, amazed, and asked him if he would pardon her for desiring him to
sit down in a bed-chamber; if not, she would wait on him below. She then
went back to the table; threw the papers into the casket that was on it;
and placing a chair between that and the fire, again asked him if he
would do her the honour to sit down.

Lord Montreville did so, but said nothing. He was ashamed of his
precipitancy; yet as Emmeline did not know it, he would not mention it;
and was yet too full of the idea to speak of any thing else.

Mrs. Ashwood had left them--Emmeline continued silent.

Lord Montreville, after a long pause, at length said, with a stern and
displeased countenance, 'I understand, Miss Mowbray, that my son was
here this morning.'

'Yes, my Lord.'

'Pray, do you know where he now is?'

'I do not, indeed. Is he not at your Lordship's house?'

'No; I am told by his servants that he is gone to Mr. Percival's--But
_you_--'(continued he, laying a strong emphasis on the word) '_you_,
Miss Mowbray, are I dare say better informed of his intentions than any
one else.'

'Upon my word, my Lord,' answered Emmeline, astonished, 'I do _not_
know. He said nothing to me of an intention to go any where; on the
contrary, he told me he should be here again to-morrow.'

'And is it possible you are ignorant of his having left London this
morning, immediately after he returned from visiting you?'

'My Lord, I have never yet stooped to the meanness of a falsehood. Why
should your Lordship now suppose me guilty of it? I repeat--and I hope
you will do me the justice to believe me--upon my honour I do _not_
know whither Mr. Delamere is gone--nor do I know that he has left
London.'

Lord Montreville could not but believe her. But while his fears were
relieved as to the elopement, they were awakened anew by the uncertainty
of what was become of his son, and what his motive could be for this
sudden disappearance.

He thought however the present opportunity of speaking to Emmeline of
his resolution was not to be neglected.

'However ignorant you may be, Miss Mowbray,' said he, 'of the reason of
his having quitted his lodgings, you are not to learn that his motive
for estranging himself from his family, and becoming a stranger to his
father's house, originates in his inconsiderate attachment to you.
Contrary to the assurances you gave me at Swansea, you have encouraged
this attachment; and, as I understand from Sir Richard Crofts, you
peremptorily and even rudely refuse the opportunity now offered you of
establishing yourself in rank and affluence, which no other young woman
would a moment hesitate to accept. Such a refusal cannot be owing to
mere caprice; nor could it possibly happen had you not determined, in
despite of every objection, and of bringing discord into my family, to
listen to that infatuated and rash young man.'

'Your Lordship does not treat me with your usual candour. I have
promised you, voluntarily promised you, not to marry Mr. Delamere
without your Lordship's consent. To prevent his coming here was out of
my power; but if I really aspired to the honour of which your Lordship
thinks me ambitious, _what_ has prevented me from engaging at once with
Mr. Delamere? who has, I own to you, pressed me repeatedly to elope. My
Lord, while I am treated with kindness and confidence, I can rely upon
my own resolution to deserve it; _but_ when your Lordship, on suspicion
or misrepresentation, is induced to withdraw that kindness and
confidence--why should _I_ make a point of honour, where _you_ no longer
seem to expect it?'

The truth of this answer, as well as it's spirit, at once hurt and
irritated Lord Montreville.

Determined to separate Emmeline from his son, he was mortified to be
forced to acknowledge in his own breast that she merited all his
affection, and angry that she should be in the right when he wished to
have found something to blame in her conduct. Pride and self-love seemed
to resent that a little weak girl should pretend to a sense of
rectitude, and a force of understanding greater than his own.

'Miss Mowbray,' said his Lordship sharply, 'I will be very explicit with
you--either consent to marry Mr. Rochely, whose affection does you so
much honour, or expect from me no farther kindness.'

'Your Lordship knows,' answered Emmeline, 'that I have no friend on whom
I have the least claim but you. If you abandon me--but, my Lord, ought
you to do it?----I am indeed most friendless!'

She could no longer command her tears--sobs obliged her to cease
speaking.

Lord Montreville thought her resolution would give way; and trying to
divest himself of all feeling, with an effort truly political, he
determined to press his point.

'It is in your power,' resumed he, 'not only to place yourself above all
fear of such desertion, but to engage my affection and that of my whole
family. You will be in a situation of life which I should hardly refuse
for one of the Miss Delameres. You will possess the most unbounded
affluence, and a husband who adores you. A man unexceptionable in
character; of a mature age; and whose immense fortune is every day
encreasing. You will be considered by me, and by Lady Montreville, as a
daughter of the house of Mowbray. The blemish of your birth will be
wiped off and forgotten.'

Emmeline wept more than before.

And his Lordship continued, 'If you absurdly refuse an offer so
infinitely above your expectations, I shall consider myself as having
more than done my duty in putting it in your way; and that your folly
and imprudence dissolve all obligation on my part. You must no longer
call yourself Mowbray; and you must forget that you ever were allowed to
be numbered among the relations of my family. Nor shall I think myself
obliged in any manner to provide for a person, who in scorn of
gratitude, prudence and reputation, throws from her an opportunity of
providing for herself.'

Emmeline regained some degree of resolution. She looked up, her eyes
streaming with tears, and said, 'Well, my Lord! to the lowest indigence
I must then submit; for to marry Mr. Rochely is not in my power.'

'We will suppose for a moment,' resumed Lord Montreville, 'that you
could realize the visionary hopes you have presumed to indulge of
uniting yourself to Mr. Delamere. Dear as he is to me and his mother, we
are determined from that moment to renounce him--never shall the
rebellious son who has dared to disobey us, be again admitted to our
presence!--never will we acknowledge as his wife, a person forced upon
us and introduced into our family in despite of our commands, and in
violation of duty, honour, and affection. _You_ will be the occasion of
his being loaded with the curses of both his parents, and of introducing
misery and discord into his family. Can you yourself be happy under such
circumstances? In point of fortune too you will find yourself
deceived--while _we_ live, Mr. Delamere can have but a very slender
income; and of every thing in our power we shall certainly deprive him,
both while we live, and at our decease. Consider well what I have said;
and make use of your reason. Begin by giving up to me the ridiculous
witnesses of a ridiculous and boyish passion, which must be no longer
indulged; to keep a picture of Delamere is discreditable and
indelicate--you will not refuse to relinquish it?'

He reached over the table, and took from among two or three loose
papers, which yet lay before Emmeline, a little blue enamelled case,
which he concluded contained a miniature of Delamere, of whom several
had been drawn. Emmeline, absorbed in tears, did not oppose it. The
spring of the case was defective. It opened in his hand; and presented
to his view, not a portrait of his son, but of his brother, drawn when
he was about twenty, and at a period when he was more than a
brother--when he was the dearest friend Lord Montreville had on earth. A
likeness so striking, which he had not seen for many years, had an
immediate effect upon him.

His brother seemed to look at him mournfully. A melancholy cast about
the eye-brows diminished the vivacity of the countenance, and the faded
colour (for the picture had been painted seven and twenty years) gave it
a look of languor and ill health; such perhaps as the original wore
before his death, when a ruined constitution threatened him for some
months, tho' his life terminated by a malignant fever in a few hours.

The poor distrest Emmeline was the only memorial left of him; and Lord
Montreville felt her tears a reproach for his cruelty in thus
threatening to abandon to her fate, the unhappy daughter of this once
loved brother.

Sir Richard Crofts and Lady Montreville were not by, to intercept these
sentiments of returning humanity. He found the tears fill his eyes as he
gazed on the picture.

Emmeline, insensible of every thing, saw it not; and not conscious that
he had taken it, the purport of his last words she believed to relate to
a sketch she had herself made of Delamere. She was therefore surprized,
when Lord Montreville arising, took her hand, and in a voice that
witnessed the emotion of his soul, said--'Come, my dear Emmeline, pardon
me for thus distressing you, you shall _not_ be compelled to marry Mr.
Rochely if you have so great a dislike to him. You shall still have an
adequate support; and I trust I shall have nothing to fear from your
indiscretion in regard to Delamere.'

'Your Lordship,' answered Emmeline, without taking her handkerchief from
her eyes, 'has never yet found me capable of falsehood: I will repeat,
if you desire it, the promise I gave you--I will even take the most
solemn oath you shall dictate, never to be the wife of Mr. Delamere,
unless your Lordship and Lady Montreville consent.'

'I take your promise,' answered his Lordship, 'and shall rely firmly
upon it. But Emmeline, you must go from hence for your own sake; your
peace and reputation require it; Delamere must not frequent the house
where you are: you must conceal from him the place of your abode.'

'My Lord, I will be ingenuous with you. To go from hence is what I
intend, and with your Lordship's permission I will set out immediately
for Mrs. Stafford's. But to conceal from Mr. Delamere where I am, is not
in my power; for I have given him a solemn promise to see him if he
desires it, wherever I shall be: and as I hope you depend on my honour,
it must be equally sacred whether given to him or you. You will
therefore not insist on my breaking this engagement, and I promise you
again never to violate the other.'

With this compromise, Lord Montreville was obliged to be content. He
entreated Emmeline to see Rochely again, and hear his offers. But she
absolutely refused; assuring Lord Montreville, that were his fortune
infinitely greater, she would not marry him, tho' servitude should be
the alternative.

His Lordship therefore forbore to press her farther. He desired, that if
Delamere wrote to her, or saw her, she would let him know, which she
readily agreed to; and he told her, that so long as she was single, and
did nothing to disoblige him, he would pay her an hundred guineas a year
in quarterly payments. He gave her a bank note of fifty pounds; and
recommending it to her to go as soon as possible to Mrs. Stafford's, he
kissed her cheek with an appearance of affection greater than he had yet
shewn, and then went home to prepare for the reception of Lady
Montreville, whose arrival he did not greatly wish for; dreading lest
her violence and ill-temper should drive his son into some new
extravagance. But as her will was not to be disputed, he submitted
without remonstrance to the alteration of the plan he had proposed;
which was, that his family should pass their Christmas in Norfolk,
whither he intended to have returned.

The next day Delamere was again at Clapham, very early.

Emmeline, the additional agitation of whose mind had prevented her
sleeping during the night, appeared more indisposed than she had done
the day before.

Delamere, very much alarmed at her altered looks, anxiously enquired the
cause? And without hesitation she told him simply all that had passed;
the promise she had given to his father, to which she intended strictly
to adhere, and the arrangement she had agreed to on condition of being
persecuted no more on the score of Mr. Rochely.

It is impossible to describe the grief and indignation of Delamere, at
hearing this relation. He saw all the hopes frustrated which he had been
so long indulging; he saw between him and all he loved, a barrier which
time only could remove; he dared not hope that Emmeline would ever be
induced to break an engagement which she considered as binding; he dared
not flatter himself with the most distant prospect of procuring the
consent of Lord and Lady Montreville, and therefore by their deaths only
could he obtain her; which if he had been unnatural enough to wish, was
yet in all probability very distant; as Lord Montreville was not more
than seven and forty, and of an excellent constitution; and Lady
Montreville three years younger.

Passion and resentment for some moments stifled every other sentiment in
the heart of Delamere. But the impediments that thus arose to his wishes
were very far from diminishing their violence.

The more impossible his union with Emmeline seemed to be, the more
ardently he desired it. The difficulties that might have checked, or
conquered an inferior degree of passion, served only to strengthen his,
and to render it insurmountable--

It was some moments before Emmeline could prevail upon him to listen to
her. She then enquired why he had concealed himself from his father, and
where he had been?

He answered, that he had avoided Lord Montreville, because, had he met
him, he found himself incapable of commanding his temper and of
forbearing to resent his sending Sir Richard Crofts to her, which he had
promised her not to do. That therefore he had taken other lodgings in
another part of the town, where he intended to remain.

Emmeline exhorted and implored him to return to Berkley-square. He
positively refused. He refused also to tell her where he lodged. And
complaining loudly of her cruelty and coldness, yet tenderly entreating
her to take care of her health, he left her; having first procured
permission to see her the next day, and every day till she set out for
Woodfield.

When he was gone, Miss Mowbray wrote to Lord Montreville--


    'My Lord,

    'In pursuance of the word I passed to your Lordship, I have the
  honour to acquaint you that Mr. Delamere has just left me. I
  endeavoured to prevail on him to inform me where he lodges; but he
  refuses to give me the least information. If it be your Lordship's
  wish to see him, you will probably have an opportunity of doing it
  here, as he proposed being here to-morrow; but refused to name the
  hour, apprehending perhaps that you might meet him, as I did not
  conceal from him that I should acquaint you with my having seen him.

                                      I have the honour to be,
                                                        my Lord,
                                                   your Lordship's
                                              most obedient servant,
                                                    EMMELINE MOWBRAY.'
  _Clapham, Dec. 3._


Lord Montreville received this letter in her Ladyship's dressing-room.
The servant who brought it in, said it came from Clapham; and Lady
Montreville insisted on seeing its contents. She had been before
acquainted with what had passed; and bestowed on her son the severest
invectives for his obstinacy and folly. Poor Emmeline however, who was
the cause of it, was the principal object of her resentment and disdain.
Even this last instance of her rectitude, could not diminish the
prejudice which embittered the mind of Lady Montreville against her. She
lamented, whenever she deigned to speak of her, that the laws of this
country, unlike those of better regulated kingdoms, did not give people
of fashion power to remove effectually those who interfered with their
happiness, or were inimical to their views. 'If this little wretch,'
said she, 'was in France, it would not be difficult to put an end to the
trouble she has dared to give us. A _letter de cachet_ would cure the
creature of her presumption, and place her where her art and affectation
should not disturb the peace of families of high rank.'

Lord Montreville heard these invectives without reply, but not without
pain.

Augusta Delamere, who arrived in Berkley-square the same morning that
Lady Montreville did, felt still more hurt by her mother's determined
hatred to Emmeline, whom she languished to see, and had never ceased to
love.

Miss Delamere inheriting all the pride of her mother, and adding to it a
sufficient share of vanity and affectation of her own, had taken a
dislike to the persecuted Emmeline, if possible more inveterate than
that of Lady Montreville. Tho' she had never seen her, she detested her;
and exerted all her influence on her mother to prevent her being
received into the family as her father's relation. Fitz-Edward had
praised her as the most interesting woman he had ever seen. Miss
Delamere had no aversion to Fitz-Edward; and tho' he had never seemed
sensible of the honour she did him, she could not divest herself wholly
of that partiality towards him, which made her heartily abhor any woman
he seemed to admire. When to this cause of dislike was added, what she
called the insolent presumption of the animal in daring to attempt
inveigling _her_ brother into the folly of marrying, she thought she
might indulge all the rancour, envy, and malignity of her heart.

When Lady Montreville had read the letter, she threw it down on the
table contemptuously.

'It requires no answer,' said she to the servant who waited.

The man left the room.

'Well, my Lord,' continued she, addressing herself to her husband, 'what
do you intend to do about this unhappy, infatuated boy?'

'I really know not,' answered his Lordship.

'I will tell you then,' resumed she--'Go to this girl, and let her know
that you will abandon her pennyless; force her to accept the honour Mr.
Rochely offers her; and, by shewing a little strength of mind and
resolution, break these unworthy chains with which your own want of
prudence has fettered your son.'

'It has already been tried, Madam, without success. Consider that if I
am bound by no obligations to support this young person, I am also
without any power over her. To force her to marry Mr. Rochely is
impossible. I have however her promise that she will not enter into any
clandestine engagement with Delamere.'

'Her promise!' exclaimed Lady Montreville.--'And are you weak enough, my
Lord, to trust to the promise of an artful, designing creature, who
seems to me to have already won over your Lordship to her party? What
want of common sense is this! If you will not again speak to her, and
that most decisively, I will do it myself! Send her to me! I will force
her not only to tell me where Delamere has had the meanness to conceal
himself, but also oblige her to relinquish the hopes she has the
insolence to indulge.'

Miss Delamere, who wanted to see the wonderful creature that had turned
her brother's head, and who was charmed to think she should see her
humbled and mortified, promoted this plan as much as possible. Augusta,
dreading her brother's violence, dared not, and Lord Montreville would
not oppose it, as he believed her Ladyship's overwhelming rhetoric, to
which he was himself frequently accustomed to give way, might produce on
Emmeline the effect he had vainly attempted. He therefore asked Lady
Montreville, whether she really wished to see Miss Mowbray, and when?

'I am engaged to-morrow,' answered she, 'all day. But however, as she is
a sort of person whom it will be improper to admit at any other time,
let her be here at ten o'clock in the morning. She may come up, before I
breakfast, into my dressing-room.'

'Shall I send one of the carriages for her?' enquired his Lordship.

'By no means,' replied the Lady. 'They will be all wanted. Let her
borrow a coach of the people she lives with. I suppose all city people
now keep coaches. Or if she cannot do that, a hack may be had.' Then
turning to her woman, who had just brought her her snuff-box,
'Brackley,' said she, 'don't forget to order the porter to admit a
young woman who will be here to-morrow, at ten o'clock; tho' she may
perhaps come in a hack.'

Lord Montreville, who grew every hour more uneasy at Delamere's absence,
now set out in search of him himself. He called at Fitz-Edward's
lodgings; but he was not yet come to town, tho' hourly expected. His
Lordship then went to Clapham, where he hoped to meet his son; but
instead of doing so, Emmeline put into his hands the following letter--


    'I intended to have seen you again to-day; but the pain I felt
  after our interview yesterday, has so much disordered me, that it
  is better not to repeat it. Cruel Emmeline!--to gratify my father
  you throw me from you without remorse, without pity. I shall be the
  victim of his ambition, and of your false and mistaken ideas of
  honour.

    'Ah! Emmeline! will the satisfaction that you fancy will arise
  from this chimerical honour make you amends for the loss of such an
  heart as mine! Yet think not I can withdraw it from you, cold and
  cruel as you are. Alas! it is no longer in my power. But my
  passions, the violence of which I cannot mitigate, prey on my frame,
  and will conduct to the grave, this unhappy son, who is to be
  sacrificed to the cursed politics of his family.

    'I cannot see you, Emmeline, without a renewal of all those
  sensations which tear me to pieces, and which I know affect you,
  though you try to conceal it. For a day or two I will go into the
  country. _Remember your promise_ not to remove any where but to Mrs.
  Stafford's; and to let me know the day and hour when you set out.
  You plead to me, that your promise to my father is _sacred_. I
  expect that those you have passed to me shall be at least equally
  so. Farewel! till we meet again. You know that seeing you, and being
  permitted to love you, is all that renders supportable the existence
  of your unhappy

                                                                 F. D.'


'This letter, my Lord,' said Emmeline, was delivered by a porter. I
spoke to the man, and asked him from whence he brought it? He said from
a coffee-house at Charing-cross.'

'Did you answer it?'

'No, my Lord,' said Emmeline, blushing; 'I think it required no
answer.'

He then told her that Lady Montreville expected to see her the next day;
and named the hour.

Emmeline, terrified as she was at the idea of such an interview, was
forced to assure him she would be punctual to it; and his Lordship took
an hasty leave, still hoping he might meet his son. He was hardly gone,
before another porter brought to Emmeline a second letter: it was from
Augusta Delamere.


    'At length, my dear Emmeline, I am near you, and can tell you I
  still love you; tho' even that satisfaction I am forced to snatch
  unknown to my mother. Oh, Emmeline! I tremble for your situation
  to-morrow. The dislike that both my mother and sister have taken to
  you, is inconceivable; and I am afraid that you will have a great
  deal of rudeness and unkindness to encounter. I write this to
  prepare you for it; and hope that your conscious innocence, and the
  generosity with which you have acted, will support you. I have been
  taken to task most severely by my mother for my partiality to you;
  and my sister, in her contemptuous way, calls you my sweet
  sentimental friend. To be sure my brother's absence is a dreadful
  thing; and great allowances are to be made for my mother's
  vexation; tho' I own I do not see why it should prevent her being
  just. I will try to be in the room to-morrow, tho' perhaps I shall
  not be permitted. Don't say you have heard from me, for the world;
  but be assured I shall always love you as you deserve, and be most
  truly

                                    your affectionate and faithful,
                                                        A. DELAMERE.'

  _Berkley-square, Dec. 5._



CHAPTER II


Emmeline had the convenience of Mrs. Ashwood's carriage, who agreed to
set her down in Berkley-square. She was herself sitting for her picture;
and told Miss Mowbray she would send the chariot back for her when she
got to the house of the painter.

Exactly at ten o'clock they arrived at the door of Lord Montreville; and
Emmeline, who had been arguing herself into some degree of resolution as
she went along, yet found her courage much less than she thought she
should have occasion for; and with faultering steps and trembling nerves
she went up stairs. The man who conducted her, told her that his Lady
was not yet up, and desired her to wait in an anti-room, which was
superbly furnished and covered with glasses, in which Emmeline had
leisure to contemplate her pale and affrighted countenance.

The longer the interview was delayed the more dreadful it appeared. She
dared not ask for Miss Augusta; yet, at every noise she heard, hoped
that amiable girl was coming to console and befriend her. But no Augusta
appeared. A servant came in, mended the fire, and went down again; then
Miss Delamere's maid, under pretence of fetching something, took a
survey of her in order to make a report to her mistress; and Emmeline
found that she was an object of curiosity to the domesticks, who had
heard from Millefleur, and from the other servants who had been at
Swansea, that this was the young woman Mr. Delamere was dying for.

An hour and a half was now elapsed; and poor Emmeline, whose imagination
had been busied the whole time in representing every form of insult and
contempt with which she expected to be received, began to hope that Lady
Montreville had altered her intention of seeing her.

At length, however, Mrs. Brackley, her Ladyship's woman, was heard
speaking aloud to a footman--Walter, tell that young woman she may be
admitted to see my Lady, and shew her up.

Walter delivered his message; and the trembling Emmeline with some
difficulty followed him.

She entered the dressing-room. Her Ladyship, in a morning dress, sat at
a table, on which was a salver with coffee. Her back was to the door,
where stood Mrs. Brackley; who, as Emmeline, hesitating, seemed ready to
shrink back, said, with a sort of condescending nod, 'There, you may go
in, Miss.'

Emmeline entered; but did not advance.

Lady Montreville, without rising or speaking, turned her head, and
looked at her with a scowling and disdainful countenance.

'Humph!' said she, looking at her eldest daughter, who sat by the fire
with a newspaper in her hand--'humph!' as much as to say, I see no such
great beauty in this creature.

Miss Delamere, whose countenance wore a sort of disdainful sneer,
smiled in answer to her mother's humph! and said, 'Would you have her
sit down, Madam?'

'Aye,' said Lady Montreville, turning again her head towards
Emmeline--'You may sit down.'

There was a sofa near the door. Emmeline, hardly able to stand, went to
it.

A silence ensued. Lady Montreville sipped her coffee; and Miss Delamere
seemed intent upon the newspaper.

'So!' cried her Ladyship, 'my son has absented himself! Upon my word,
Miss What-d'ye-call-it, (for Mowbray I don't allow that your name is)
you have a great deal to answer for. Pray what amends can you ever hope
to make to my Lord, and me, for the trouble you have been the cause of?'

'I sincerely lament it, Madam,' answered Emmeline, forcing herself to
speak; 'and do assure you it has been on my part involuntary.'

'Oh, no doubt on't. Your wonderful beauty is the fatal cause. You have
used no art, I dare say; no pretty finesse, learned from novels, to
inveigle a silly boy to his undoing.'

'If I had been disposed, Madam, to take advantage of Mr. Delamere's
unhappy partiality for me--'

'Oh dear! What you was coy? You knew your subject, no doubt, and now
make a merit of what was merely a piece of art. I detest such demure
hypocrites! Tell me,--why, if you are _not_ disposed to take advantage
of Mr. Delamere's folly, you do not accept the noble offer made you by
this banker, or whatever he is, that my Lord says is worth above an
hundred thousand pounds? The reason is evident. A little obscure
creature, bred on the Welch mountains, and who was born nobody knows
how, does not so easily refuse a man of fortune unless she has some
other views. You would like a handsome young man with a title! Yes! you
would like to hide your own obscurity in the brilliant pedigree of one
of the first families in Europe. But know, presumptuous girl, that the
whole house shall perish ere it shall thus be contaminated--know'----
She grew inarticulate with passion; pride and malignity seemed to choak
her; and she stopped, as if to recover breath to give vent to her rage.

Miss Delamere took the opportunity to speak--

'Indeed, child,' said she, 'it is hurting yourself extremely; and I am
really sorry you should be so deceived. _My_ brother can never marry
_you_; and as Lord Montreville has brought you up, under the notion of
your belonging to a part of his family, we are really interested, my
mother and I, in your not going into a bad course of life. If you do not
marry this rich city-man, what do you think is to become of you?'

'My Lord Montreville has been so good as to assure me,' said
Emmeline--her words were so faint, that they died away upon her lips.

'What does she say, Fanny?' asked Lady Montreville.

'Something of my father's having assured her, Madam.'

'Don't flatter yourself, girl,' resumed her Ladyship, 'don't deceive
yourself. If you refuse to marry this man who offers to take you, not
one shilling shall you ever receive from this family; determine
therefore at once; send to the person in question; let him come here,
and let an agreement for a settlement be directly signed between Lord
Montreville and him. Lord Montreville will in that case give you a
fortune. I will hear no objection! I _will_ have the affair closed this
morning! I _will_ have it so!'

Lady Montreville, accustomed to undisputed power in her own family,
expected from every body an acquiescence as blind as she found from her
tradesmen and servants, who endured her ill-humour and gave way to her
caprices. But she forgot that Emmeline was equally unaccustomed to her
commands, and free from the necessity of obeying them. The gentlest and
mildest temper will revolt against insolence and oppression: and the
cruelty and unfeminine insults she had received, concluded by this
peremptory way of forcing her into a marriage from which her whole soul
recoiled, at length restored to her some portion of that proper spirit
and presence of mind which had been frightened from her. Conscious that
she deserved none of these ungenerous insults, and feeling herself
superior to her who could cruelly and wantonly inflict them, she
regained her courage.

'If your Ladyship has nothing more to say,' said she, rising, 'I shall
have the honour to wish you a good morning; for I believe Mrs. Ashwood
has been waiting for me some time.'

'Don't tell me of Mrs. Ashwood--but tell me where is my son? Where is
Delamere?'

'I know not,' answered Emmeline. 'I have already told my Lord
Montreville that I am entirely ignorant.'

'Nobody believes it!' said Miss Delamere.

'I am sorry for it,' replied Emmeline, coolly. 'If, however, I did know,
it is not such treatment, Madam, that should compel me to give any
information.' She then opened the door and walked down stairs. A footman
met her, whom she desired to enquire for Mrs. Ashwood's carriage. Before
the man could descend to obey her, a violent ringing was heard. The
footman said it was his Lady's bell, and ran up to answer it; while
Emmeline still descending, heard somebody softly calling her. She looked
up, and saw Augusta Delamere leaning over the bannisters; she put up her
finger as if to prevent Emmeline's speaking, threw her a letter, and
immediately disappeared.

The spirits of Emmeline were again greatly hurried by this transient
view of her friend. She put the letter hastily into her pocket, and was
got down into the hall, where she spoke to another footman to see for
her carriage; but the man whom she had met on the stairs, now came to
say his Lady must see her again. Emmeline answered that she had already
made her friend wait, and must beg to be excused returning to her
Ladyship this morning. The man however said, that he dared not disobey
his Lady, nor call up the chariot.

Emmeline, alarmed at the idea of being detained, advanced towards the
door, told the porter (who had not heard this dialogue,) to open it, and
walked resolutely into the street.

The two footmen followed her to the door; but contented themselves with
looking after her, without attempting to stop her.

'She is pretty enough, however,' said one to the other, 'to excuse our
young Lord.'

'The devil's in't if she is not,' answered the other.

Emmeline heard this; and between vexation at their impertinence, and
fear of their following her, she found her whole strength again forsake
her.

She walked on however towards Charles-street, looking round for Mrs.
Ashwood's carriage, but could not see it. She was totally unacquainted
with the streets, where she had never been on foot before; but
recollected that she might get an hackney-coach, which was the more
necessary, as snow was falling fast, and her muslin cloaths were already
wet almost through.

She was picking her way, still in some hopes of seeing the carriage,
when an hackney-coach passed empty. Emmeline looked wishfully towards
it. The man stopped, and asked if she wanted a coach? She answered yes,
as eagerly as if she had been afraid of a disappointment; and hurrying
into it, told the man to drive to Clapham.

Just as he was mounting the box, another hack passed, and a young
officer who was in it looked earnestly into that where Emmeline sat;
then calling to his driver to stop, he leaped out, and Emmeline saw
Fitz-Edward at the door of her coach.

'Miss Mowbray!' said he--'Is it possible! alone and in this equipage, in
Berkley-square! Where is Delamere?'

Before Emmeline had time to answer him he had opened the coach door.

'It snows too much,' said he, 'for a comfortable conference, unless you
will give me leave to sit by you; where are you going to?'

'To Clapham,' answered Emmeline.

'Oh! take me with you,' said he. 'I have a thousand things to say to
you.'

He gave her no time to refuse: but flinging half a crown to the man who
had driven him, he got into the coach which she was in, and ordered the
man to shut the door and go where he had been directed.

Emmeline was vexed at this incident, as she was too uneasy to wish for
the presence of any one, and impatient to open the letter in her pocket.
But Fitz-Edward was not easily discouraged; and possessed, together with
perfect good breeding, a fortunate sort of assurance with which nobody
was ever long displeased.

He enquired after Mrs. Stafford with a degree of interest for which
Emmeline felt inclined to love him. She related all she knew of her; and
her eyes reassumed their lustre, while she told him how soon she was
likely to see her. He then renewed his questions about Delamere.

Emmeline could not dissemble; and indeed saw in this case no reason why
she should. She therefore told him ingenuously all that had happened
since they met at Swansea; most of which he already knew from Delamere.
He watched her looks however while she was speaking; and by her blushes,
her manner, and the softness of her eyes, he thought he saw evidently
enough that Delamere was no longer indifferent to her. Her indignation
at the treatment she had just received from his mother and sister, dyed
her cheeks with crimson while she related it; but when she returned to
speak of Delamere, she forgot her anger, and seemed to feel only pity
and tenderness.

Fitz-Edward, a most perfect judge of female hearts, made his
observations on all this, with which he knew he should most effectually
gratify his friend; and in his insinuating way, he said all he could
think of to encrease her compassion for her lover, and inflame her
resentment against those who impeded a union, which he was pretty sure
Emmeline now wished for, as well as Delamere.



CHAPTER III


When they arrived at Clapham, Emmeline found Mrs. Ashwood was not yet
returned. Fitz-Edward entreated her to sing to him; and either was, or
pretended to be, in raptures at her improvement since they had met in
the summer.

About half an hour after four, Mrs. Ashwood came in; and throwing open
the parlour door, asked Emmeline, in no very sweet accent, 'Why she had
given her the trouble to go in her carriage to Berkley-square, if she
intended going home by any other conveyance?'

Mrs. Ashwood was subject to causeless fits of ill-humour, to which
Emmeline was a good deal accustomed; and concluding she was now seized
with some sudden discomposure of temper, mildly answered, 'That she
supposed there had been a mistake; for that the chariot did not come for
her at the appointed time.'

'Mistake!' replied the other lady, sharply; 'I don't know as to mistake;
but if you had chosen it, you might have staid dinner with Lady
Montreville.'

Emmeline, without seeming to attend to the asperity of the address,
desired to introduce Colonel Fitz-Edward.

As this short dialogue had passed without Mrs. Ashwood's having entered
the room, she had not seen the stranger, who now advanced towards her.

The title of Colonel, added to his military air and handsome figure,
seemed to gain at once her favourable opinion; and her countenance
losing the unpleasing expression of ill-temper, immediately put on its
best smile, and an affectation of softness and complacency with which
she frequently adorned it.

She seemed to consider the handsome young soldier as a conquest worthy
all her ambition; and finding he was the most intimate friend of
Delamere, had no apprehension that his admiration would be diverted by
the youth and attractions of Emmeline.

Fitz-Edward presently understood her character; and with admirable
adroitness acted the part of a man afraid of being too much charmed. He
cast an arch look at Emmeline; then made to the Lady of the house some
compliments so extravagant, that only the weakest vanity could prevent
her seeing its ridicule. But Fitz-Edward, who found in a moment that
nothing was too gross to be believed, fearlessly repeated the dose; and
before dinner came in, she was in the best humour imaginable, and
pressed him so earnestly to partake of it, that, after an apology for
sitting down in his morning dishabille, he consented.

The same unlimited flattery was continued during dinner by Fitz-Edward,
and received by the lady with the same avidity; and Emmeline, tho'
half-angry with him for the pleasure he seemed to take in making Mrs.
Ashwood absurd, could not help being amused with the scene.

Before their repast ended, she was so much charmed with her new
acquaintance, and so much longed to shew him to her female friends, and
her other admirers, that she could not forbear pressing him to stay to a
card party, which she was to have in the evening.

He loved the ridiculous; and, influenced by a vanity as silly as that he
delighted to expose, he took pleasure in shewing how extremely absurd he
could make women appear, who were not on other occasions void of
understanding. Tho' he had really business with Lord Montreville, who
had left several messages at his lodgings desiring to see him, and was
going thither when Emmeline met him, yet he accepted Mrs. Ashwood's
invitation, on condition of being allowed to go home to dress.

He was no sooner gone than she flew to her toilet, and Emmeline to a
second perusal of the letter she had received from Augusta Delamere.


    'I am forbidden to see you, my dearest Emmeline; and perhaps may
  not have an opportunity of giving you this. My heart bleeds for
  you, my sweet friend. I fear my father will be prevailed upon
  wholly to abandon you. They are all inventing schemes to force you
  into a marriage with that odd-looking old Rochely. He has been here
  once or twice, and closetted with my father; and part
  of the scheme of to-day is, to persuade you to dine here with
  him. But I am almost sure you will not stay; for unless my mother
  can command herself more before you than she does when she is
  talking about you, I think you will be frightened away. I am
  certain, my dear Emmeline, from what I have heard, tho' they say
  but little before me, that no endeavours will be omitted to drive
  you to marry Rochely; and that they will persecute you every way,
  both by persuasions, and by distressing you. But be assured, that
  while Augusta Delamere has any thing, you shall share it. Indeed I
  love you, not only as if you were my sister, but, I think, better.
  Ah! why are there such unhappy impediments to your being really so?
  At present I foresee nothing but perplexity; and have no dependance
  but on you. I know you will act as you ought to do; and that you
  will at last prevail with Delamere to act right too. Whoever loves
  you, cannot long persist in doing ill; and surely it is very ill
  done, and very cruel, for Delamere to make us all so unhappy. I
  need not tell you to arm yourself with fortitude against the
  attacks that will be made upon you. You have more fortitude and
  resolution than I have. Situated as you have been, I know not what
  _I_ should have done; but I fear it would not have been so worthy
  of praise as the noble and disinterested part you have acted;
  which, tho' unaccompanied with the thousand amiable qualities of
  heart and understanding you possess, would ever command the esteem
  and admiration of your faithful and affectionate

                                                    AUGUSTA DELAMERE.'

    'Do not write to me till you hear from me again; as I should incur
  great displeasure if known to correspond with you.

                                                                A. D.'


Charmed as Emmeline was by the tender solicitude and affectionate
simplicity of her beloved friend, the pleasure this letter gave her was
very much abated by learning that the domestic infelicity of Lord
Montreville's family fell particularly heavy on her. She now recollected
what Mrs. Ashwood had said on her first entrance into the room, when she
returned home; and concluded from thence that she had seen Lady
Montreville, tho' her whole attention was so immediately engrossed by
the Colonel, that she had no more named it. She therefore grew anxious
to hear what had been said; and her own toilet being very soon over, she
sent to desire admittance to that of Mrs. Ashwood; on receiving which,
she attended her, and begged to know whether she had seen Lady
Montreville, and what had passed?

Mrs. Ashwood was in so happy a disposition, that she hesitated not to
oblige her; and while she finished the important business of
accommodating a pile of black feathers, jet and crape, upon her head,
'the mockery of woe' which she did not even affect to feel, she gave
Emmeline the following account, interlarded with directions to her
woman.

'Why, my dear, you must know that when I got to Gainsborough's [_more to
the left_] he had unluckily a frightful old judge, or a bishop, or some
tedious old man with him, and I was forced to wait: I cannot tell what
possessed me, but I entirely forgot that I was to send the chariot back
for you. So the chariot [_put it a little forwarder_] staid. I thought
the tiresome man, whoever he was, would never have gone; however he went
at last [_raise the lower curl_] and then I _sot_. You cannot think how
much the likeness is improved! So when I had done [_give me the scraper;
here is some powder on my eye-brow_] I went away, thinking to call on
you; but as I went by Butler's, I remembered that I wanted some
pearl-coloured twist to finish the purse I am doing for Hanbury. I was
almost an hour matching it. Well, then I thought as I was so near
Frivolité's door, I might as well call and see whether she had put the
trimming on the white bombazeen, as you know we agreed would be most the
thing. There were a thousand people in the house; you know there is
never any possibility of getting out of that creature's room under an
hour.' [Oh! heaven! thought Emmeline, nor is there any end to the
importance you affix to trifles which interest nobody else.] 'So,
however, at last I got to Berkley-square, and stopped at the door. The
man at the door said you was gone. I thought that very odd, and desired
another servant go up and see, for I concluded it was some mistake.
After a moment or two, the footman came down again, and said if I was
the Lady Miss Mowbray lived with, his Lady desired I would walk up. Upon
my word it is a noble house! When I got into the room, there was Lady
Montreville and her daughters. Her Ladyship was extremely polite,
indeed; and after some discourse, "Mrs. Ashwood," said she, "you know
Miss Mowbray's situation: I assure you I sent for her to-day with no
other view in the world but for her own good, and you know, [_dear me!
here is a pimple on my chin that is quite hideous; give me a patch._]
you know that for her to refuse Mr. Rochely is being absolutely blind to
her own interest; because you must suppose, Mrs. Ashwood, that she is
only deceiving herself when she entertains any thoughts of my son; for
that is a thing that never can happen, nor ever shall happen; and
besides, to give my Lord and me all this trouble, is a very ungrateful
return to us for having brought her up, and many other obligations she
has received at our hands; and will be the ruin of herself; and the
greatest perverseness in the world. You, Mrs. Ashwood, are, I hear, a
very sensible woman [_where is the rouge box?_] and I dare say, now you
know how agreeable it would be to me and my Lord to have Miss Emmeline
come to her senses about Mr. Rochely, you will do your endeavours to
persuade her to act reasonably; and then, tho' she has behaved very
disrespectful and very ill, which is only to be forgiven on account of
her knowing no better, I shall countenance her, and so will my Lord."
This was, as near as I remember, Emmeline, what my Lady said to me. You
know [_the milk of roses is almost out_] you know I could not refuse to
tell her I would certainly talk to you. I was surprised to find her
Ladyship so obliging and affable, as you had told me she is reckoned so
very proud. She ordered her gentleman to give me a ticket for a rout and
a supper her Ladyship gives on Tuesday three weeks; and she said, that
as she did not doubt but that you would discover your own interest by
that time, I should take one for you. Look you, here it is.'

'I shall be in Dorsetshire, I hope, long before Tuesday se'nnight,' said
Emmeline, laying the card coolly on the toilet. She found Mrs. Ashwood
had nothing more material to say; and being apprehensive that she
impeded the last finish which her dress and person required, she thanked
her, and went back into her own room.

The eagerness and resolution with which Lady Montreville opposed her
son's marriage, appeared from nothing more evidently, than from her thus
endeavouring to solicit the assistance of Mrs. Ashwood, and humbling
herself to use flattery and insinuation towards a person to whom it is
probable nothing else could have induced her to speak. With persons in
trade, or their connections, or even with gentlemen, unless of very
ancient and honourable families, she seldom deigned to hold any
communication; and if she had occasion to speak to them individually, it
was generally under the appellation of 'Mr. or Mrs. I forget the name;'
for to remember the particular distinctions of such inferior beings, was
a task too heavy for Right Honourable intellects. When she spoke of such
collectively, it was under the denomination of 'the people, or the
folks.'

With that sort of condescension that seems to say, 'I will humble myself
to your level,' and which is in fact more insolent than the most
offensive haughtiness, her Ladyship had behaved to Mrs. Ashwood; who
took it for extreme politeness, and was charmed on any terms to obtain
admission to the house of a woman of such high fashion, and who was
known to be so very nice in the choice of her company.

In return for so much favour, she had been lavish of her assurances that
she would influence Miss Mowbray; and came home, fully determined to
talk to her sharply; believing too, that to make her feel the present
dependance and uncertainty of her situation by forcing her to bear a fit
of ill-humour, might help to determine her to embrace the affluent
fortune that would set her above it. This it was that occasioned her
harsh address to Emmeline; which would have been followed by acrimonious
reflections and rude remonstrances, under the denomination of 'necessary
truths and friendly advice,' had not the presence of Fitz-Edward, and
his subsequent enchanting conversation, driven all that Lady Montreville
had said out of her mind, and left it open only to the delightful
prospect which his compliments and praises afforded her.

The company assembled to cards at the usual hour. Rochely was among
them; who had not seen Emmeline since the rejection of his proposal,
with which Sir Richard Crofts was obliged to acquaint him, tho' he had
softened the peremptory terms in which it had been given. He had this
evening adorned himself in a superb suit of cut velvet of many colours,
lined with sables; which tho' not in the very newest mode, had been
reckoned very magnificent at several city assemblies; and he had put it
on as well in honour of Lord Montreville, with whom he had dined, as in
hopes of moving the perverse beauty for whom he languished. But so far
was this display of clumsy affluence from having any effect on the hard
heart of Emmeline, that it rather excited her mirth. And when with a
grave and solemn aspect he advanced towards her, she felt herself so
much disposed to laugh at his figure, that she was forced to avoid him,
and took refuge at the table, round which the younger part of the
company assembled to play.

Mrs. Ashwood had fixed Fitz-Edward to that where she herself presided;
and where she sat triumphantly enjoying his high-seasoned flattery;
while her female competitors, hearing he was the son of an Irish Earl,
and within three of being a Peer himself, contemplated her supposed
conquest with envy and vexation, which they could not conceal, and which
greatly added to her satisfaction.

Several persons were invited to stay supper; among whom were Fitz-Edward
and Rochely. About half an hour before the card-tables broke up, a
servant brought a note to Emmeline, and told her that it required an
answer. The hand was Delamere's.


    'For two days I have forborne to see you, Emmeline, and have
  endeavoured to argue myself into a calmer state of mind; but it
  avails nothing; hopeless when with you, yet wretched without you, I
  see no end to my sufferings. I have been about the door all the
  evening; but find, by the carriages, that you are surrounded by
  fools and coxcombs. Ah! Emmeline! that time you owe only to me;
  those smiles to which only I have a right, are lavished on them;
  and I am left to darkness and despair.

    'There is a door from the garden into the stable-yard, which opens
  into the fields. As I cannot come to the house (where I find there
  are people who would inform Lord Montreville that I am still about
  London,) for pity's sake come down to that door and speak to me. I
  ask only _one_ moment; surely you will not deny me so small a
  favour, and add to the anguish which consumes me. I write this from
  the neighbouring public-house, and wait your answer.

                                                         F. DELAMERE.'


Emmeline shuddered at this note. It was more incoherent than usual, and
seemed to be written with a trembling and uncertain hand. She had left
the card-table to read it, and was alone in the anti-room; where, while
she hesitated over it, Rochely, whose eyes were ever in search of her,
followed her. She saw him not: but wholly occupied by the purport of the
note, he approached close to her unheeded.

'Are you determined, Miss Mowbray,' said he, 'to give me no other answer
than you sent somewhat hastily to Lord Montreville, by my friend Sir
Richard Crofts? May I ask, are you quite determined?'

'Quite, Sir!' replied she, starting, without considering and hardly
knowing what she said; but feeling he was at that moment more odious to
her than ever, she snatched away the hand he attempted to take, and flew
out of the room like a lapwing.

The dismayed lover shook his head, surveyed his cut velvet in the glass,
and stroaked his point ruffles, while he was trying to recollect his
scattered ideas.

Emmeline, who had taken refuge in her bed-chamber, sat there in
breathless uncertainty, and unable to determine what to do about
Delamere. At length, she concluded on desiring Fitz-Edward to go down to
him; but knew not how to speak to the colonel on such a subject before
so many witnesses, nor did she like to send for him out of the room. She
rung for a candle, and wrote on a slip of paper.

'Delamere is waiting at a door which opens into the fields, and insists
upon speaking to me. Pray go down to him, and endeavour to prevail on
him to return to his father. I can think of no other expedient to
prevent his engaging in some rash and improper attempt; therefore I
beseech you to go down.'

When she had written this, she knew not how to deliver it; and for the
first time in her life had recourse to an expedient which bore the
appearance of art and dissimulation. She did not chuse to send it to
Fitz-Edward by a servant; but went down with it herself; and approaching
the table where he was settling his winnings--

'Here, colonel,' said she, 'is the _charade_ you desired me to write out
for you.'

'Oh! read it colonel; pray read it;' cried Mrs. Ashwood, 'I doat upon a
_charade_ of all things in nature.'

He answered, that 'he would reserve it for a _bon bouche_ after supper.'
Then looking significantly at Emmeline, to say he understood and would
oblige her, he strolled into the anti-room; Emmeline saying to him, as
he passed her, that she would wait his return in the parlour below.

Fitz-Edward disappeared; and Emmeline, in hopes of escaping observation,
joined the party of some young ladies who were playing at a large table,
and affected to enter into their conversation. But she really knew
nothing that was passing; and as soon as they rose on finishing their
game, she escaped in the bustle, and ran down into the parlour, where in
five or six minutes Fitz-Edward found her.

He wore a look of great concern; and laid down his hat as he came in,
without seeming to know what he did.

'Have you seen Mr. Delamere, Sir?' said Emmeline.

'Seen him!' answered he; 'I have seen him; but to no manner of purpose;
his intellects are certainly deranged; he raves like a madman, and
absolutely refuses to leave the place till he has spoken to you.'

'Why will he not come in, then?' said Emmeline.

'Because,' said Fitz-Edward, 'Rochely is here, who will relate it to
that meddling fellow, Sir Richard Crofts, and by that means it will get
to his father. I said every thing likely to prevail on him to be more
calm; but he will hear nothing. I know not what to do,' continued he,
rising, and walking about the room. 'I am convinced he has something in
his head of fatal consequence to himself. He protests he will stay all
night where he is. In short, he is in an absolute frenzy with the idea
of Rochely's success and his own despair.'

'You frighten me to death,' said Emmeline. 'Tell me, colonel, what ought
I to do?'

'Go to him,' returned Fitz-Edward; 'speak to him only a moment, and I am
persuaded he will be calm. I will go with you; and then there can be
nothing wrong in it.'

'I _will_ go, then,' said she, rising and giving Fitz-Edward her hand,
which trembled extremely.

'But it is very cold,' remarked he: 'had not you better take a cloak?'

'There is my long _pelisse_ in the back parlour,' answered she.

Fitz-Edward fetched it, wrapt her in it, and led her down stairs; and by
a garden door, they reached a sort of back stable-yard, where rubbish
and stable-litter was usually thrown, and which opened into a bye-lane,
where the garden-wall formed a sudden angle. Delamere received her with
transport, which he tried to check; and reproached her for refusing to
come down to him.

Seizing the opportunity, as soon as he would give her leave to speak,
she very forcibly represented to him the distress of his family at his
absence, and the particular uneasiness it inflicted on his sister
Augusta.

'I knew not,' said Delamere, 'that she was come home.'

Emmeline told him she was, and related the purport of her letter, and
again besought him to put an end to the uncertainty and anxiety of his
family.

Delamere heard her with some impatience; and holding her hands in his,
vehemently answered--'It is to no purpose that my father either
threatens or persuades me. He has long known my resolution; and the
unhappiness which you so warmly describe arises solely from his and my
mother's own unreasonable and capricious prejudice--prejudice founded in
pride and avarice. I do not think myself accountable for distress to
which they may so easily put an end. But as to Augusta, who really loves
me, I will write to her to make her easy. Now Emmeline, since I have
listened to you, and answered all you have to urge, hear my final
determination--_If you_ still continue firm in your chimerical and
romantic obstinacy, which you call honour, _I_ go from hence this
evening, never to return--you condemn me to perpetual exile--you give me
up to despair!'

He called aloud, and a post-chaise and four, which had been concealed by
the projection of the wall, attended by two servants, drove round.
'There,' continued Delamere, 'there is the vehicle which I have prepared
to carry me from hence. You know whether I easily relinquish a
resolution once formed. If then you wish to save my father and mother
from the anguish of repentance when there will be no remedy--if you
desire to save from the frenzy of desperation the brother of your
Augusta, and to snatch from the extremity of wretchedness the man who
lives but to adore you, go with me--go with me to Scotland!'

Astonished and terrified at the impetuosity with which he pressed this
unexpected proposal, Emmeline would have replied, but words were a
moment wanting. Fitz-Edward taking advantage of her silence, used every
argument which Delamere had omitted, to determine her.

'No! no!' cried she--'never! never! I have passed my honour to Lord
Montreville. It is sacred--I cannot, I will not forfeit it!'

'The time will come,' said Fitz-Edward, 'believe me it will, when Lord
Montreville will not only be reconciled to you, but'----

'And what shall reconcile me to myself? Let me go back to the house, Mr.
Delamere; or from this moment I shall consider you as having taken
advantage of my unprotected state, and even of my indiscreet confidence,
to offer me the grossest outrage. Let me go, Sir!' (struggling to get
her hand from Fitz-Edward) 'Let me go! Mr. Delamere.'

'What! to be driven into the arms of Rochely? No, never, Emmeline!
never! I _know_ I am _not_ indifferent to you. I feel that I cannot live
without you; nay, by heaven I will not! But if I suffer this opportunity
to escape, I deserve indeed to lose you.'

They all this while approached the chaise. Delamere had hired servants,
whom he had instructed what to do. They were ready at the door of the
carriage. Emmeline attempted in vain to retreat. Delamere threw his arms
around her; and assisted by Fitz-Edward, lifted her into it with a sort
of gentle violence. He leaped in after her, and the chaise was driven
away instantly.

Fitz-Edward, to whom this scene was wholly unexpected, returned to the
company he had left with Mrs. Ashwood. He had not any notion of
Delamere's design when he went to him, but heartily concurred in its
execution; and tho' he did not believe Delamere intended to marry
Emmeline, yet his morals were such, that he congratulated himself on the
share he had had in putting her into his power, and went back with the
air of a man vastly satisfied with the success of his exploit.

'Goodness! colonel,' exclaimed Mrs. Ashwood, 'supper has been waiting
for you this half hour. Upon my word we began to suspect that you and
Miss Mowbray were gone together. But pray where is she?'

'Miss Mowbray, Madam! I really have not been so happy as to be of her
party.'

'Why, where in the world can she be?' continued Mrs. Ashwood. 'However,
as the colonel is come we will go to supper. [_The company were standing
round the table._] I suppose Miss Mowbray will come presently; she has a
pretty romantic notion of contemplation by moonlight.'

Supper, however, was almost over, and Miss Mowbray did not appear. Mrs.
Ashwood, engaged wholly by the gallant colonel, thought not of her; but
Rochely remarked that her absence was somewhat singular.

'So it is I declare,' said Miss Galton; 'do Mrs. Ashwood send and
enquire for her again.'

The chambers, the drawing-room, dressing-room, closets, and garden were
again searched. Miss Mowbray was not to be found! Mrs. Ashwood was
alarmed--Rochely in dismay--and the whole company confusedly broke up;
each retiring with their several conjectures on the sudden disappearance
of the fair Emmeline.



CHAPTER IV


For some moments after Emmeline found herself in the chaise,
astonishment and terror deprived her of speech and even of recollection.
While Delamere, no longer able to command his transports at having at
length as he hoped secured her, gave way to the wildest joy, and
congratulated himself that he had thus forced her to break a promise
which only injustice he said could have extorted, and only timidity and
ill-grounded prejudice have induced her to keep.

'Do you then hope, Sir,' said Emmeline, 'that I shall patiently become
the victim of your rashness? Is this the respect you have sworn ever to
observe towards me? Is this the protection you have so often told me I
should find from you? And is it thus you intend to atone for all the
insults of your family which you have so repeatedly protested you would
never forgive? by inflicting a far greater insult; by ruining my
character; by degrading me in my own eyes; and forcing me either to
violate my word solemnly given to your father, or be looked upon as a
lost and abandoned creature, undone by your inhuman art. I must now,
indeed, seem to _deserve_ your mother's anger, and the scorn of your
sister; and must be supposed every way wretched and contemptible.'

A shower of tears fell from her eyes, and her heart seemed bursting with
the pain these cruel reflections gave her.

Delamere, by all the soothing tenderness of persuasion, by all the
rhetoric of ardent passion, tried to subdue her anger, and silence her
scruples; but the more her mind dwelt on the circumstances of her
situation, the more it recoiled from the necessity of entering under
such compulsion into an indissoluble engagement. The rash violence of
the measure which had put her in Delamere's power, while it convinced
her of his passion, yet told her, that a man who would hazard every
thing for his own gratification now, would hardly hereafter submit to
any restraint; and that the bonds in which he was so eager to engage,
would with equal violence be broken, when any new face should make a
new impression, or when time had diminished the influence of those
attractions that now enchanted him.

Formed of the softer elements, and with a mind calculated for select
friendship and domestic felicity, rather than for the tumult of
fashionable life and the parade of titled magnificence, Emmeline coveted
not his rank, nor valued his riches. No woman perhaps can help having
some regard for a man, who she knows ardently and sincerely loves her;
and Emmeline had felt all that sort of weakness for Delamere; who in the
bloom of life, with fortune, title, person and talents that might have
commanded the loveliest and most affluent daughter of prosperity, had
forsaken every thing for her, and even secluded himself from the
companions of his former pleasures, and the indulgences his fortune and
rank afforded him, to pass his youth in unsuccessful endeavours to
obtain her.

The partiality this consideration gave her towards him, and the
favourable comparison she was perpetually making between him and the men
she had seen since her residence near London, had created in her bosom a
sentiment warmer perhaps than friendship; yet it was not that violent
love, which carrying every thing before it, leaves the mind no longer at
liberty to see any fault in the beloved object, or any impropriety in
whatever can secure it's success, and which, scorning future
consequences, risks every thing for it's present indulgence.

Still artless and ingenuous as when she first left the remote castle
where she had been brought up, Emmeline had not been able to conceal
this affection from Delamere. Her eyes, her manner, the circumstance of
the picture, and a thousand nameless inadvertences, had told it him
repeatedly; but now, when he seemed to have taken an ungenerous
advantage of that regard, it lost much of it's force, and resentment and
disdain succeeded.

Delamere tried to appease her by protestations of inviolable respect, of
eternal esteem, and unalterable love. But there was something of triumph
even in his humblest entreaties, that served but to encrease the anger
Emmeline felt; and she told him that the only way to convince her he had
for her those sentiments he pretended, was to carry her back immediately
to Mrs. Ashwood's, or rather to Lord Montreville, there to acknowledge
the attempt he had made, and that it's failure had been solely owing to
her determined adherence to her word.

Delamere, presuming on his ascendancy over her, attempted to interest
her passions rather than tranquillize her reason. He represented to her
how great would be her triumph when he presented her as his wife to the
imperious Lady Montreville, who had treated her with so much unmerited
scorn, and set her above the haughty Fanny Delamere, who had insulted
her with fancied superiority.

But Emmeline had in her breast none of those passions that find their
gratification in humbling an enemy. Too generous for revenge; too gentle
for premeditated resentment; she saw these circumstances in a very
different light, and felt that she should be rather mortified than
elated by being forced into a family who wished to reject her.

Sir Richard Crofts, the object of Delamere's hatred and detestation, was
the subject of those acrimonious reflections that his respect for his
father and mother prevented his throwing on them. The influence of this
man had, he said, made Lord Montreville deaf to the voice of nature, and
forgetful of his own honour; while he was plunged into the dark and
discreditable labyrinth of political intrigue, and acquired an habit of
subterfuge and duplicity unworthy a nobleman, a gentleman, or a man.

Emmeline cared nothing about Sir Richard Crofts, and could not enter
into the bitterness of his resentment towards him. Nothing he had yet
been able to urge had shaken her resolution not to become his wife, even
tho' he should oblige her to go with him into Scotland.

The ruder passions of anger and resentment had no influence over her
mind. While he argued with warmth, or ran into reproaches, Emmeline
found she had nothing to fear. But tho' he could not rouse her pride, or
awaken her dislike against his family, but rather found them recoil on
himself; he hoped in that sensibility of temper and that softness of
heart to which he owed all the attention she had ever shewn him, he
should find a sure resource. In her pity, an advocate for his fault--in
her love, an inducement not only to forgive but to reward him.

And when he pleaded for compassion and forgiveness, the heart of
Emmeline felt itself no longer invulnerable. But against this dangerous
attack she endeavoured to fortify that sensible heart, by considering
the probable event of her yielding to it.

'If I marry Delamere contrary to the consent of his family, who shall
assure me that his violent and haughty spirit will bear without anguish
and regret, that inferior and confined fortune to which his father's
displeasure will condemn him? His love, too ardent perhaps to last, will
decline; while the inconveniences of a narrow fortune will encrease; and
I, who shall be the cause of these inconveniences, shall also be the
victim. He will lament the infatuation which has estranged him from his
family, and thrown him, for some years at least, out of the rank in
which he has been used to appear; and recovered from the delirium of
love, will behold with coldness, perhaps with hatred, her to whom he
will impute his distresses. To whom can I then appeal? Not to my _own_
heart, for it will condemn me for suffering myself to be precipitated
into a measure against my judgment; nor to _his_ family, who may answer,
"thy folly be upon thine own head;" and _I_ have _no_ father, _no_
brother to console and receive me, if he should drive me from him as
impetuously as now he would force me to be his. I shall be deprived even
of the melancholy consolation of knowing I have not _deserved_ the
neglect which I fear I shall never be able to _bear_. But if my steady
refusal now, induces him to return, it is possible that Lord
Montreville, convinced at once of my adherence to the promise given him,
and of the improbability of Delamere's desisting, may consent to receive
me into his family; or if the inveterate prejudice of his wife still
prevents his doing so, I shall surely regain his confidence and esteem.
He will not refuse to consider me as his brother's daughter, and as
such, he will enable me to pass my days in easy competence with Mrs.
Stafford; a prospect infinitely preferable in my eyes to the splendid
visions offered me by Delamere, if they cannot be realized but at the
expence of truth and integrity.'

Confirmed in her determination by reflections like these, Emmeline was
able to hear, without betraying any symptoms of the emotion she felt,
the animated and passionate protestations of her lover. She assumed all
the coldness and reserve which his headlong and inconsiderate attempt
deserved. She told him that his want of respect and consideration had
forfeited all the claim he might otherwise have had to her regard and
esteem; that she certainly would quit him the moment she was able; and
that tho' she might not be fortunate enough to do so before they reached
Scotland, yet it would not be in his power to compel her to be his wife.

Delamere for some time imputed this language to sudden resentment; and
again by the humblest submissions sought to obtain her forgiveness and
to excite her pity. But having nearly exhausted her spirits by what she
had already said, she gave very little reply to his entreaties. Her
silence was however more expressive than her words. She took from him
her hand, as often as he attempted to hold it, and would not suffer him
to wipe away the tears that fell from her eyes; while to his arguments
and persuasions she coldly answered, when she answered at all, '_that
she was determined_:' and they arrived at Barnet before he had obtained
the smallest concession in his favour.

Delamere had undertaken this enterprize rather in despair, than from any
hope of it's success, since he did not believe Emmeline would come out
to him when he requested it; and had she been either alone, or only with
Mrs. Ashwood, she certainly had not done it. Chance had befriended him
in collecting a room full of company, and still more in sending Rochely
among them. His abrupt approach while she read Delamere's note, had
hurried her out of her usual presence of mind; and Fitz-Edward, whom
mere accident had brought to Mrs. Ashwood's house, and whom she had
taken with her in hopes of his influencing Delamere to return to his
father, had contributed to her involuntary error.



CHAPTER V


Delamere had taken no precaution to secure horses on the road; and it
was not till after waiting some hours that he procured four from Barnet.
When they arrived there, it was past one o'clock; and Emmeline, who had
gone thro' a very fatigueing day, and was now overcome with the terror
and alarm of being thus hastily snatched away, could hardly sit up. She
was without an hat; and having no change of cloaths, urged the
inconvenience she must endure by being forced to go a long journey so
situated. She wished to have stopped at the first stage; but Delamere
thought, that in her present temper to hesitate was to lose her. He
consented however to go for a moment into the house, where, while he
gave a servant orders to go on to Hatfield to bespeak four horses, she
drank a glass of water; and then Delamere intreating her to return to
the chaise, she complied, for there was nobody visible at the inn but
the maid and ostler; and she saw no likelihood of any assistance, had
she applied for it.

They hastened with great expedition to Stevenage; but before they
reached that place, Emmeline, who had ceased either to remonstrate or
complain, was so entirely overwhelmed and exhausted, that she could no
longer support herself.

His fears for her health now exceeded his fears for losing her, and he
determined to stop for some hours; but when she made an effort to leave
the chaise she was unable, and he was obliged to lift her out of it. He
then ordered the female servants to be called up, recommended her to
their care, and entreated her to go to bed for some hours.

Long darkness and excessive weeping had almost deprived her of sight;
her whole frame was sinking under the fatigue she had undergone both of
body and mind; and unable to struggle longer against it, she lay down in
her cloaths, desiring one of the maids to sit by her.

Delamere came to the door of the room to enquire how she did. The woman
told him what she had requested; and desiring they would obey her in
every thing, and keep her as quiet as possible, he went not to repose
himself, but to write to Fitz-Edward.


  'Dear George,

    'While my angelic Emmeline sleeps, I, who am too happy to sleep
  myself, write to desire you will go to Berkley-square and keep the
  good folks there from exposing themselves, or making a great bustle
  about what has happened, which they will soon know. As my Lord has
  long been prepossessed with the idea of a Scottish jaunt, it is very
  likely he may attempt to pursue us. Say what you will to put such
  plans out of his head. I shall be in London again, in a very short
  time. Farewell, dear George.

                                                        Your's, ever,
                                                                 F. D.'


Emmeline in the mean time fell into a sleep, but it was broken and
interrupted. Her spirits had been so thoroughly discomposed, that rest
was driven from her. She dozed a moment; then suddenly started up,
forgot where she was, and looked wildly round the room. An half-formed
recollection of the events of the preceding day then seemed to recur,
and she besought the maid who sat by her to go to Mr. Delamere and tell
him she must be directly carried to Mrs. Stafford's; and having said
this, and sighed deeply, she sunk again into short insensibility.

Thus past the remainder of the night; and before seven in the morning
Delamere was at the door, impatient to know how she had rested.

The maid admitted him, and told him, in a low voice, that the Lady was
in a quieter sleep than she had been the whole night. He softly
approached the bed, and started in terror when he saw how ill she
looked. Her cheek, robbed of it's bloom, rested on her arm, which
appeared more bloodless than her cheek; her hair, which had been dressed
without powder, had escaped from the form in which it had been adjusted,
and half concealed her face in disordered luxuriance; her lips were
pale, and her respiration short and laborious. He stood gazing on her a
moment, and then, shocked at these symptoms of indisposition, his rapid
imagination immediately magnified them all. He concluded she was dying;
and in an agony of fear, which deprived him of every other idea, he took
up in breathless apprehension her other hand, which lay on the quilt. It
was hot, and dry; and her pulse seemed rather to flutter, than to beat
against his pressure.

His moving her hand awakened her. She opened her eyes; but they had lost
their lustre, and were turned mournfully towards him.

'Delamere,' said she, in a low and tremulous voice, 'Delamere, why is
all this? I believe you have destroyed me; my head is so extremely
painful. Oh! Delamere--this is cruel!--very cruel!'

'Let me go for advice,' cried he, eagerly. 'Wretch that I am, what will
now become of me!'

He ran down stairs; and Emmeline making an effort to recover her
recollection, tried to sit up; but her head was so giddy and confused
that it was not till after several attempts she left the bed, even with
the assistance of the servant. She then drank a glass of water; and
desiring to have more air, would have gone to the window, but could only
reach a chair near it, where she sat down, and throwing her arm on a
table, rested her head upon it.

In a few moments Delamere returned up stairs. His wild looks, and quick,
half-formed questions, explained what passed in his mind.

She told him faintly she was better.

'Shall I bring up a gentleman to see you who I am assured is able in his
profession? I fear you are very ill.'

She answered, 'no!'

'Pray suffer him to come; he will give you something to relieve your
head.'

'No!'

'Do not, Emmeline--do not, I conjure you, refuse me this favour?'

He took her hand; but when he found how feverish she was, he started
away, crying--'Oh! let him, let him come!'

He ran down stairs to fetch him, and returned instantly with the
apothecary; a sensible, well-behaved man, of fifty, whose appearance
indicated feeling and judgement. He approached Emmeline, who still sat
with her head reclined on the table, and felt her pulse.

'Here is too much fever indeed, Sir,' said he; 'the young lady has been
greatly hurried.'

'But what--what is to be done, Sir?' said Delamere, eagerly interrupting
him.

'Quiet seems absolutely necessary. Pardon me, Sir; but unless I know
your situation in regard to her, I cannot possibly advise.'

'Sir,' said Emmeline, who had been silent rather from inability to
contend than from unconsciousness of what was passing round her--'if you
could prevail with Mr. Delamere to restore me to my friends'--

'Come with me, Sir,' cried Delamere; 'let me speak to you in another
room.'

When they were alone, he conjured Mr. Lawson to tell him what he thought
of the lady?

'Upon my word, Sir, she is in a very high fever, and it seems to be
occasioned by extreme perturbation of spirits and great fatigue.
Forgive, Sir, if I ask what particular circumstance has been the cause
of the uneasiness under which she appears to labour? If it is any little
love quarrel you cannot too soon adjust it.'

Delamere stopped his conjectures, by telling him who he was; and gave
him in a few words the history of their expedition.

Mr. Lawson protested to him that if she was hurried on in her present
state, it would be surprising if she survived the journey.

'She shall stay here then,' replied Delamere, 'till she recovers her
fatigue.'

'But, Sir,' enquired Mr. Lawson, 'after what you have told me of your
father, have you no apprehension of a pursuit?'

His terror at Emmeline's immediate danger had obliterated for a moment
every other fear. It now recurred with redoubled violence. He remembered
that Rochely was at Mrs. Ashwood's on the evening of Emmeline's
departure; and he knew that from him Sir Richard Crofts, and
consequently Lord Montreville, would have immediate intelligence.

He struck his hands together, exclaiming, 'She will be every way
lost!--lost irretrievably! If my father overtakes us, she will return
with him, and I shall see her no more!'

He now gave way to such unbounded passion, walking about the room, and
striking his forehead, that Lawson began to believe his intellects were
as much deranged as the frame of the fair sufferer he had left. For some
moments he attended to nothing; but Mr. Lawson, accustomed to make
allowances for the diseases of the mind as well as those of the body,
did not lose his patience; and at length persuaded him to be calmer, by
representing that he wasted in fruitless exclamation the time which
might be employed in providing against the apprehended evil.

'Good God! Sir,' cried he at length, 'what would you have me do?'

'What I would earnestly recommend, Sir, is, that you quiet the young
lady's mind by telling her you will carry her whither she desires to go;
and at present desist from this journey, which I really believe you
cannot prosecute but at the hazard of her life; at present, farther
agitation may, and probably will be fatal.'

'And so you advise me to let her stay till my father comes to tear her
from me for ever! or carry her back by the same road, where it is
probable he will meet me? Impossible! impossible!--but is she really so
very ill?'

'Upon my life she is at this moment in a high fever. Why should I
deceive you? Trust me, it would in my opinion be the height of
inhumanity to carry her into Scotland in such a situation, _if_ you love
her'----

'_If_ I love her, Sir!' cried Delamere, half frantic--'talk not of _if_
I love her! Merciful heaven!--you have no idea, Mr. Lawson, of what I
suffer at this moment!'

'I have a perfect idea of your distress, Sir; and wish I knew how to
relieve it. Give me a moment's time to consider; if indeed the young
lady could'--

'What, Sir? speak!--think of something!'

'Why I was thinking, that if she is better in a few hours, it might be
possible for you to take her to Hertford, where she may remain a day or
two, till she is able to go farther. There you would be no longer in
danger of pursuit; and if she should grow worse, which when her mind is
easier I hope will not happen, you will have excellent advice. Perhaps,
when the hurry of her spirits subsides, she may, since this _has_
happened, consent to pursue the journey to the North; or if not, you can
from thence carry her to the friends she is so desirous of being with,
and avoid the risk of meeting on the road those you are so anxious to
shun.'

Tho' Delamere could not think, without extreme reluctance, of
relinquishing a scheme in which he had thought himself secure of
success; yet, as there was no alternative but what would be so hazardous
to the health of Emmeline, he was compelled to accede to any which had a
probability of restoring it without putting her into the hands of his
father.

Mr. Lawson told him it was only fifteen miles from Stevenage to
Hertford--'But how,' said he, 'will you, Sir, prevent your father's
following you thither, if he should learn at this place that you are
gone there?'

Delamere was wholly at a loss. But Mr. Lawson, who seemed to be sent by
his good genius, said--'We must get you from hence immediately, if Miss
Mowbray is able to go. You shall pass here as my visitors. You shall
directly go to my house, and there be supplied with horses from another
inn. This will at least make it more difficult to trace your route; and
if any enquiry should be made of me, I shall know what to say.'

Delamere, catching at any thing that promised to secure Emmeline from
the pursuit of Lord Montreville, went to her to enquire whether she was
well enough to walk to Mr. Lawson's house.

He found her trying to adjust her hair; but her hands trembled so much,
it was with difficulty she could do it. He desired her to dismiss the
maid who was in the room; then throwing himself on his knees before her,
and taking her burning hands in his, he said--'Arbitress of my
destiny--my Emmeline! thou for whom only I exist! be tranquil--I beseech
you be tranquil! Since you determine to abide by your cruel resolution,
I will not, I dare not persist in asking you to break it. No, Emmeline!
I come only to entreat that you would quiet your too delicate mind; and
dispose of _me_ as you please. Since you cannot resolve to be mine now,
I will learn to submit--I will try to bear any thing but the seeing you
unhappy, or losing you entirely! Tell me only that you pardon what is
past, and you shall go to Mrs. Stafford's, or whithersoever you will.'

Emmeline beheld and heard him with astonishment. But at length
comprehending that he repented of his wild attempt, and would go back,
she said hastily, as she arose from her chair--'Let us go, then,
Delamere; let us instantly go. Thank God, your heart is changed! but
every hour I continue with you, is an additional wound to my character
and my peace.'

She attempted to reach her cloak, but could not; her strength forsook
her; her head became more giddy; she staggered, and would have fallen,
had not Delamere caught her in his arms, and supported her to the chair
she had left.

'Hurry not yourself thus, my Emmeline,' cried he; 'in mercy to me try to
compose yourself, and spare me the sight of all this terror, for which
believe me you have no reason.'

He sat down by her; and drawing her gently towards him, her languid head
reposed on his shoulder, and he contemplated, in silent anguish, the
ravage which only a few hours severe anxiety had made on that beauteous
and expressive countenance.

He called to the maid, who waited in the next room, and desired her to
send up Mr. Lawson; before whose entrance a shower of tears, the first
she had shed for some hours, a little relieved the full heart of
Emmeline.

Mr. Lawson desired Delamere would not check her tears; and in a friendly
and consolatory manner told her what Delamere proposed to do. Emmeline,
after this explanation, was still more anxious to depart; but Mr. Lawson
greatly doubted whether she was able.

'I can walk, indeed I can,' said she, 'if you will each lend me an arm.'

Mr. Lawson then gave her a few drops in a glass of water, which seemed
to revive her; and Delamere wrapping her carefully in her cloak, they
led her between them to a neat brick house in the town, where Mrs.
Lawson, a matron-like and well-behaved woman, and her daughter, a
genteel girl of twenty, who had been apprized of Emmeline's situation,
received her with great kindness and respect.

Breakfast was prepared for her, but she could eat nothing. The heaviness
of her eyes, her pallid countenance, and the tenseness across her
temples, seemed to threaten the most alarming consequences. Mrs. Lawson
endeavoured to persuade her to go to bed; but her eagerness to be gone
from thence was so great, that she evidently encreased the difficulty by
endeavouring to surmount it. She had indeed considered, that if Lord
Montreville overtook them, which was not only possible but probable, all
the merit of her conduct would be lost.--She would appear to be carried
back, not by her strict adherence to her promise, but by the authority
of his Lordship; and instead of the pride and credit of a laudable and
virtuous action, would be liable to bear all the imputation of
intentional guilt. This reflection, added to the sense she could not
fail to have of her improper situation in being so long alone with
Delamere under the appearance of having voluntarily gone off with him,
made her so impatient to be gone, that she declined any repose however
necessary; and Mr. Lawson thought there was less to be feared from
indulging than from opposing her.

Lawson therefore went himself to hasten the horses; and while he was
absent, Emmeline, who remained with his wife, expressed so much fear
that Delamere might alter his intentions of returning, and so much
uneasiness at the thoughts of being seen at another inn, in the
disordered dress she now wore, with a young man of Delamere's
appearance, that Mrs. Lawson was truly concerned for her, and
communicated to Delamere the source of the extreme anxiety she appeared
to suffer.

He came to her; and she gently reproached him for all the inconvenience
and uneasiness he had brought upon her. Her soft complaints, and the
distress pictured on her speaking face, he felt with a degree of anguish
and self-reproach that made him happy to agree to a plan proposed by
Mrs. Lawson, which was, that she should be accommodated with cloaths of
Miss Lawson's, and that Miss Lawson herself should accompany her to
Hertford.

This latter offer, Emmeline eagerly accepted; and Delamere, who saw how
much it soothed and relieved her, did not object to it. She was
therefore immediately equipped with a morning dress, and her agitation
of mind seemed to subside; but changing her cloaths, trifling as the
exertion was, fatigued her so much, that Mr. Lawson on his return looked
very grave; and Delamere, who watched his looks as if his existence
depended upon his opinion, was wild with apprehension. The chaises (for
Delamere had ordered one for himself, that the ladies might suffer no
inconvenience by being crouded) were ready, and Lawson recollecting that
Emmeline would require a more quiet situation than an inn could afford,
told her that he had a sister at Hertford who would receive her with
pleasure, and accommodate her at her house as long as she would
stay--'And remember,' added he, 'that Lissy is to continue with you till
you leave Hertford.'

Emmeline, extremely sensible of all she owed to this excellent man,
could only sigh her thanks; and to shorten them, Mr. Lawson put her and
his daughter into the travelling chaise which Delamere had bought for
this expedition. Delamere followed in another; and between one and two
o'clock they arrived at Hertford, and were set down at the door of an
elegant house; where Mrs. Champness, the wife of a man of fortune,
received her niece with great affection; and having heard in another
room the history of the young lady she had with her, immediately gave
orders to have a bed-chamber prepared, and shewed the utmost solicitude
for her accommodation.

Delamere, seeing her so well situated for the night, and happy to find
she bore her short journey with less increase of fatigue than he
apprehended, consented at her request to leave her, and went to the inn,
where he dined, and soon afterwards returned to enquire after her.

Miss Lawson came down to him, and told him Miss Mowbray was in bed, and
had taken a medicine Mr. Lawson had sent to compose her; but that it was
yet impossible to say much of her situation. She told him he must by no
means attempt to see her for the remaining part of the day, and begged
he would himself try to take some repose: to which salutary advice
Delamere at length consented; his haggard looks and exhausted spirits
sufficiently testifying how much he wanted it.



CHAPTER VI


The evening on which Emmeline had been so suddenly missing from the
house of Mrs. Ashwood, Rochely had left it in as much anguish as his
nature was capable of feeling.

He had not for many years so seriously thought of matrimony as since he
had seen Miss Mowbray. Her beauty first attracted him: the natural
civility of her manner was by him, who had frequently met only contempt
and derision from the young and beautiful, construed into encouragement;
and though his hopes had been greatly damped by his knowledge of
Delamere's attachment to her, yet they were almost as quickly revived by
the great encouragement to persevere, which he had received from Lord
Montreville. He fancied that the barriers between her and Delamere being
insurmountable, she could not fail of being dazzled by so splendid a
fortune as he could himself offer her. That evening, she looked more
than usually lovely, and he determined with new ardour to pursue her.
But her disappearance put an end to all his brilliant visions; and
convinced him that his wealth, on which he had so long been accustomed
to value himself, had failed of procuring him the favour of the only
woman with whom he was disposed to share it. He was too well convinced
that Delamere had carried her off: and though deprived of all hope for
himself, he was too angry at the good fortune of his rival to forbear an
attempt to disturb him in it's possession. He drove therefore from
Clapham to the house of Sir Richard Crofts, where he had the
mortification of hearing that Sir Richard was gone with Lord Montreville
to the country house of Lord Dornock, and was not expected to return
'till the next day.

Rochely, aware that the only possible chance of preventing Delamere's
marriage was by an immediate pursuit, was greatly chagrined at this
unavoidable delay. He sat down, however, and with his usual laboured
precision wrote to Sir Richard Crofts, informing him of what had
happened. This was the operation of near an hour; and he then sent off a
man on horseback with it, who arriving at Lord Dornock's about three in
the morning, roused the family with some difficulty, and delivered to
Sir Richard the intelligence, which was immediately conveyed to Lord
Montreville; who having read Mr. Rochely's letter, could not flatter
himself with any hope that this alarm might be as groundless as one he
had before had on the same subject.

The disobedience of his son; the broken faith of Emmeline; and the rage,
complaints, and reproaches of Lady Montreville, all arose together in
his imagination; and anger, vexation, and regret, took possession of his
heart.

He had recourse in this, as in all other emergences, to Sir Richard
Crofts, who advised him immediately to pursue them.

As soon therefore as the sleeping servants could be collected, and the
carriage prepared, his Lordship and Sir Richard set out for London
together.--Lord Montreville determining to follow the fugitives as
expeditiously as possible, though he hoped but little success from the
pursuit.

Such was his apprehension of the clamours and passions of his wife, that
he could not determine to see her 'till he had at least done all that
was possible to recover her son. He therefore wrote to her a short
letter, stating briefly what had happened, and giving her hopes that he
should be able to overtake the parties before they were married. This he
ordered to be delivered to her in the morning; and directed his servant
to hasten to him with his travelling chaise and four post horses.

The man, however, who had the care of the carriages, believing his Lord
would stay out all night, had gone out also, and taken with him the
keys.

By this delay, and the blunders of the affrighted servants, who in their
haste only impeded each other, it was near nine o'clock before his
Lordship and Sir Richard left London. At Barnet, they heard of the
fugitives, and easily traced them from thence to Hatfield; after which
believing all farther enquiries useless, they passed through Stevenage
(having sent on before for horses,) without asking any questions which
might have led them to discover that Delamere and Emmeline had gone from
thence towards Hertford only an hour and an half before their arrival.

This was fortunate for the pursued; for an enquiry would probably have
led to questions which Mr. Lawson would have found it very difficult to
evade.

Lord Montreville, however, and Sir Richard, hurried on to Buckden; where
being obliged to get out for some refreshment for themselves and their
servants, his Lordship renewed the question--'At what time did a young
gentleman and lady' (describing Delamere and Emmeline) 'pass by?'

The people told him they remembered no such persons about the time he
named.

Lord Montreville then applied at the other houses, and made several
other enquiries; but received only a general assertion that no such
persons had been that way within the last four and twenty hours, or even
within a week.

Sir Richard Crofts, who piqued himself upon his sagacity, told his
Lordship that stupidity, the love of falsehood, or Delamere's bribes,
might occasion this failure of intelligence; but there could be no doubt
of their being gratified with better information when they got to
Stilton. To Stilton therefore they went, but heard exactly the same
answers as they had done at the last stage.

Sir Richard was now again to seek for some plausible conjecture that
might quiet the apprehensive anxiety of Lord Montreville, who guessed
and dreaded he knew not what.

He now said, that as there could be no doubt of the young people's
having gone _towards_ Scotland, from the information they had obtained
at Barnet and Hatfield, it was most likely that in the apprehension of a
pursuit they had afterwards quitted the high road, and were advancing to
the borders of Scotland across the country, which must considerably
lengthen and impede their journey; therefore if they themselves
proceeded directly to the town where these marriages are usually
celebrated, the probability was that they should arrive before Delamere
and Miss Mowbray; and by such a circumstance the connection would be as
effectually prevented as it could be by their overtaking them on the
road.

Lord Montreville, despairing of being able by any means to obstruct a
marriage on which his son seemed to be so determined, and harrassed in
mind as much as he was fatigued in body, suffered himself to be carried
forward merely through inability to determine what he could do better;
and though quite hopeless of it's success, pursued his journey.

The innocent cause of all this trouble and anxiety remained in the mean
time at the hospitable house of Mrs. Champness; where Miss Lawson
attended her with all possible kindness and solicitude. It was indeed
impossible to be with her without loving her; unless to an heart
insensible, like that of Mrs. Ashwood, to all but her own ideal
perfections; or steeled by pride, like that of Lady Montreville.

A night passed in quiet sleep had greatly restored her; and her fever,
though not gone, was considerably abated. Every noise, however trifling,
still made her start; her nerves were by no means restored to their
tone, and her spirits continued to be greatly affected. The idea which
seemed to press most painfully on her mind, was the blemish which the
purity of her character must sustain by her being so long absent with
Delamere--a blemish which she knew could hardly ever be removed but by
her returning as his wife.

But to break her promise to Lord Montreville; a promise so solemnly
given; and to be compelled into a marriage which, however advantageous
and fortunate it would appear under other circumstances, would now bring
with it a severe alloy of mortification in the displeasure of his
family; was a measure which she could not determine to pursue.

Her resentment towards Delamere for what was passed was not yet enough
subdued by his reluctant repentance, to reconcile her to the thoughts of
putting herself again into his power. Yet she could not suppose he would
suffer her to return to London alone, if she had courage to attempt it;
or was she sure that when there, Mrs. Ashwood would receive her.

These reflections made her so restless and uneasy that she could not
conceal their source from Miss Lawson; who, tho' possessed of a very
good understanding, was too young and too little acquainted with the
world to be able to advise her.

The handsome person and high rank of Delamere, and his violent love and
concern for Emmeline, made her suppose it impossible that she could help
returning it, or be long able to resist his importunity. She concluded
therefore that finally it would be a match; and was impressed with a
sentiment that amounted almost to veneration for Miss Mowbray, whom she
considered as a prodigy of female virtue and resolution.

Delamere had been several times to speak to Miss Lawson; and he had
pleaded the violence of his passion with so much effect, that the
soft-hearted girl became his warm advocate with Emmeline, and
represented his tenderness and his contrition, 'till she consented (as
she was now able to sit up) to admit him.

On his entrance, he said something, he hardly knew what, to Emmeline.
She held out her hand to him in token of forgiveness. He seized it
eagerly, and pressed it to his heart, while he gazed on her face as if
to enquire there what passed in hers.

'Remember, Delamere,' said she, 'remember I am content to forgive your
late rash and absurd attempt, only on condition of your giving me the
most positive assurance that you will carry me directly to Mrs.
Stafford's, and there leave me.'

Hard as these terms appeared, after the hopes he had entertained on
undertaking the journey, he was forced to submit; but it was evidently
with reluctance.

'I do promise then,' said he, 'to take you to Mrs. Stafford's; but'----

'But what?' asked Emmeline.

'Do you not mean, when you are there, to exclude me for ever?--Mrs.
Stafford is no friend of mine.'

'I have already told you, Mr. Delamere, that I will see you wherever I
am, under certain restrictions: and tho' your late conduct might, and
indeed ought to induce me to withdraw that promise, yet I now repeat it.
But do not believe that I will therefore be persecuted as I have been;
recollect that I have already been driven from Mowbray Castle, from
Swansea, and from Mrs. Ashwood's, wholly on your account.'

'Your remedy, my Emmeline, is, to consent to inhabit a house of your
own, and suffer me to be the first of your servants.'

The varying colour of her complexion, to which the emotions of her mind
restored for a moment the faint tints of returning health, made Delamere
hope that her resolution was shaken; and seizing with his usual
vehemence on an idea so flattering, he was instantly on his knees before
her imploring her consent to prosecute their journey, and intreating
Miss Lawson's assistance, to move her inexorable friend.

Emmeline was too weak to bear an address of this sort. The feebleness of
her frame ill seconded the resolution of her mind; which,
notwithstanding the struggles of pity and regard for Delamere, which she
could not entirely silence, was immoveably determined. Rallying
therefore her spirits, and summoning her fortitude to answer him, she
said--'How _can_ you, Sir, solicit a woman, whom you wish to make your
wife, to break a promise so solemn as that I have given to your father?
Could you hereafter have any dependance on one, who holds her integrity
so lightly? and should you not with great reason suspect that with her,
falsehood and deception might become habitual?'

'Not at all,' answered Delamere. 'Your promise to my father is nugatory;
for it ought never to have been given. He took an unfair advantage of
your candour and your timidity; and all that you said ought not to bind
_you_; since it was extorted from you by _him_ who had no right to make
such conditions.'

'What! has a father no right to decide to whom he will entrust the
happiness of his son, and the honour of his posterity? Alas! Delamere,
you argue against yourself; you only convince me that I ought not to put
the whole happiness of my life into the hands of a man, who will so
readily break thro' his first duties. The same impatient, pardon me, if
I say the same selfish spirit, which now urges you to set paternal
authority at defiance, will perhaps hereafter impel you, with as little
difficulty, to quit a wife of whom you may be weary, for any other
person whom caprice or novelty may dress in the perfections you now
fancy I possess. Ah! Delamere! shall I have a right to expect tenderness
and faith from a man whom I have assisted in making his parents unhappy;
and who has by my means embittered the evening of their lives to whom he
owes his own? Do you think that a rebellious and unfeeling son is likely
to make a good husband, a good father?'

'Death and madness!' cried Delamere, relapsing into all the violence of
his nature--'what do you mean by all this! Selfish! rebellious!
unfeeling!--am I then _so_ worthless, _so_ detestable in your eyes?'

His extravagant expressions of passion always terrified Emmeline; but
the paroxysm to which he now yielded, alarmed her less than it did Miss
Lawson, who never having seen such frantic behaviour before, thought him
really mad. She tremblingly besought him to sit down and be calm; while
the pale countenance of Emmeline which she shewed him, convinced him he
must subdue the violence of his transports, or hazard seeing her relapse
into that alarming state which had forced him to relinquish his project.
This observation restored his senses for a moment.--He besought her
pardon, with tears; then again cursed his own folly, and seemed on the
point of renouncing the contrition he had just assured her he felt. The
scene lasted till Emmeline, quite overcome with it, grew so faint that
she said she must go to bed; and then Delamere, again terrified at an
idea which he had forgot but the moment before, consented to retire if
she would again repeat her forgiveness.

She gave him her hand languidly, and in silence. He kissed it; and half
in resentment, half in sorrow, left her, and returned to the inn, in a
humour which equally unfitted him for society or solitude. Obliged,
however, to remain in the latter, he brooded gloomily over his
disappointment; and believing Emmeline's life no longer in danger, he
fancied that his fears had magnified her illness. He again deprecated
his folly for having consented to relinquish the prosecution of his
journey, and for having agreed to carry her where he feared access to
her would be rendered rare and difficult, by the inflexible prudence and
watchful friendship of Mrs. Stafford. Sometimes he formed vague projects
to deceive her, and carry her again towards Scotland; then relinquished
them and formed others. He passed the night however nearly without
sleep, and the morning found him still irresolute.

At eight o'clock, he went to the house of Mrs. Champness; and Miss
Lawson came down to him, but with a countenance in which uneasiness was
so visible, that Delamere was almost afraid of asking how Miss Mowbray
did.

She told him that she had passed a restless and uncomfortable night, and
that the conversation he had held the evening before had been the cause
of an access of fever quite as high as the first attack; and, that tho'
she tried to conquer her weakness, and affected ability to prosecute a
journey for which she hourly grew more eager, it was easy to see that
she was as unfit for it as ever. Miss Lawson added, that if in a few
hours she was not better, she should send to Mr. Lawson to come from
Stevenage to see her. This account renewed with extreme violence all the
former terrors of Delamere, which a few hours before he had been trying
to persuade himself were groundless.

He now reproached himself for his thoughtless cruelty; and Miss Lawson
seized this opportunity to exhort him to be more cautious for the
future, which he readily and warmly protested he would be. He promised
never again to give way to such extravagant transports, and pressed to
be admitted to see Emmeline; but Miss Lawson would by no means suffer
him to see her 'till she was more recovered from the effects of his
frenzy.

In the afternoon, he was allowed to drink tea in Emmeline's room, and
expressed his sincere concern for his indiscretion of the evening
before. He tried, by shewing a disposition to comply with all her
wishes, to obliterate the memory of his former indiscretion. Emmeline
was willing to forget the offence, and pardon the offender, on his
renewing his promise to take her the next day towards London, on her
route into Dorsetshire; if she should be well enough to undertake the
journey.

The spirit and fortitude of Emmeline, fatal as they were to his hopes,
commanded the respect, esteem, and almost the adoration of Delamere;
while her gentleness and kindness oppressed his heart with fondness so
extreme, that he was equally undone by the one and the other, and felt
that it every hour became more and more impossible for him to live
without her.

It was agreed, that as it would be impossible to reach Woodfield from
Hertford, without stopping one night on the road, they would proceed
thro' London to Staines the first day, and from thence go on early the
next to the house of Mrs. Stafford.

After lingering with her as long as he could, Delamere took his leave
for the evening, determined to observe the promises he had made her, and
never again to attempt to obtain her but by her own consent. When he
made these resolves, he really intended to adhere to them; and was
confirmed in his good resolutions when he the next morning found her
ready to trust herself with him, calm, chearful, full of confidence in
his promises, and of gentleness and kindness towards him.

Emmeline took an affectionate leave of her amiable acquaintance, Miss
Lawson, whose uncommon kindness, on so short a knowledge of her, filled
her heart with gratitude. She promised to write to her as soon as she
got to Woodfield, and to return the cloaths she had borrowed, to which
she secretly purposed adding some present, to testify her sense of the
civilities she had received.

Delamere enclosed, in a letter which he sent by Miss Lawson to her
father, a bank note, as an acknowledgment of his extraordinary kindness.

They quickly arrived in London; and as Emmeline still remained in the
resolution of avoiding a return to Mrs. Ashwood, they changed horses in
Piccadilly to go on.

Tho' by going to her former residence she might have escaped a longer
continuation, and farther journey, with Delamere, of the impropriety of
which she was very sensible; yet she declined it, because she knew that
as her adventure might be explained several ways, Mrs. Ashwood and Miss
Galton were very likely to put on it the construction least in her
favour; and she was very unwilling to be exposed to their questions and
comments, till she could, in concert with Mrs. Stafford, and with her
advice, give such an account of the affair as would put it out of their
power to indulge that malignity of remark at her expence of which she
knew they were capable.

She therefore dispatched a servant to Mrs. Ashwood with a note for her
cloaths, whom Delamere directed to rejoin them at Staines.

At that place they arrived early in the evening; and Emmeline, to whom
Delamere had behaved with the utmost tenderness and respect, bore her
journey without suffering any other inconvenience than some remaining
languor, which was now more visible in her looks than in her spirits.
Charmed with the thoughts of so soon seeing Mrs. Stafford, and feeling
all that delight which a consciousness of rectitude inspires, she was
more than usually chearful, and conversed with Delamere with all that
enchanting frankness and sweetness which made her general conversation
so desireable.



CHAPTER VII


As they had an hour or two on their hands, which Emmeline wished to
employ in something that might prevent Delamere from entertaining her on
the only subject he was ever willing to talk of when they were together,
she desired him to enquire for a book. He went out, and returned with
some volumes of novels, which he had borrowed of the landlord's
daughter; of which Emmeline read in some a page, and in others a
chapter, but found nothing in any, that tempted her to go regularly
through the whole.

While she was reading, Delamere, equally unable to occupy himself with
any other object whether she was absent or present, sat looking at her
over the table which was between them. After some time passed in this
manner, their supper was brought in, and common conversation took place
while it was passing. When it was removed, Emmeline returned again to
the books, and took up one she had not before opened.--It was the
second volume of the Sorrows of Werter. She laid it down again with a
smile, saying--'That will not do for me to-night.'

'What is it?' cried Delamere, taking it from her.--'O, I have read
it--and if _you_ have, Emmeline, you might have learned the danger of
trifling with violent and incurable passions. Tell me--could you ever be
reconciled to yourself if you should be the cause of a catastrophe
equally fatal?'

Still meaning to turn the conversation, she answered gaily--'O, I fancy
there is very little danger of that--you know the value of your
existence too well to throw it inconsiderately away.'

'Do not be too certain of that, Emmeline. Without you, my life is no
longer valuable--if indeed it be supportable; and should I ever be in
the situation this melancholy tale describes, how do I know that my
reason would be strong enough to preserve me from equal rashness.
Beware, Miss Mowbray--beware of the consequence of finding an Albert at
Woodfield.'

'It is very unlikely I should find any lover there. I assure you I
desire none; nor have I any other wish than to pass the remainder of the
winter tranquilly with my friend.'

'If then you really never wish to encourage another, and if you have any
sensibility for the pain I feel from uncertainty, why will you not
solemnly engage yourself to me, by a promise which cannot be broken but
by mutual consent?'

'Because we are both too young to form such an engagement.--You are not
yet quite one and twenty; a time of life in which it is impossible you
can be a competent judge of what will make you really happy. I am more
than two years younger: but short as has been my knowledge of the world,
I have already seen two or three instances of marriages made in
consequence of early engagements, which have proved so little fortunate
that they have determined me never to try the experiment. Should you
bind yourself by this promise, which you now think would make you easy,
and should you hereafter repent it, which I know to be far from
improbable, pride, obstinacy, the shame of retracting your opinion,
would perhaps concur to prevent your withdrawing it; and I should
receive your hand while your heart might be attached to another. The
chains which you had yourself put on, in opposition to the wishes of
your family, you would, rather than own your error, rivet, tho' your
inclination prompted you to break them; and we should then be both
miserable.--No, Delamere--let us remain at liberty, and perhaps----'

'It is impossible, Madam!' cried Delamere, suddenly and vehemently
interrupting her--'It is absolutely impossible you could argue thus
calmly, if you had any regard for me--Cold--cruel--insensible--unfeeling
girl! Oh! fool, fool that I am, to persist in loving a woman without an
heart, and to be unable to tear from my soul a passion that serves only
to make me perpetually wretched. Cursed be the hour I first indulged it,
and cursed the weakness of mind that cannot conquer it!'

This new instance of ungovernable temper, so contrary to the promises he
had given her at Hertford, extremely provoked Emmeline, who answered
very gravely--

'If you desire, Sir, to divest yourself of this unfortunate passion, the
task is already half accomplished. Resolve, then, to conquer it wholly:
restore me to that tranquillity you have destroyed--vindicate my injured
reputation, which your headlong ardour has blemished--give me back to
the kindness and protection of your father--and determine to see me no
more.'

This spirited and severe answer, immediately convinced Delamere he had
gone too far. He had never before seen Emmeline so much piqued, and he
hastened to appease her.

'Pardon me!--forgive me, Emmeline! I am not master of myself when I
think of losing you! But you, who feel not any portion of the flame that
devours me, can coolly argue, while my heart is torn in pieces; and
deign not even to make any allowance for the unguarded sallies of
unconquerable passion!--the phrenzy of almost hopeless love! Sometimes,
when I think your coldness arises from determined and insurmountable
indifference--perhaps from dislike--despair and fury possess me. Would
you but say that you will live only for me--would you only promise that
no future Rochely, none of the people you have seen or may see, shall
influence you to forget me--I should, I think, be easier!'

'You have a better opinion of yourself, Mr. Delamere,' answered
Emmeline, calmly, 'than to believe it probable. But be that as it may, I
have told you that I will neither make or receive any promises of the
nature you require. I have already suffered too much from your
extravagant passion to put it farther in your power to distress me. But
I shall be better able to reassume this conversation to-morrow--to-night
I am fatigued; and it is time for us to separate.'

'And will you leave me, then, Emmeline?--leave me too in anger?'

'I am not angry, Mr. Delamere--here is my hand.'

'This hand,' exclaimed he, eagerly grasping it, 'which ought to have
been mine!--Now, even now, that you are about to tear yourself from me,
it should have been mine for ever! But I have relinquished my prize at
the moment I might have secured it; and if I lose it entirely my own
folly only will be the cause.'

'These violent transports may terrify me, but shall not alter my
determination. Quit my hand, Mr. Delamere,' continued she, struggling to
disengage it--'I will not be detained.'

She rang the bell; and the waiter almost instantly entering, she took a
candle and went to the apartment prepared for her: while Delamere, vexed
to have commanded himself so little, and to be so unable to adhere to
the good resolutions he had made, dared not attempt to prevent her.

He had now again to make his peace, but would not venture to take any
steps towards it that night; and he retired to his own room, considering
how he might remain near her after she got into Dorsetshire, and
dreading the hour of even a temporary separation.

The next morning Emmeline, impatient to be gone, dressed herself early;
and just as she was about to go down to hasten their breakfast and
departure, she saw, from a window that looked into the yard of the inn,
a phaeton and four enter it, remarkable for the profusion of expensive
and ill-fancied ornaments with which both the carriage and harness were
covered. In it were two gentlemen wrapped in great coats, as the weather
was very severe; on whom Emmeline casting a transient glance, discovered
that one of them was Elkerton.

She was a good deal alarmed at his arrival: for she had reason to fear,
that this man, to whom she had a decided aversion, would see her, and
know that she was travelling alone with Delamere. She saw him get out,
and give directions for putting up his horses, telling the people who
came out to attend him that he should breakfast and stay there some
hours.

Since his unfortunate _rencontre_ with Delamere at Mrs. Ashwood's, he
had almost entirely relinquished the pursuit of Emmeline. He had never
been able to shake off the ridicule his vanity had brought upon him, and
therefore had forborne to enter the circle where it had happened. He
had, however, seen Miss Mowbray once or twice in public, and she had
been too generally admired not to interest his pride in keeping up the
acquaintance, tho' she treated him always with coldness, and found it
difficult to be barely civil. She knew that he was severely mortified by
her indifference, and that in matters of scandal and gossiping no old
woman could be a greater adept. When therefore personal pique was added
to his natural love of anecdote, Emmeline apprehended so much from him,
that she determined, if possible, to escape his sight.

To do this, however, was very difficult. She saw him and his companion
take possession of a room that had windows looking into the yard through
which she must of necessity pass, and where, when the post-chaise drew
up, they must see whoever got into it. She wrapped herself up in her
cloak, pulled her hat over her eyes, and holding up her handkerchief as
if to guard her face from the cold, she passed unobserved to the room
where Delamere was waiting breakfast.

The remembrance of his last night's behaviour was in some measure
obliterated by the alarm she had felt at the sight of Elkerton. Delamere
looked melancholy and dejected. Emmeline speaking to him with her usual
sweetness, seemed to have forgotten the offence he had given her, and
tried to restore his good humour as if she had been the aggressor: but
he continued gloomy and pensive.

They began their breakfast, and conversed on different subjects.

'Did you observe,' said Emmeline, 'the phaeton which drove in just now?'

'No--what was there remarkable about it?'

'Nothing, but that one of the persons it contained was Elkerton, the
poor man you made so absurd at Mrs. Ashwood's, when he boasted of
knowing you. I hope I shall get away without his seeing me--I should
extremely dislike meeting him.'

'Stupid dog!--why should you care whether you meet him or no?'

'Because he must think it so strange that I am here with you.'

'Let him--Of what consequence is it to us what such a puppy thinks? I
cannot possibly care about it.'

'But _I_ do, Mr. Delamere,' said Emmeline, somewhat gravely.--'You will
recollect that I may be very much injured by the scandal such a man may
circulate.'

'Well, well, my dear Emmeline--we will set out directly, and you will
not meet him.--I will order the chaise.'

He went out for that purpose as soon as their breakfast ended; but a few
paces from the door was accosted by Elkerton, who feeling himself in
point of figure equal to speak to any man, addressed him with all the
confident familiarity of an old acquaintance.

'Sir, your most obedient humble servant.'

'Your servant, Sir;' replied Delamere, brushing by him.

'Sir, I hope you, and my Lord and Lady Montreville, have been well since
I had last the honour of seeing you?'

'Since you oblige me, Sir, to acknowledge the acquaintance, I must
remind you that our last meeting was attended with some circumstances
which should make you not very desirous of recollecting it.'

'Oh, dear! very far from not wishing to remember it, I am always pleased
with such agreeable badinage from my friends, and some how or other
contrive to be even with them. Prithee, dear boy, whither are you
going?--perhaps we are travelling the same road?'

'I hope not,' said Delamere, turning from him, and advancing towards the
bar.

Elkerton, unabashed, followed him.

'If we are,' continued he, 'I think you shall take me into your
post-chaise. I am going to pass a month with a friend in Hampshire; and
Jackman, who loves driving, tho' he knows nothing of the matter,
persuaded me to use an open carriage; but it is so cold, that I believe
I shall let him enjoy it alone the rest of the way. Suppose we go
together, if your destination is the Winchester road?'

Delamere was so provoked at this forwardness, that he found he should be
unable to give a moderate answer.--He therefore turned away without
giving any.

'Pray, Sir,' said the bar maid to Elkerton, 'who is that young
gentleman?'

'Lord Montreville's son,' replied he; 'and one of the strangest fellows
in the world.--Sometimes we are as intimate as brothers; and now you see
he'll hardly speak to me.'

'Perhaps, Mr. Elkerton,' said the woman, smiling, 'the young gentleman
may have very good reasons for not taking another companion in his
post-chaise.'

Elkerton pressed her to explain herself.

'Why you must know,' said she, 'that there's a young lady with him; one
of the prettiest young women I ever see. Last night, after they comed
here, his walet was pretty near tipsey; so he come and sot down here,
and told me how his master had hired him to go along with 'em to
Scotland; but that before they got near half way, somehow or other 'twas
settled for 'em to come back again. But don't say as I told you, Mr.
Elkerton, for that would be as much as my place is worth.'

This intelligence awakened all the curiosity of Elkerton, together with
some hopes of being able to revenge himself on Delamere for his contempt
and rudeness.

'Egad!' cried he, 'I'll have a peep at this beauty, however.'

So saying, he strutted across the yard, and placed himself under a
little piazza which made a covered communication between the rooms of
the inn which were built round the yard, and along which they were
obliged to pass to get into the chaise.

The room door opened--Delamere and Emmeline appeared at it.

'Draw up, postillions, as close as you can,' cried the waiter.

Delamere, holding Emmeline's hand, advanced; but on seeing Elkerton, she
stepped back into the room.

'Come, come,' said Delamere--'never concern yourself about that
impertinent fellow.'

Elkerton, tho' he did not distinctly hear this speech, had caught a view
of the person to whom it was addressed; and tho' her face was concealed,
her height and air convinced him it was Miss Mowbray.

'How do you, Madam?' exclaimed he, bowing and advancing--'Miss Mowbray,
I hope I have the happiness of seeing you well.'

'We are in haste, Sir,' said Delamere, leading Emmeline towards the
chaise.

'Nay, my good friend,' returned Elkerton, 'allow me I beg to pay my
respects to this lady, with whom I have the honour of being
acquainted--Miss Mowbray, permit me----'

He would have taken the hand which was disengaged; but Emmeline shrunk
from him, and stepped quickly into the chaise.

Elkerton still advanced, and leaning almost into it, he said--'Your long
journey, I hope, has not too much fatigued you.'

'By heaven!' exclaimed Delamere, 'this is too much! Sir, you are the
most troublesome, insolent fool, I ever met with!'

So saying, he seized Elkerton by the collar, and twisting him suddenly
round, threw him with great violence against one of the pillars of the
piazza.

He then got into the chaise; and taking out of his pocket two or three
cards, on which his address was written, he tossed them out of the
window; saying, with a voice that struck terror into the overthrown
knight on the ground--'You know where to hear of me if you have any
thing to say.'

The chaise now drove quickly away; while Delamere tried to reassure
Emmeline, who was so much terrified by the suddenness of this scuffle,
that she had hardly breath to reproach him for his impetuosity. He
answered, that he had kept his temper too long with the meddling ideot,
and that to have overlooked such impertinence without resentment was not
in his nature. He tried to laugh off her apprehensions; and flattered by
the anxiety she felt for his safety, all his gaiety and good humour
seemed to return.

But Emmeline, extremely hurt to find that Elkerton was informed of the
journey she had taken, and vexed that Delamere had engaged in a quarrel,
the event of which, if not personally dangerous to him, could not fail
of being prejudicial to her, continued very low and uneasy the rest of
their journey, reflecting on nothing with pleasure but on her
approaching interview with Mrs. Stafford.

But this hoped-for happiness was soon converted into the most poignant
uneasiness. On their arrival at Woodfield, Emmeline had the pain of
hearing that Mrs. Stafford, who had two days before been delivered of a
daughter, had continued dangerously ill ever since. The physicians who
attended her had that day given them hopes that her illness might end
favourably; but she was still in a situation so precarious that her
attendants were in great alarm.

As she had anxiously expected Emmeline, and expressed much astonishment
at not having heard from her the week before, which was that on which
she had purposed to be with her, and as she still continued earnestly to
enquire for news of Miss Mowbray, Mr. Stafford insisted on informing her
she was arrived; and this intelligence seemed to give her pleasure. She
desired Emmeline might come to her bed-side: but she was so weak, that
she could only in a faint voice express her pleasure at the sight of
her; and pressing her hand, begged she would not leave her.

It was impossible Emmeline could speak to her on the subject of
Delamere, as the least emotion might have been of the most fatal
consequence; and tho' she earnestly wished he might not have been
invited to stay, she was obliged to let it take it's course. She left
her friend's room no more that evening; and gave her whole thoughts and
attention to keeping her quiet and administering her medicines, which
Mrs. Stafford seemed pleased to receive from her hands.

Mr. Stafford was one of those unfortunate characters, who having neither
perseverance and regularity to fit them for business, or taste and
genius for more refined pursuits, seek, in every casual occurrence or
childish amusement, relief against the tedium of life. Tho' married very
early, and tho' father of a numerous family, he had thrown away the time
and money, which should have provided for them, in collecting baubles,
which he had repeatedly possessed and discarded, 'till having exhausted
every source that that species of idle folly offered, he had been
driven, by the same inability to pursue proper objects, into vices yet
more fatal to the repose of his wife, and schemes yet more destructive
to the fortune of his family. Married to a woman who was the delight of
her friends and the admiration of her acquaintance, surrounded by a
lovely and encreasing family, and possessed of every reasonable means of
happiness, he dissipated that property, which ought to have secured it's
continuance, in vague and absurd projects which he neither loved or
understood; and his temper growing more irritable in proportion as his
difficulties encreased, he sometimes treated his wife with great
harshness; and did not seem to think it necessary, even by apparent
kindness and attention, to excuse or soften to her his general ill
conduct, or his 'battening on the moor' of low and degrading debauchery.

Mrs. Stafford, who had been married to him at fifteen, had long been
unconscious of his weakness: and when time and her own excellent
understanding pressed the fatal conviction too forcibly upon her, she
still, but fruitlessly, attempted to hide from others what she saw too
evidently herself.

Fear for the future fate of her children, and regret to find that she
had no influence over her husband, together with the knowledge of
connections to which she had till a few months before been a stranger,
had given to Mrs. Stafford, whose temper was naturally extremely
chearful, that air of despondence, and melancholy cast of mind, which
Emmeline had remarked with so much concern on their first acquaintance.

To such a man as Mr. Stafford, the arrival of Delamere afforded novelty,
and consequently some degree of satisfaction. He took it into his head
to be extremely civil to him, and pressed him to continue some time at
his house; but Delamere well knew that Emmeline would be made unhappy by
his remaining more than one night; as Mr. Stafford entered however so
warmly into his interest, he begged of him to recollect whether there
was not any house to be let within a few miles of Woodfield.

Mr. Stafford instantly named a hunting seat of Sir Philip Carnaby's,
which he said would exactly suit him. It's possessor, whom some
disarrangement in his affairs had obliged to go abroad for a few years,
had ordered it to be let ready furnished, from year to year.

Delamere went the next morning to the attorney who let it; and making an
agreement for it, ordered in all the requisites for his immediate
residence; and, till it was ready, accepted Mr. Stafford's invitation to
remain at Woodfield.

Emmeline, who confined herself wholly to her friend's apartment, knew
nothing of this arrangement 'till it was concluded: and when she heard
it, remonstrance and objection were vain.

The illness of Mrs. Stafford, tho' it did not gain ground, was still
very alarming, and called forth, to a painful excess, that lively
sympathy which Emmeline felt for those she loved. She continued to
attend her with the tenderest assiduity; and after five days painful
suspence, had the happiness to find her out of danger, and well enough
to hear the relation Emmeline had to make of the involuntary elopement.

Mrs. Stafford advised her immediately to write to Lord Montreville;
which her extreme anxiety only had occasioned her so long to delay.



CHAPTER VIII


Lord Montreville and Sir Richard Crofts, after exhausting every mode of
enquiry at the end of their journey, without having discovered any
traces of the fugitives, returned to London. The uncertainty of what was
become of his son, and concern for the fate of Emmeline, made his
Lordship more unhappy than he had yet been: and the reception he met
with on his return home did not contribute to relieve him; he found that
no intelligence had been received of Delamere; and Lady Montreville
beset him with complaints and reproaches. The violence of her passions
had, for some months, subjected her to fits; and the evasion of her son,
and her total ignorance of what was become of him, had kept her in
perpetual agony during Lord Montreville's absence. His return after so
successless a journey encreased her sufferings, and she was of a temper
not to suffer alone, but to inflict on others some part of the pain she
felt herself.

Lord Montreville attempted in vain to appease and console her. Nothing
but some satisfactory account of Delamere had the least chance of
succeeding; and his Lordship, who now supposed that Delamere and
Emmeline were concealed in the neighbourhood of London, determined to
persevere in every means of discovering them.

For this purpose he had again recourse to the Crofts'; and Sir Richard
and both his sons readily undertook to assist him in his search, and
particularly the elder undertook it with the warmest zeal.

This young man inherited all the cunning of his father, together with a
coolness of temper which supplied the place of solid understanding and
quick parts; since it always gave him time to see where his interest
lay, and steadiness to pursue it. By incessant assiduity he had acquired
the confidence of Lady Montreville, to whom his attention and attendance
were become almost necessary.

Her Ladyship never dreamed that a man of his rank could lift his eyes to
either of her daughters, and therefore encouraged his constant
attendance on them both; while Crofts was too sensible of the value of
such an alliance not to take advantage of the opportunities that were
incessantly afforded him.

Lady Montreville had repeatedly declared, that if Delamere married
Emmeline all that part of the fortune which she had a right to give away
should be the property of her eldest daughter. This was upwards of six
thousand pounds a year; and whether this ever happened or not, Crofts
knew that what was settled on younger children, which must at all events
be divided between the two young ladies, would make either of them a
fortune worth all attempts, independent of the connection he would form
by it with Lord Montreville, who now began to make a very considerable
figure in the political world.

With these views, Crofts had for near two years incessantly applied
himself to conciliate the good opinion of the whole family, with so much
art that nobody suspected his designs. The slight and contemptuous
treatment he had always received from Delamere, he had affected to pass
by with the calm magnanimity of a veteran statesman; and emulating the
decided conduct and steady indifference of age, rather than yielding to
the warmth of temper natural to five and twenty, he was considered as a
very rising and promising young man by the grave politicians with whom
he associated, and by those of his own age a supercilious and solemn
coxcomb.

He had studied the characters of the two Miss Delameres, and found that
of the eldest the fittest for his purpose; tho' the person of the
youngest, and the pride which encased the heart of the other, would have
made a less able politician decide for Augusta. But he saw that the very
pride which seemed an impediment to his hopes, might, under proper
management, contribute to their success. He saw that she really loved
nobody but herself; that her personal vanity was greater than the pride
of her rank; and that her heart was certainly on that side assailable.
He therefore, by distant hints and sighs, affected concealment; and
artful speeches gave her to understand that all his prudence had not
been able to defend him from the indiscretion of a hopeless passion.

While he was contented to call it hopeless, Miss Delamere, tho' long
partial to Fitz-Edward, could not refuse herself the indulgence of
hearing it; and at length grew so accustomed to allow him to talk to her
of his unbounded and despairing love, that she found it very
disagreeable to be without him.

He saw, that unless a title and great estate crossed his path, his
success, tho' it might be slow, was almost certain. But he was obliged
to proceed with caution; notwithstanding he would have been very glad
to have secured his prize before the return of Delamere to his family
threw an obstacle in his way which was the most formidable he had to
contend with.

He affected, however, the utmost anxiety to discover him; and recited to
Lord Montreville an exhortation he intended to pronounce to him, if he
should be fortunate enough to do so.

Nothing could be a greater proof of his Lordship's opinion of Crofts
than his entrusting him with a commission, which, if successful, could
hardly fail of irritating the fiery and ungovernable temper of Delamere,
and driving him into excesses which it would require all the philosophic
steadiness of Crofts to support without resentment.

While Sir Richard and his two sons therefore set about the difficult
task of finding Delamere, Lord Montreville went himself to Fitz-Edward;
but heard that for many days he had not been at his apartments, that he
had taken no servants with him, and that they knew not whither he was
gone, or when he would return.

Lord Montreville, who had depended more on the information of
Fitz-Edward than any other he hoped to obtain, left a note at his
lodgings desiring to see him as soon as he came to town, and went back
in encreased uneasiness to his own house. But among the numberless
letters which lay on his library table, the directions of which he
hastily read in a faint hope of news of Delamere, he saw one directed by
the hand of Emmeline. He tore it eagerly open--it contained an account
of all that had happened, written with such clearness and simplicity as
immediately impressed it's truth; and it is difficult to say whether
Lord Montreville's pleasure at finding his son still unmarried, or his
admiration at the greatness of his niece's mind, were the predominant
emotion.

When the former sentiment a little subsided, and he had time to reflect
on all the heroism of her conduct, he was almost ashamed of the long
opposition he had given to his son's passion; and would, if he had not
known his wife's prejudices invincible, have acknowledged, that neither
the possession of birth or fortune could make any amends to him, who saw
and knew how to value the beauty of such a mind as that of Emmeline. The
inveterate aversion and insurmountable pride of Lady Montreville, he had
no hope of conquering; and she had too much in her power, to suffer his
Lordship to think of Delamere's losing such a large portion of his
inheritance by disobeying her. For these reasons he checked the
inclination he felt rising in his own heart to reward and receive his
niece, and thought only of taking advantage of her integrity to separate
his son from her for ever.

He went with the letter in his hand to Lady Montreville's apartment,
where he found Mr. Crofts and the two young ladies.

He read it to them; and when he had finished it, expressed in the
warmest terms his approbation of Miss Mowbray's conduct. Lady
Montreville testified nothing but satisfaction at what she called 'the
foolish boy's escape from ruin,' without having the generosity to
applaud _her_, whose integrity was so much the object of admiration.

Possessing neither candour nor generosity herself, she was incapable of
loving those qualities in another; and in answer to Lord Montreville's
praises of Emmeline, which she heard with reluctance, she was not
ashamed to say, that perhaps were the whole truth known, his Lordship
would find but little reason to set up his relation's character higher
than that of his own children--to which her eldest daughter added--'Why,
to be sure, Madam, there is, as my father says, something very
extraordinary in Miss Mowbray's refusing _such a match_--that is, _if_
she has no other attachment.'

Augusta Delamere heard all that her father said in commendation of her
beloved Emmeline, with eyes suffused with tears, which drew on her the
anger of her mother and the malignant sneers of her sister.

The two young ladies however were sent away, while a council was held
between Lord and Lady Montreville and Crofts, on what steps it was
immediately necessary to take.

Several ideas were started, but none which his Lordship approved. He
determined therefore to write to his son; with whose residence at
Tylehurst, the house of Sir Philip Carnaby, Emmeline's letter acquainted
him; and wait his answer before he proceeded farther.

With this resolution, Lady Montreville was extremely discontented; and
proposed, as the only plan on which they could depend, that his
Lordship, under pretence of placing her properly, should send Emmeline
to France, and there confine her till Delamere, hopeless of regaining
her, should consent to marry Miss Otley.

Her Ladyship urged--'That it could not possibly do the girl any harm;
and that very worthy people had not scrupled to commit much more
violent actions where their motive was right, tho' less strong, than
that which would in this case actuate Lord Montreville, which was,' she
said, 'to save the sole remaining heir of a noble house from a degrading
and beggarly alliance.'

'Hold! Madam,' cried Lord Montreville, who was extremely displeased at
the proposal, and with the speech with which it closed--'Remember, I beg
of you, that when you speak of the Mowbray family, you speak of one very
little if at all inferior to your own; nor should you, Lady Montreville,
forget, in the heat of your resentment, that you are a woman--a woman
too, whose birth should at least give you a liberal mind, and put you
above thinking of an action as unfeminine as inhuman. Surely, as a
mother who have daughters of your own, you should have some feeling for
this young woman; not at all their inferior, but in being born under
circumstances for which she is not to blame, and which mark with
sufficient unhappiness a life that might otherwise have done as much
honour to my family as I hope your daughters will do to your's.'

The slightest contradiction was what Lady Montreville had never been
accustomed to bear patiently. The asperity therefore of this speech, and
the total rejection of her project, threw her into an agony of passion
which ended in an hysteric fit.

Lord Montreville, less moved than usual, committed her to the care of
her daughters and women, and continued to talk coolly to Crofts on the
subject they were before discussing.

After considering it in every point of view, he determined to leave
Delamere at present to his own reflections; only writing to him a calm
and expostulatory letter; such as, together with Emmeline's steadiness,
on which he now relied with the utmost confidence, might, he thought,
effect more than violent measures. His Lordship wrote also to Emmeline,
strongly expressing his admiration and regard, and his confidence and
esteem encreased her desire to deserve them.

Mrs. Stafford was now nearly recovered; and Delamere settled at his new
house, where he always returned at night, tho' he passed almost every
day at Woodfield.

His mornings were often occupied in those amusements of which he had
been so fond before his passion for Emmeline became the only business of
his life; and secure of seeing her continually, and of telling how he
loved her, he became more reasonable than he had hitherto been.

The letters, however, which now arrived from Lord Montreville, a little
disturbed his felicity. They gave Emmeline an opportunity to exhort him
to return to London--to make his peace with his father, and quiet the
uneasiness of Lady Montreville, which his Lordship represented as
excessive, and as fatal to _her_ health as to the peace of the whole
family.

Emmeline urged him by every tie of duty and affection to relieve the
anxiety of his family, and particularly to attend to the effect his
absence and disobedience had on the constitution of his mother, which
had long been extremely shaken. But to all her remonstrances, he
answered--'That he would not return, till Lady Montreville would promise
never to renew those reflections and reproaches which had driven him
from Audley-Hall; and to which he apprehended he should now be more than
ever exposed.'

As Emmeline could not pretend to procure such an engagement from her
Ladyship, all she could do was to inform Lord Montreville of his
objection, and to leave it to him to make terms between Delamere and his
mother.

Near a month had now elapsed since Emmeline's arrival at Woodfield; and
the returning serenity of her mind had restored to her countenance all
it's bloom and brilliancy. She had indeed no other uneasiness than what
arose from her anxiety to procure quiet to her Uncle's family, and from
her observations on the encreasing melancholy of Mrs. Stafford, for
which she knew too well how to account.

Even this, however, often appeared alleviated by her presence, and
forgotten in her conversation; and she rejoiced in the power of
affording a temporary relief to the sorrows of one whom she so truly
loved.

This calm was interrupted by Elkerton, by whom the affront he had
received at Staines, from Delamere, had not been forgotten, tho' he by
no means relished the thoughts of resenting it in the way his friend
Jackman, and all who heard of it, proposed.

To risk his life and all his finery, seemed a most cruel condition; but
Jackman protested there was no other by which he could retrieve his
honour. And his friend at whose house he was, on the borders of
Hampshire, who had been an officer in the military service of the East
India Company, and had acquired a princely fortune, felt himself
inspired with all the punctilios of a soldier, and declared to Elkerton
that if he put up with this affront no man of honour could hereafter
speak to him.

Poor Elkerton, who in the article of fighting, as well as many others,
extremely resembled '_le Bourgeois Gentilhomme_,' made all the evasions
in his power; while his _soi disant_ friends, who enjoyed his distress,
persisted in pushing him on to demand satisfaction of Delamere; but
after long debates, he determined first to ask him for an apology. There
was, he thought, some hope of obtaining it; if not, he could only in the
last extremity have recourse to the desperate expedient of a challenge.
He wrote therefore a letter to Delamere, requesting, in the civilest and
mildest terms, an apology for his behaviour at Staines; and sent it by a
servant; as it was not more than twenty miles from the house where he
was, to that Mr. Delamere had taken.

Delamere returned a contemptuous refusal; but neither mentioned the
letter to Emmeline, nor thought again about it's writer.

The unfortunate Elkerton, who reproached incessantly his evil stars for
having thrown this hot-headed boy in his way, could not conceal from his
friends the unaccommodating answer he had received to his pacific
overture; and it was agreed that Elkerton must either determine to fight
him, or be excluded from good company for ever. The challenge,
therefore, penned by the Asiatic hero, was copied with a trembling hand
by Elkerton; and Jackman, who had offered to be his second, set out with
him for the town near Tylehurst.

On their arrival, Jackman took a post-chaise to carry the billet to
Delamere, leaving the terrified Elkerton to settle all his affairs, both
temporal and spiritual, against the next morning, when Delamere was
appointed to meet him on a heath near the town, at seven o'clock.

Jackman found Delamere with Fitz-Edward, who had arrived there that day.
He delivered his letter, and Delamere immediately answered it by saying
he would not fail to attend the appointment, with his friend Colonel
Fitz-Edward.

During Jackman's absence, Elkerton tried to argue himself into a state
of mind fit for the undertaking of the next day. But he found no
arguments gave him any sort of satisfaction, save two; one was, that as
most disputes ended with firing a brace of pistols in the air, the
probability was, that he should be as fortunate as others--the second,
that if the worst should happen, he should at least make a paragraph
worth some hazard: and that whether he killed Delamere, or fell himself,
an affair of honour with a young man of his rank would extremely
contribute to his fame.

Neither of these reflections however had force enough to prevent his
heartily wishing there was no necessity to employ them; and he contrived
to make such a bustle with his servant about his pistols, and sent forth
so many enquiries for an able surgeon, that it was known immediately at
the inn where he was, that the gentleman was come to fight young Squire
Delamere.

In a country town, such intelligence soon gained ground; and before
Jackman's return, every shop in it had settled the place and manner of
the combat.

One of Mr. Stafford's servants was at the inn, which was also the post
house; where the landlady failed not to tell him what a bloody-minded
man was in the next room. The servant, who like all people of his
station delighted in the wonderful and the terrible, collected all the
particulars; which he retailed on his arrival at home, with every
exaggeration his invention would lend him.



CHAPTER IX


The maid who waited on Emmeline had no sooner heard these particulars,
than conceiving her to be more interested in the fate of Delamere than
any other person, she ran up to tell her of it; and tho' she had not
retained the name of Elkerton perfectly, Emmeline, who instantly
recollected the adventure at Staines, saw the truth at once; and was
terrified at the impending event to a degree that made her for a moment
incapable of reflection.

To be, however remotely, or however innocently, the cause of any man's
hazarding his life, was shocking to all her feelings. But to suppose
that Lord Montreville might be made by her means the most wretched of
human beings, by the loss of an only and beloved son, was an idea which
froze her blood.

Her regard for Delamere, which was the affection of a sister somewhat
heightened perhaps by his persevering preference of herself, her
friendship for Augusta, and her anxiety for the peace of his whole
family, added to her general tenderness of heart, all co-operated to
distress her on this occasion. As soon as she could recollect what was
best to be done, she sought Mr. Stafford, to whom she related what she
had heard, which the servant who had brought the intelligence repeated
before him.

Mr. Stafford, at Emmeline's earnest request, set out for the house of
Delamere, who had not that day been at Woodfield because he expected
Fitz-Edward. Mr. Stafford delivered to him a pressing entreaty from
Emmeline that he would forbear to meet Elkerton, or at least delay it
'till she could speak to him; but Delamere shewing Stafford the letter
he had received, desired him to go back and make Emmeline easy as well
as he could, since to comply with her request was entirely out of his
power. To the necessity of his meeting Elkerton, Stafford assented; and
returned home to relate the little success of his embassy, while the
terror and alarm of Emmeline were only encreased by his visit.

Such was her anxiety, that she would have gone herself to Tylehurst, if
Mrs. Stafford had not represented to her that it would be certainly
improper, and probably ineffectual.

She passed a sleepless night, tormenting herself with a thousand
imaginary modes of misery which might arise from the meeting of the next
day. But while she continued to form and reject projects for preventing
it, seven o'clock passed, and the _rencontre_ ended without bloodshed;
the cautious valour of Elkerton having been so loud, that a magistrate
who lived in the town, and who was well known to Lord Montreville, had
heard of it, and, with a party of constables, had followed Elkerton at
some distance. They concealed themselves, by the justice's order, in a
gravel-pit near the place of combat, and there saw the ground already
possessed by Delamere and Fitz-Edward.

The trembling challenger, with a face as pale as if Delamere's pistol
had already done it's worst, followed by Jackman, on whose undaunted
countenance he cast a rueful and imploring look, then rode slowly up,
punctual to the time.

The usual ceremonies passed, Elkerton's blood seemed to be all gone to
his heart, to encourage it to be stout; and his knees, which trembled
most piteously, appeared to resent the desertion. He cast round the
heath a hopeless look--no succour approached! The ground was measured;
each took their post; and his trembling encreased so violently, that
Delamere apprehended very little from a pistol in so unsteady a hand.
But had he apprehended more, he was of a temper to receive it,
unshrinkingly. The moment to fire now arrived; and Elkerton, while
cocking his pistol, saw the _possé_ rise out of the gravel-pit; but he
was too far gone to be sensible of the seasonable relief; therefore,
without knowing what he was about, he fired his pistol before they could
seize his arm, and then stood like a statue, nearly insensible of the
happiness of his deliverance.

The justice advancing himself on horseback, now put both the gentlemen
under arrest: and Elkerton seeing himself at length safe for the
present, thought he might venture to insist on standing Mr. Delamere's
fire. The more the worthy justice opposed it, the more vehement he grew:
but Delamere, who despised him too much to be really angry with him,
went off the field, telling Elkerton that any other time, when there
were fewer witnesses, he would give him what further satisfaction he
might require. He gave his honour to the justice that he would trouble
himself no farther about the affair; and Elkerton having given Jackman's
bail for his present pacific intentions, was suffered to go also.

He returned to the house of his East Indian friend, exulting secretly in
his escape, and openly in his valour, to which latter Jackman did not
bear testimony so warmly as he thought friendship required. Determined,
however, to lose no part of the glory which he thought he had dearly
purchased by being frightened out of his wits, he wrote, in the form of
a letter, a most tremendous account of the duel to the daily papers, in
which he described all it's imaginary horrors, and ended with asserting
very roundly, that 'Mr. Elkerton had the misfortune dangerously to wound
the Hon. Frederic Delamere; and, when this account came away, there were
no hopes of his recovery.'

Having secured himself a fame, at least, for two or three days, he set
out for London to enjoy it; never reflecting on any other consequences
than those most flattering to his ridiculous vanity. He knew he should
be talked of; and by representing what had _not_ happened, have a fair
opportunity of telling what _had_, in his own way.

When Emmeline, who had never ceased walking about and listening, saw
Delamere and Fitz-Edward riding quietly across the lawn which led to the
house, she ran eagerly down to meet them: but the idea that Elkerton
might possibly be killed checked her joy; and when they came up to her,
breathless agitation prevented her asking what she wanted to know.
Delamere, who saw her so pale and terrified, threw himself instantly
off his horse and caught her in his arms.

'Has no harm happened, Mr. Delamere?'

'None in the world, my Emmeline. Nobody is hurt so much as you are; tho'
poor Elkerton was almost as much frightened. Come, pray compose
yourself--you have not yet the glory to boast of having a life lost
about you.'

'Heaven forbid that I ever should!' answered she--'I am grateful that
there has been no mischief!--Oh! if I could describe what I have
suffered, surely you would never terrify me so again.'

She could not restrain her tears. Delamere led her into the house;
where, while Mrs. Stafford gave her hartshorn and water, Delamere, at
her request, related exactly what had happened: and having given
Emmeline his honour that he would think no more of the affair if
Elkerton did not, the tranquillity of the house seemed to be restored,
and Delamere and Fitz-Edward were invited to dinner; where great
alteration in the looks of the latter, was remarked by both the ladies.
Nor was it in looks only that Fitz-Edward was extremely changed.--His
chearfulness was quite gone; he appeared to be ineffectually struggling
with some unconquerable uneasiness; and tho' his soft and insinuating
manners were the same, he no longer sought, by a thousand agreeable
sallies and lively anecdotes, to entertain; or whatever attempt he made
was so evidently forced, that it lost it's success. Remarkable for his
temperance at table, for which he had often endured the ridicule of his
companions, he now seemed to fly to the bottle, against his inclination,
as if in hopes to procure himself a temporary supply of spirits.

Every day after that on which Emmeline and Mrs. Stafford made this
remark, it's justice was more evident.

While Delamere was in the fields, Fitz-Edward would sit whole mornings
with Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline, leaning on their work-table, or looking
over Emmeline, busied with her pencil. Had his marked attention to Mrs.
Stafford continued, she would have seen his behaviour with great alarm;
but he no longer paid her those oblique yet expressive compliments of
which he used to be so lavish. It seemed, as if occupied by some other
object, he still admired and revered her, and wished to make her the
confidant of the sorrow that oppressed him. If they were accidentally
alone, he appeared on the point of telling her; then suddenly checking
himself, he changed the discourse, or abruptly left her; and as he was a
man whom it was impossible to know without receiving some impressions in
his favour, she felt, as well as Emmeline, a pity for him, which they
wished to be justified in feeling, by hearing that whatever was the
cause of his unhappiness, he had not brought it on himself by any crime
that would make their regard for him blameable.--For Emmeline, tho' she
knew that it was with no good design he had contributed to Delamere's
getting her off, yet could not persuade herself to hate him for it, when
he not only humbly solicited her forgiveness, but protested that he was
truly rejoiced, as well as astonished at her steadiness and good
conduct; and would be so far from encouraging any such attempt for the
future, that he would be the first to call Delamere to an account, could
he suppose he harboured intentions which he now considered as ungenerous
and criminal.

These declarations had made his peace both with Emmeline and her friend;
and his languid and sentimental conversation, tho' it made him less
entertaining, did not make him less interesting to either of them.

Mr. Stafford, ever in pursuit of some wild scheme, was now gone for a
few days into another county, to make himself acquainted with the
process of manuring land with old wigs--a mode of agriculture on which
Mr. Headly had lately written a treatise so convincing, that Mr.
Stafford was determined to adopt it on his own farm as soon as a
sufficient number of wigs could be procured for the purpose.

During this absence, and on the fourth day after Elkerton's exploit, a
stormy morning had driven Delamere from the fields; who went into Mrs.
Stafford's dressing-room, where he found Fitz-Edward reading Cecilia to
Mrs. Stafford and Miss Mowbray while they sat at work.

Mrs. Stafford had her two little boys at her feet; and when Delamere
appeared, she desired him to take a chair quietly, and not disturb so
sober a party. But he had not been seated five minutes, before the
children, who were extremely fond of him, crept to him, and he began to
play with them and to make such a noise, that Mrs. Stafford laughingly
threatened to send all the riotous boys into the nursery together--when
at that moment Millefleur, who had some time before come down to attend
his master, entered the room with a letter which he said came express
from Berkley-square.

Delamere saw that his father's hand had almost illegibly directed it. He
opened it in fearful haste, and read these words--


    'Before this meets you, your mother will probably be no more. A
  paragraph in the newspaper, in which you are said to have been
  killed in a duel, threw her into convulsions. I satisfied myself of
  your safety by seeing the man with whom you fought, but your mother
  is incapable of hearing it. Unhappy boy! if you would see her
  alive, come away instantly.

   MONTREVILLE.'

  _Berkley-square, Feb. 29._


It is impossible to say whether the consternation of Emmeline or that of
Delamere was the greatest. By the dreadful idea of having occasioned his
mother's death, every other was for a moment absorbed. He flew without
speaking down stairs, and into the stable where he had left his horse;
but the groom had carried the horse to his own stables, supposing his
master would stay 'till night. Without recollecting that he might take
one of Mr. Stafford's, he ran back into the room where Emmeline was
weeping in the arms of her friend, and clasping her wildly to his bosom,
he exclaimed--'Farewell, Emmeline! Farewell, perhaps, for ever! If I
lose my mother I shall never forgive _myself_; and shall be a wretch
unworthy of _you_. Dearest Mrs. Stafford! take care I beseech you of
her, whatever becomes of me.'

Having said this, he ran away again without his hat, and darted across
the lawn towards his own house, meaning to go thither on foot; but
Fitz-Edward, with more presence of mind, was directing two of Mr.
Stafford's horses to be saddled, with which he soon overtook Delamere;
and proceeding together to the town, they got into a post-chaise, and
went as expeditiously as four horses could take them, towards London.

Equally impetuous in all his feelings, his grief at the supposed
misfortune was as violent as it could have been had he been sure that
the worst had already happened. He now remembered, with infinite
self-reproach, how much uneasiness and distress he had occasioned to
Lady Montreville since he left her in November at Audley-Hall without
taking leave--and recollecting all her tenderness and affection for him
from the earliest dawn of his memory; her solicitude in his sickness,
when she had attended him herself and given up her rest and health to
contribute to his; her partial fondness, which saw merit even in his
errors; her perpetual and ardent anxiety for what she believed would
secure his happiness--he set in opposition to it his own neglect,
impatience, and disobedience; and called himself an unnatural and
ungrateful monster.

Fitz-Edward could hardly restrain his extravagant ravings during the
journey; which having performed as expeditiously as possible, they
arrived in Berkley-square; where, when the porter opened the door to
them, Delamere had not courage to ask how his mother did; but on
Fitz-Edward's enquiry, the porter told them she was alive, and not
worse.

Relieved by this account, Delamere sent to his father to know if he
might wait upon him.

His Lordship answered--"That he would only see Colonel Fitz-Edward; but
that Delamere might come in, to wait 'till his mother's physicians
arrived."

Lord Montreville was indeed so irritated against Delamere by all the
trouble and anxiety he had suffered on his account, that he determined
to shew his resentment; and in this resolution he was encouraged by Sir
Richard Crofts, who represented to him that his mother's danger, and his
father's displeasure, might together work upon his mind, and induce him
to renounce an attachment which occasioned to them both so much
unhappiness.

It was in this hope that his Lordship refused to see his son; and while
Fitz-Edward went to him, Delamere was shewn into another room, where his
youngest sister immediately came to him.

She received him with rapture mingled with tears; and related to him the
nature of his mother's illness, which had seized her two days before, on
her unfortunately taking up a newspaper from the breakfast-table, where
it was very confidently said that he was mortally wounded in a duel with
a person named Elkerton, of Portland-Place. That Lord Montreville had
luckily had a letter from Fitz-Edward the day before, (whom he had
forgiven the part he took in regard to Emmeline on no other condition
than that he should go down to him, and give his Lordship an account of
his conduct) and that therefore he was less alarmed, tho' very much
hurried by the paragraph.

He had, however, gone to Elkerton's house, where he found him very
composedly receiving the enquiries of his friends, and where he insisted
on hearing exactly what had happened.

His Lordship immediately returned to his wife; but the convulsions had
arisen to so alarming an height, that she was no longer capable of
hearing him; and she had ever since continued to have, at very short
intervals, such dreadful fits, as had entirely contracted her left side,
and left very little hope of her recovery.

Delamere was extremely shocked at this account; and after waiting some
time, Fitz-Edward came to him, and told him that his father was
extremely angry, and absolutely refused to see him or hear his apology,
unless he would first give his honour that if Lady Montreville should
survive the illness his indiscreet rashness had brought upon her, he
would, as soon as she was out of danger, go abroad, and remain there
till he should obtain forgiveness for his past errors and leave to
return.

The heart of Delamere was accessible only by the avenues of affection
and kindness; compulsion and threats only made him more resolutely
persist in any favourite project. Sir Richard Crofts therefore, who had
advised this measure, shewed but little knowledge of his temper, and
never was more mistaken in his politics.

Delamere no sooner heard the message, than he knew with whom it
originated; and full of indignation at finding his father governed by a
man for whom he felt only aversion and contempt, he answered, with great
asperity--'That he came thither not to solicit any favour, but to see
his mother. That he would not be dictated to by the Crofts; but would
remain in town 'till he knew whether his mother desired to see him; and
be ready to wait on his father when he would vouchsafe to treat him as
his son.'

He then shook hands with Fitz-Edward, kissed his sister, and walked out
of the house, in spite of their united endeavours to detain him. All
they could obtain of him was his consent to go to Fitz-Edward's
lodgings, as he had none of his own ready; from whence he sent
constantly every hour to enquire after Lady Montreville.



CHAPTER X


Emmeline, in the mean time, remained in great uneasiness at Woodfield.
Delamere, on his first arrival in town, wrote a short and confused note;
by which she only learned that Lady Montreville was alive. After some
days she received the following letter from Augusta Delamere.


    'I will now try, my dearest Emmeline, to give you an account of
  what has passed here since my brother's arrival.

    'My mother is happily better; knows every body, and speaks more
  distinctly; her fits return less frequently; and upon the whole, the
  physicians give us hopes of her recovery, but very little that she
  will ever be restored to the use of the arm which is contracted.

    'On Friday, in an interval of her fits, Sir Hugh Cathcart and Dr.
  Gardner, her physicians, proposed that she should see my brother, of
  whose being living nothing we could any of us say could convince
  her. She repeated to Dr. Gardner, who staid with her after the other
  went, that she was deceived.

    'He assured her that she was deceived in nothing but in her sudden
  and unhappy prepossession; for that Mr. Delamere had never been in
  the least danger, and was actually in perfect health.

    '"He is alive!" cried my mother, mournfully--"I thank God he is
  alive; but he knows my illness, and I do not see him--Ah! it is too
  certain I have lost my son!"

    '"You have not been able to see him, my dear madam; but he came up
  as soon as he heard of your situation, and now waits your commands
  at Colonel Fitz-Edward's lodgings.--Do you wish to see him?"

    '"I do! I do wish to see him! Oh! let him come!"

    'The agitation of her mind, however, brought on almost instantly a
  return of the disorder; and before my brother's arrival, she was
  insensible.

    'Her distorted features; her hands contracted, her eyes glazed and
  fixed, her livid complexion, and the agonizing expression of her
  countenance, were at their height when Delamere was desired to go
  into the room: my father believed that the sight of his mother in
  such a situation could not but affect the feelings of her son.

    'It did indeed affect him! He stood a moment looking at her in
  silent terror; then, as if suddenly recollecting that he had been
  the cause of this dreadful alteration, he turned away, clasped his
  hands together, and burst into tears.

    'My mother neither saw him or heard his loud sobs. My sister
  looked at him reproachfully; and apparently to escape from her, he
  came to me, and taking my hand, kissed it, and asked how long this
  melancholy scene would last?

    'The physician, who heard the question, said the fit was going
  off. It did so in a few minutes. She sighed deeply; and seeing the
  doctor still sitting by her, she asked if he would still perform his
  promise, and let her see her son?

    'At these words, Delamere stepped forward, and threw himself on
  his knees by the bed side. He wept aloud; and eagerly kissed his
  mother's hands, which he bathed in tears.

    'She looked at him with an expression to which no description can
  do justice; but unable to speak, she seemed struggling to explain
  herself; and the physician, fearful of such agitation, said--"There,
  madam, is Mr. Delamere; not only alive, but willing, I am persuaded,
  to give you, in regard to his future conduct, any assurances that
  you require to tranquillise your mind."

    '"No!" said she, sighing--"that Delamere is living, I thank
  heaven!--but for the rest--I have no hopes."

    '"For the rest," resumed the doctor, "he will promise any thing if
  you will only make yourself easy."

    'At this moment my Lord entered--"You see, Sir," said he sternly
  to Delamere, whom he had not seen since his arrival in London--"you
  see to what extremity your madness has reduced your mother."

    'Delamere, still on his knees, looked sorrowfully up, as if to
  enquire what reparation he could make?

    'My father, appearing to understand the question, said--"If you
  would not be indeed a parricide, shew Lady Montreville that you have
  a sense of your errors, and will give her no farther uneasiness."

    '"Do, Frederic," cried my sister.

    '"In what way, Sir?" said my brother, very mournfully.

    '"Tell her you will consent to fulfil all her wishes."

    '"Sir," said Delamere firmly, "if to sacrifice my own life would
  restore my mother's, I would not hesitate; but if what your Lordship
  means relates to Miss Otley, it is absolutely out of my power."

    '"He is already married, I doubt not," sighed my mother.

    '"Upon my soul I am not."

    '"Come, come," cried Dr. Gardner, "this is going a great deal too
  far; your Ladyship is but just convinced your son is living, and my
  Lord here is already talking of other matters. Tell me, madam--what
  do you wish Mr. Delamere to say?"

    '"That he will not marry," eagerly interrupted my father, "but
  with his mother's consent and mine."

    '"I will not, my Lord," said Delamere, sighing.

    '"That as soon as Lady Montreville is well enough to allow you to
  leave her, you will go abroad for a twelvemonth or longer if I shall
  judge it expedient."

    '"I will promise _that_, if your Lordship makes a point of it--if
  my mother insists upon it. But, my Lord, if at the end of that time
  Emmeline Mowbray is still single----my Lord, you do not expect
  unconditional submission--I shall then in my turn hope that you and
  my mother will make no farther opposition to my wishes."

    'My father, who expected no concession from Delamere, had at first
  asked of him more than he intended to insist on, and now appeared
  eager to close with the first terms he could obtain. Accepting
  therefore a delay, instead of a renunciation, he said--"Well,
  Delamere, if at the end of a twelvemonth you still insist on
  marrying Miss Mowbray, I will not oppose it. Lady Montreville, you
  hear what your son engages for; do you agree to the terms?"

    'My mother said, very faintly--"Yes."

    'The promise was repeated on both sides before the physician and
  Fitz-Edward, who came in at the latter part of this scene. My mother
  seemed reluctantly to accede; complained of extreme faintness; and
  the scene beginning to grow fatiguing to her, my brother offered to
  retire. She gave him her hand, which he kissed, and at her desire
  consented to return to the apartments here which he used to occupy.
  My mother had that evening another attack; tho' it was much less
  severe. But as the contraction does not give way to any remedies yet
  used, the physicians propose sending her to Bath as soon as she is
  able to bear the journey.

    'Thus, my dearest Emmeline, I have punctually related all you
  appear so anxious to know, on which I leave you to reflect. My
  mother now sees my brother every day; but he has desired that
  nothing may be said of the past; and their conversations are short

    and melancholy. Fitz-Edward has left London; and Frederic told
  me, last night, that as soon as the physicians pronounce my mother
  entirely out of danger, he shall go down to you. Ah! my lovely
  friend! what a trial will his be! But I know _you_ will encourage
  and support him in the task, however painful, of fulfilling the
  promise he has given; and my father, who praises you incessantly,
  says he is _sure_ of it.

                                     Adieu! my dear Miss Mowbray!
                                    your affectionate and attached,
                                                    AUGUSTA DELAMERE.'

  _Berkley-square, March 3._


A few days after the receipt of this letter, Delamere went down to
Tylehurst. Dejection was visibly marked in his air and countenance; and
all that Emmeline could say to strengthen his resolution, served only to
make him feel greater reluctance. To quit her for twelve months, to
leave her exposed to the solicitation of rivals who would not fail to
surround her, and to hazard losing her for ever, seemed so terrible to
his imagination, that the nearer the period of his promised departure
grew, the more impossible he thought it to depart.

His ardent imagination seemed to be employed only in figuring the
variety of circumstances which might in that interval arise to separate
them for ever; and he magnified these possibilities, till he persuaded
himself that nothing but a private marriage could secure her. As he saw
how anxious she was that he should strictly adhere to the promises he
had given his father, he thought that he might induce her to consent to
this expedient, as the only one by which he could reconcile his duty and
his love. He therefore took an opportunity, when he had by the
bitterness of his complaints softened her into tears, to entreat, to
implore her to consent to marry him before he went. He urged, that as
Lord and Lady Montreville had both consented to their union at the end
of the year, if he remained in the same mind, it made in fact no
difference to _them_; because he was very sure that his inclinations
would not change, and no doubt _could_ arise but from herself. If
therefore she determined then to be his, she might as well consent to
become so immediately as to hazard the difficulties which might arise to
their marriage hereafter.

Emmeline, tho' extremely affected by his sorrow, had still resolution
enough to treat this argument as feeble sophistry, unworthy of him and
of herself; and positively to refuse her consent to an engagement which
militated against all her assurances to Lord Montreville.

This decisive rejection of a plan, to which, from the tender pity she
testified, he believed he should persuade her to assent, threw him into
one of those transports of agonizing passion which he could neither
conceal or contend with. He wept; he raved like a madman. He swore he
would return to his father and revoke his promise; and the endeavours of
Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline to calm his mind seemed only to encrease the
emotions with which it was torn.

After having exhausted every mode of persuasion in vain, he was obliged
to relinquish the hope of a secret marriage, and to attempt to obtain
another concession, in which he at length succeeded. He told Emmeline,
that if she had no wish to quit him entirely, but really meant to reward
his long and ardent affection, she could not object to bind herself to
become his wife immediately on his return to England.

Emmeline made every objection she could to this request. But she only
objected; for she saw him so hurt, that she had not the resolution to
wound him anew by a positive refusal. Mrs. Stafford too, moved by his
grief and despair, no longer supported her in her reserve; and as
_their_ steadiness seemed to give way _his_ eagerness and importunity
encreased, till they allowed him to draw up a promise in these
words--'At the end of the term prescribed by Lord Montreville, Emmeline
Mowbray hereby promises to become the wife of Frederic Delamere.'

This, Emmeline signed with a reluctant and trembling hand; for tho' she
had an habitual friendship and affection for Delamere, and preferred him
to all the men she had yet seen, she thought this not strictly right;
and felt a pain and repugnance to it's performance, which made her more
unhappy the longer she reflected on it.

On Delamere, however, it had a contrary effect. Tho' he still continued
greatly depressed at the thoughts of their approaching separation, he
yet assumed some degree of courage to bear it: and when the day arrived,
he bid her adieu without relapsing into those agonies he had suffered
before at the mere idea of it.

He carried with him a miniature picture of her, and entreated her to
answer his letters; which, on the footing they now were, she could not
refuse to promise. He then tore himself from her, and went to take leave
of his mother, who still continued ill at Bath; and from thence to
London, to bid farewel to his father; after which, Fitz-Edward
accompanied him as far as Harwich, where he embarked for Holland.

As he had before been the usual tour of France and Italy, he purposed
passing the summer in visiting Germany, and the winter at Vienna; and
early in the spring to set out thro' France on his way home, where he
purposed being on the 20th of March, when the year which he had promised
his father to pass abroad would expire.

Lord Montreville, by obtaining this delay thought there was every
probability that his attachment to Emmeline would be conquered. And his
Lordship, as well as Lady Montreville, determined to try in the interval
to procure for Emmeline some unexceptionable marriage which it would not
be possible for her to refuse. They imagined, therefore, that their
uneasiness on this head was over: and Lady Montreville, whose mind was
greatly relieved by the persuasion, was long since out of all danger
from the fits which had so severely attacked her; but the contraction of
her joints which they had occasioned, was still so painful and
obstinate, that the physicians seemed to apprehend it might be necessary
to send her Ladyship to the waters of Barege.

In the mean time, Lord Montreville had obtained a post in administration
which encreased his income and his power. Sir Richard Crofts possessed a
lucrative employment in the same department; and his eldest son was
become extremely necessary, from his assiduity and attention to
business, and more than ever a favourite with all Lord Montreville's
family, with whom he almost entirely lived.

A lurking _penchant_ for Fitz-Edward, which had grown up from her
earliest recollection almost insensibly in the bosom of Miss Delamere,
had been long chilled by his evident neglect and indifference: she now
fancied she hated him, and really preferred Crofts, every way inferior
as he was.

While the want of high birth and a title, which she had been taught to
consider as absolutely requisite to happiness, made her repress every
tendency to a serious engagement, she was extremely gratified by his
flattery; and when among other young women (from whom he affected not to
be able to stifle his unhappy passion,) she was frequently told how
much he was in love with her, she was accustomed to answer--'Ah! poor
fellow; so he is, and I heartily pity him.'

But while Lord and Lady Montreville thought Crofts's attendance on their
daughters quite without consequence, he and his father insinuated an
intended connection between him and one of them, with so much art, that
tho' it never reached the ears of the family it was universally believed
in the world.

A young nobleman who had passed the greater part of his life in the
army, where he had lately signalized himself by his bravery and conduct,
now returned to England on being promoted to a regiment; and having some
business to transact with Lord Montreville in his official capacity, he
was invited to the house, and greatly admired both the Miss Delameres,
whose parties he now joined at Bath.

Crofts soon afterwards obtaining a short respite from his political
engagement, went thither also; and tho' Miss Delamere really thought
Lord Westhaven quite unexceptionable, she had been so habituated to
behave particularly to Crofts, that she could not now alter it, or
perhaps was not conscious of the familiar footing on which she allowed
him to be with her.

Lord Westhaven, who had at first hesitated between the sprightly dignity
of the elder sister, and the soft and more bewitching graces of the
younger, no sooner saw the conduct of Miss Delamere towards Crofts, than
his doubts were at an end. Her faults of temper had been hitherto
concealed from him, and he believed her heart as good as her sister's;
indeed, according to the sentimental turn her discourse frequently took,
he might have supposed it more refined and sublime. But when he observed
her behaviour to Crofts, he thought that she must either be secretly
engaged to him, or be a decided coquet. Turning therefore all his
attention to Augusta, he soon found that her temper was as truly good as
her person was interesting, and that the too great timidity of her
manner was solely owing to her being continually checked by her mother's
partiality to her sister.

A very short study of her character convinced him she was exactly the
woman calculated to make him happy. He told her so; and found her by no
means averse to his making the same declaration to her father and
mother.

Lord Montreville received it with pleasure; and preliminaries were soon
settled. In about six weeks, Lord Westhaven and Miss Augusta Delamere
were married at Bath, to the infinite satisfaction of all parties except
Miss Delamere; who could not be very well pleased with the preference
shewn her younger sister by a man whose morals, person, and fortune,
were all superior to what even her own high spirit had taught her to
expect in a husband.

Crofts, tho' he saw all apprehensions of having Lord Westhaven for a
rival were at an end, could not help fearing that so advantageous a
match for the younger, might make the elder more unwilling to accept a
simple commoner with a fortune greatly inferior.

The removal, however, of Lady Westhaven gave him more frequent
opportunities to urge his passion. Lady Montreville was now going to
Barege, Bath having been found less serviceable than was at first hoped
for; and Delamere was written to to meet her Ladyship and her eldest
daughter at Paris, in order to accompany them thither.

Peace having been in the interim established, Lord Westhaven found he
should return no more to his regiment, and purposed with his wife to
attend Lady Montreville part of the way, and then to go into
Switzerland, where his mother's family resided, who had been of that
country.

Lady Westhaven was extremely gratified by this scheme; not only because
she was delighted to wait on her mother, but because she hoped it would
help to dissipate a lurking uneasiness which hung over the spirits of
her Lord, and which he told her was owing to the uncertain and
distressing situation of a beloved sister. But whenever the subject was
mentioned, he expressed so much unhappiness, that his wife had not yet
had resolution to enquire into the nature of her misfortunes, and only
knew in general that she was unfortunately married.



CHAPTER XI


Emmeline had now lost her lover, at least for some time; and one of her
friends too was gone where she could seldom hear of her. These
deprivations attached her more closely than ever to Mrs. Stafford. Mr.
Stafford was gone to town; and except now and then a short and
melancholy visit from Fitz-Edward, to whom Delamere had lent his house
at Tylehurst, they saw nobody; for all the neighbouring families were in
London. They found not only society but happiness together enough to
compensate for almost every other; and passed their time in a way
particularly adapted to the taste of both.

Adjoining to the estate where Mrs. Stafford resided, a tract of forest
land, formerly a chase and now the property of a collegiate body, deeply
indents the arable ground beyond it, and fringes the feet of the green
downs which rise above it. This part of the country is called Woodbury
Forest; and the deep shade of the beech trees with which it is covered,
is broken by wild and uncultured glens; where, among the broom, hawthorn
and birch of the waste, a few scattered cottages have been built upon
sufferance by the poor for the convenience of fewel, so amply afforded
by the surrounding woods. These humble and obscure cabbins are known
only to the sportsman and the woodcutter; for no road whatever leads
through the forest: and only such romantic wanderers as Mrs. Stafford
and Emmeline, were conscious of the beautiful walks which might be found
among these natural shrubberies and solitary shades. The two friends
were enjoying the softness of a beautiful April morning in these woods,
when, in passing near one of the cottages, they saw, at a low casement
half obscured by the pendant trees, a person sitting, whose dress and
air seemed very unlike those of the usual inhabitants of such a place.
She was intent on a paper, over which she leaned in a melancholy
posture; but on seeing the two ladies approach, she started up and
immediately disappeared.

Tho' the distance at which they saw her, and the obscurity of the
window, prevented their distinguishing the features of the stranger,
they saw that she was young, and they fancied she was beautiful. The
same idea instantly occurred to Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline; that it was
some unfortunate young woman, whom Mr. Stafford had met with and had
concealed there. Something of the same sort had happened once before,
and Mrs. Stafford's anxiety and curiosity were both awakened by this
incident. Tho' the latter was a passion she never indulged where it's
object was the business of others, she could not repress it where it was
excited by suspicion of a circumstance which so nearly concerned
herself.

Nor could she conceal from Emmeline her fears on this occasion; and
Emmeline, tho' unwilling to encrease them, yet knew enough of her
husband's conduct to believe they were too well founded.

Mrs. Stafford had been accustomed to buy poultry of the woman who lived
at this cottage, and therefore went in, in hopes of finding some vestige
of the person they had seen, which might lead to an enquiry. But they
found nothing but the usual humble furniture and few conveniences of
such an house; and Mrs. Stafford forbore to enquire, lest the person she
had seen might be alarmed and take more effectual means of concealment.
But unable to rest, and growing every moment more desirous to know the
truth, and to know it before her husband, whom she expected in a few
days, returned, she arose very early the next morning, and, accompanied
by Emmeline, went to the cottage in the forest.

The man who inhabited it was already gone out to his work, and the woman
to a neighbouring town to buy necessaries for her family. The door was
open; and the ladies received this intelligence from three little
children who were playing before it.

They entered the low, smoky room, usually inhabited by the family. And
Mrs. Stafford, with a beating heart, determining to be satisfied, opened
a door which led from it, into that, at the window of which she knew the
stranger had appeared; and which the people of the house dignified with
the appellation of their parlour.

In this room, on the brick floor, and surrounded by bare walls, stood a
bed, which seemed to have been brought thither for the accommodation of
some person who had not been accustomed to such an apartment.

Mrs. Stafford saw, sleeping in it, a very young woman, pale, but
extremely beautiful; and her hand, of uncommon delicacy, lay on the
white quilt--A sight, which gave her pain for herself, and pity for the
unfortunate person before her, affected her so much, that having stood a
moment in astonishment, she stepped back to the place where Emmeline
sat, and burst into tears.

The noise, however trifling, brought from above stairs a person
evidently a lady's maid, of very creditable appearance, who came down
hastily into the room where Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline were, saying, as
she descended the stairs--'I am coming immediately, my Lady.' But at the
sight of two strangers, she stopped in great confusion; and at the same
moment her mistress called to her.

She hastened, without speaking, to attend the summons; and shut the door
after her. After remaining a few moments, she came out again, and asked
Mrs. Stafford if she wanted the woman of the house?

To which Mrs. Stafford, determined whatever it cost her to know the
truth, said--'No--my business is with your lady.'

The woman now appeared more confused than before; and said,
hesitatingly--'I--I--my lady--I fancy you are mistaken, madam.'

'Go in, however, and let your mistress know that Mrs. Stafford desires
to speak to her.'

The maid reluctantly and hesitatingly went in, and after staying some
time, came back.

'My mistress, Madam, says she has not the pleasure of knowing you; and
being ill, and in bed, she hopes you will excuse her if she desires you
will acquaint her with your business by me.'

'No,' replied Mrs. Stafford, 'I must see her myself. Tell her my
business is of consequence to us both, and that I will wait till it is
convenient to her to speak to me.'

With this message the maid went back, with looks of great consternation,
to her mistress. They fancied they heard somebody sigh and weep
extremely. The maid came out once or twice and carried back water and
hartshorn.

At length, after waiting near half an hour, the door opened, and the
stranger appeared, leaning on the arm of her woman. She wore a long,
white muslin morning gown, and a large muslin cap almost concealed her
face; her dark hair seemed to escape from under it, to form a decided
contrast to the extreme whiteness of her skin; and her long eye lashes
hid her eyes, which were cast down, and which bore the marks of recent
tears. If it were possible to personify languor and dejection, it could
not be done more expressively than by representing her form, her air,
her complexion, and the mournful cast of her very beautiful countenance.

She slowly approached Mrs. Stafford, lifted up her melancholy eyes to
Emmeline, and attempted to speak.

'I am at a loss to know, ladies,' said she, 'what can be your'----But
unable to finish the sentence, she sat down, and seemed ready to faint.
The maid held her smelling bottle to her.

'I waited on you, Madam,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'supposing you were
acquainted--too well acquainted--with my name and business.'

'No, upon my honour,' said the young person, 'I cannot even guess.'

'You are very young,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'and, I fear, very
unfortunate. Be assured I wish not either to reproach or insult you; but
only to try if you cannot be prevailed upon to quit a manner of life,
which surely, to a person of your appearance, must be dreadful.'

'It is indeed dreadful!' sighed the young woman--'nor is it the least
dreadful part of it that I am exposed to this.'

She now fell into an agony of tears; which affected both Mrs. Stafford
and Emmeline so much, that forgetting their fears and suspicions, they
both endeavoured tenderly to console her. Having in some measure
succeeded, and Mrs. Stafford having summoned resolution to tell her what
were her apprehensions, the stranger saw that to give her a simple
detail of her real situation was the only method she had to satisfy her
doubts, and to secure her compassion and secresy; for which reason she
determined to do it; and Mrs. Stafford, whose countenance was all
ingenuousness as well as her heart, assured her she should never repent
her confidence; while Emmeline, whose looks and voice were equally
soothing and engaging to the unhappy, expressed the tenderest interest
in the fate of a young creature who seemed but little older than
herself, and to have been thrown from a very different sphere into her
present obscure and uncomfortable manner of life.

The stranger would have attempted to relate her history to them
immediately; but her maid, a steady woman of three or four and thirty,
told her that she was certainly unable then, and begged the ladies not
to insist upon it till the evening, or the next day; adding--'My Lady
has been very poorly indeed all this week, and is continually fainting
away; and you see, ladies, how much she has been frightened this
morning, and I am sure she will not be able to go through it.'

To the probability of this observation, the two friends assented; and
the young lady naming the next morning to gratify their curiosity, they
left her, Mrs. Stafford first offering her any thing her house afforded.
To which she replied, that at present she was tolerably well supplied,
and only conjured them to observe the strictest secresy, without which,
she said, she was undone.

At the appointed time they returned; equally eager to hear, and, if
possible, to relieve, the sorrows of this young person, for whom they
could not help being interested, tho' they yet knew not how far she
deserved their pity.

She had prepared her own little room as well as it would admit of to
receive them, and sat waiting their arrival with some degree of
composure. They contemplated with concern the ruins of eminent beauty
even in early youth, and saw an expression of helpless sorrow and
incurable unhappiness, which had greatly injured the original lustre and
beauty of her eyes and countenance. A heavy languor hung on her whole
frame. She tried to smile; but it was a smile of anguish; and their
looks seemed to distress and pain her. Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline, to
relieve her, took out their work; and when they were seated at it, she
hesitated--then sighed and hesitated again--and at length seemed to
enter on her story with desperate and painful resolution, as if to get
quickly and at once thro' a task which, however necessary, was extremely
distressing. She began in a low and plaintive voice; and frequently
stopped to summon courage to continue, while she wiped away the tears
that slowly fell from her eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

'I cannot believe I shall ever repent the confidence I am about to place
in you. My heart assures me I shall not. Perhaps I may find that pity I
dare no longer solicit from my own family; perhaps--but I must hasten to
tell you my melancholy story, before its recollection again overwhelms
me. Yet my fate has nothing in it very singular; numbers have been
victims of the same calamity, but some have been more easily forgiven
than I shall be.--Some are better able to bear infamy, and be reconciled
to disgrace.

'My father, the late Earl of Westhaven, during the life of my
grandfather, married, while he was making the tour of Europe, a very
beautiful and amiable woman, the daughter of a man of rank in
Switzerland; who having lost his life in the French service, had left a
family without any provision, except for the eldest son. My grandfather,
extremely disobliged by this marriage, made a will by which he gave to
his only daughter every part of his extensive property, except what was
entailed, and which went with the title; with this reserve, that his
grandson should claim and inherit the whole, whenever he became Lord
Westhaven. By this will, he disinherited my father for his life; and
tho' he survived my father's marriage five years, and knew he had three
children, the two younger of whom must be inevitably impoverished by
such a disposition, he obstinately refused to alter the will he made
under the first impulse of resentment, and died before his son could
prevail upon him, by means of their general friends, to withdraw the
maledictions with which he had loaded him.

'His death, not only hurt my father in his feelings, but irreparably in
his fortune. His sister, who was married to a Scottish nobleman, took
possession of estates to the amount of fifteen thousand a year; and all
that remained to my father, to support his rank and his encreasing
family, was little more than three thousand; and even that income he had
considerably diminished, by taking up money, which he was obliged to do
while my grandfather lived, for the actual maintenance of his family.

'These unhappy circumstances, while they injured the health and spirits
of my father, diminished not his tenderness for his wife, whom he loved
with unabated passion.

'To retrench as much as possible, he retired with her and his three
children to an estate, which being attached to the title, belonged to
him in Cumberland; in hopes of being able to live on the income he had
left, and to clear off the burden with which he had been compelled to
load his paternal estates. But a slow fever, the effect of sorrow, had
seized on my mother, then far advanced in her pregnancy with me; my
father, solicitous to save her in whom all his happiness was centered,
sent to London for the best advice to attend her. But their assistance
was vain; the fever encreased upon her, and she died three weeks after
my birth, leaving my father deprived of every thing that could make life
valuable in his estimation. He gave himself up to a despair equal to the
violence of his love, and would probably have fallen a victim to it, had
not the servants sent to Mr. Thirston, who had been his tutor, and for
whom he had the greatest friendship and respect. This excellent man
represented to him that it was his duty to live for the children of his
deplored Adelina; and he consented to try to live.

'It was long before he could bear to see any of us; particularly me,
whom he beheld with a mixture of tenderness and regret. The gloomy
solitude in which he lived, where every object reminded him of her whose
smiles had rendered it a paradise, was ill calculated to meliorate his
affliction; but he could not be persuaded, for some months, to leave it,
or could he be diverted from going every evening to visit the spot where
lay the relicts of his Adelina.

'At length Mr. Thirston prevailed on him to go abroad. But he could not
determine to leave my elder brother, then about five years old, of whom
he was passionately fond. They embarked for Naples; and he remained
abroad five years; while my sister, my brother William, and myself, were
left at Kensington, under the care of a female relation, and received
such instruction as our ages admitted.

'My father returned to England only to place his eldest son at Eton.
Finding no relief from the sorrow which perpetually preyed on him, but
in continual change of place, he soon afterwards went again abroad, and
wandered over Europe for almost seven years longer, returning once or
twice to England in that interval to satisfy himself of our health and
the progress of our education.

'When he last returned, my elder brother, then near eighteen, desired to
be allowed to go into the army. My father reluctantly consented; and the
regiment into which he purchased was soon after ordered abroad. The
grief the departure of his son gave him, was somewhat relieved by seeing
his elder daughter advantageously disposed of in marriage to the eldest
son of an Irish peer. The beauty of Lady Camilla was so conspicuous, and
her manners so charming, that though entirely without fortune, the
family of her husband could not object to the marriage. She went to
Ireland with her Lord; and it was long before I saw her again.

'My brother William, who had always been designed for the navy, left me
also for a three years station in the Mediterranean; and I was now
always alone with my governess and my old relation, whose temper, soured
by disappointment and not naturally chearful, made her a very unpleasant
companion for a girl of fourteen. I learned, from masters who attended
me from London, all the usual accomplishments; but of the world I knew
nothing, and impatiently waited for the time when I should be sixteen;
for then the Dutchess of B----, who had kindly undertaken to introduce
my sister into company, had promised that she would afford me also her
countenance. I remember she smiled, and told me that as I was not less
pretty than Lady Camilla, I might probably have as good fortune, if I
was but as accomplished. To be accomplished, therefore, I endeavoured
with all my power; but the time seemed insupportably long, before this
essay was to be made. It was relieved, tho' mournfully, by frequent
visits from my father; who was accustomed to sit whole hours looking at
me, while his tears bore witness to the great resemblance I had to my
mother. My voice too, particularly when we conversed in French,
frequently made him start, as if he again heard that which he had never
ceased to remember and to regret. He would then fondly press me to his
heart, and call me his poor orphan girl, the image of his lost Adelina!

'Tho' my mother had been now dead above fifteen years, his passion for
her memory seemed not at all abated. He had, by a long residence abroad,
paid off the debts with which he had incumbered his income, but could do
no more; and the expences necessary for young men of my brothers' rank
pressed hardly upon him. Ever since his return to England, his friends
had entreated him to attempt, by marrying a woman of fortune, to repair
the deficiency of his own; representing to him, that to provide for the
children of his Adelina, would be a better proof of his affection to her
memory than indulging a vain and useless regret.

'He had however long escaped from their importunity by objecting, on
some pretence or other, to all the great fortunes which were pointed out
to him--his heart rejected with abhorrence every idea of a second
marriage. But my brothers every day required a larger supply of money to
support them as their birth demanded; and to their interest my father at
length determined to sacrifice the remainder of a life, which had on his
own account no longer any value. The heiress of a rich grocer in the
city was soon discovered by his assiduous friends, who was reputed to be
possessed of two hundred thousand pounds. On closer enquiry, the sum was
found to be very little if at all exaggerated by fame. Miss Jobson, with
a tall, meagre person, a countenance bordering on the horrible, and
armed with two round black eyes which she fancied beautiful, had seen
her fortieth year pass, while she attended on her papa, in
Leadenhall-street, or was dragged by two sleek coach horses to and from
Hornsey. Rich as her father was, he would not part with any thing while
he lived; and, by the assistance of two maiden sisters, had so guarded
his daughter from the dangerous attacks of Irishmen and younger
brothers, that she had reached that mature period without hearing the
soothing voice of flattery, to which she was extremely disposed to
listen. My father, yet in middle age, and with a person remarkably fine,
would have been greatly to her taste if he could have gratified, with a
better grace, her love of admiration. But his friends undertook to
court her for him; and his title still more successfully pleaded in his
favour. She made some objection to his having a family; but as I alone
remained at home, she at length agreed to undertake to be at once a
mother-in-law and a Countess. While this treaty was going on, and
settlements and jewels preparing, I was taken several times to wait on
Miss Jobson: but it was easy to see I had not the good fortune to please
her.

'I was but just turned of fifteen, was full of gaiety and vivacity, and
possessed those personal advantages, which, if _she_ ever had any share
of them, were long since faded. She seemed conscious that the splendour
of her first appearance would be eclipsed by the unadorned simplicity of
mine; and she hated me because it was not in my power to be old and
ugly. Giddy as I then was, nothing but respect for my father prevented
my repaying with ridicule, the supercilious style in which she usually
treated me. Her vulgar manners, and awkward attempts to imitate those of
people of fashion, excited my perpetual mirth; and as her dislike of me
daily encreased, I am afraid I did not always conceal the contempt I
felt in return. Miss Jobson chose to pass some time at Tunbridge
previous to her marriage. Thither my father followed her; and I went
with him, eager to make my first appearance in public, and to see
whether the prophecies of the Duchess would be fulfilled.

'This experiment was made in a party from Tunbridge to Lewes Races,
where I had the delight of dancing for the first time in public, and of
seeing the high and old fashioned little head of Miss Jobson, who
affected to do something which she thought was dancing also, almost at
the end of the set, while I, as an Earl's daughter, was nearly at the
top. Had I been ever accustomed to appear in public, these distinctions
would have been too familiar to have given me any pleasure; but now they
were enchanting; and, added to the universal admiration I excited,
intoxicated me with vanity. My partner, who had been introduced to me by
a man of high rank the moment I entered the room, was a gentleman from
the West of England, who was just of age, and entered into the
possession of a fortune of eight thousand a year.

'Mr. Trelawny (for that was his name) followed us to Tunbridge, and
frequently danced with me afterwards. Educated in obscurity, and without
any prospect of the fortune to which he succeeded by a series of
improbable events, this young man had suddenly emerged into life. He
was tolerably handsome; but had a heavy, unmeaning countenance, and was
quite unformed. Several men of fashion, however, were kind enough to
undertake to initiate him into a good style of living; and for every
thing that bore the name of fashion and ton, he seemed to have a violent
attachment. To that, I owed his unfortunate prepossession in my
favour.--I was admired and followed by men whom he had been taught to
consider as the arbiters of elegance, and supreme judges of beauty and
fashion; but they could only admire--they could not afford to marry an
indigent woman of quality; and they told Trelawny that they envied him
the power of pleasing himself.--So Trelawny was talked to about me, till
he believed he was in love. In this persuasion he procured a statement
of his fortune to be shewn to my father, by one of his friends, and made
an offer to lay it at my feet; an offer which, tho' my father would have
been extremely glad to have me accept, he answered by referring Mr.
Trelawny to me.

'I suspected no such thing; but with the thoughtless inattention of
sixteen, remembered little of the fine things which were said to me by
Trelawny at the last ball. While I was busied in inventing a new
_chapeau_ for the next, at which I intended to do more than usual
execution, my father introduced Mr. Trelawny, and left the room. I
concluded he was come to engage me for the evening, and felt disposed to
refuse him out of pure coquetry; when, with an infinite number of
blushes, and after several efforts, he made me in due form an offer of
his heart and fortune. I had never thought of any thing so serious as
matrimony; and indeed was but just out of the nursery, where I had never
been told it was necessary to think at all. I did not very well know
what to say to my admirer; and after the first speech, which I believe
he had learned by heart, he knew almost as little what to say to me; and
he was not sorry when I, in a great fright, referred him to my father,
merely because I knew not myself what answer to give him. Our
conversation ended, and he went to find my father, while I, for the
first time in my life, began to reflect on my prospects, and to consider
whether I preferred marrying Mr. Trelawny to living with Miss Jobson. To
Miss Jobson, I had a decided aversion; for Mr. Trelawny, I felt neither
love or hatred. My mind was not made up on the subject, when my father
came to me: he had seen Trelawny, and expressed himself greatly pleased
with the prudence and propriety of my answer.

'"My Adelina knows," continued he, "that the happiness of my children is
the only wish I have on earth; and I may tell her, too, that my
solicitude for her exceeds all my other cares--solicitude, which will be
at an end if I can see her in the protection of a man of honour and
fortune. If therefore, my love, you really do not disapprove this young
man, whose fortune is splendid, and of whose character I have received
the most favourable accounts, I shall have a weight removed from my
mind, and enjoy all the tranquillity I can hope for on this side the
grave.

'"You know how soon I am to marry Miss Jobson. A mother-in-law is seldom
beloved. I may die, and leave you unprovided for; for you know, Adelina,
the circumstances into which your grandfather's will has thrown me. Our
dear Charles, whenever he inherits my title, will repossess the fortune
of my ancestors, and will, I am sure, act generously by you and William;
but such a dependance, if not precarious, is painful; and by accepting
the proposal of Mr. Trelawny, all my apprehensions will be at an end,
and my Adelina secure of that affluence to which her merit as well as
her birth entitles her. But powerful as these considerations are, let
them not influence you if you feel any reluctance to the match. Were
they infinitely stronger, I will never again name them, if in doing so I
hazard persuading my daughter to a step which may render her for every
unhappy."

'Tho' I was very far from feeling for Mr. Trelawny that decided
preference which would in other circumstances have induced me to accept
his hand, yet I found my father so desirous of my being settled, that as
I had no aversion to the man, I could not resolve to disappoint him.
Perhaps the prospect of escaping from the power of my mother-in-law, and
of being mistress of an affluent fortune instead of living in mortifying
dependance on her, might have too much influence on my heart. My father,
however, obtained without any difficulty my consent to close with Mr.
Trelawny's proposals. We all went to London, where Lord Westhaven
married Miss Jobson, and the settlements were preparing by which Mr.
Trelawny secured to me a jointure as great as I could have expected if
my fortune had been equal to my rank.

'As the new Lady Westhaven was so soon to be relieved from the presence
of a daughter she did not love, she behaved to me with tolerable
civility. Occupied with her rank, she seemed to have infinite delight in
displaying it to her city acquaintance. Her Ladyship thought a coronet
so delightful an ornament, that the meanest utensils in her house were
adorned with it; and she wore it woven or worked on all her cloaths, in
the vain hope perhaps of counteracting the repelling effect of an
hideous countenance, a discordant voice, and a manner more vulgar than
either. I saw with concern that my father was not consoled by the
possession of her great fortune, for the mortification of having given
the name and place of his adored Adelina to a woman so unlike her in
mind and person. He was seldom well; seldomer at home; and seemed to
have no other delight than in hearing from his two sons and from his
eldest daughter; and when we were alone, he told me that to see me
married would also give him pleasure; but he appeared, I thought, less
anxious for the match than when it was first proposed. The preparations,
however, went on, and in six weeks were compleated.

'In that interval, I had seen Trelawny almost every day. He always
seemed very good humoured, and was certainly very thoughtless. He loved
me, or fancied he loved me, extremely; but I sometimes suspected that it
was rather in compliance with the taste of others than his own; and that
a favourite hunter or a famous pointer were very likely to rival me. My
father sometimes laughed at his boyish fondness for such things, and the
importance he annexed to them; and sometimes I thought he looked grave
and hurt at observing it.

'For my own part, I saw his follies; but none that I did not equally
perceive in the conduct of other young men. Tho' I had no absolute
partiality to him, I was totally indifferent to every other man. I
married him, therefore; and gave away my person before I knew I had an
heart.

'We went immediately into Cornwall, to an old fashioned but magnificent
family seat; where I was received by Mr. Trelawny's sister, a woman some
years older than he was, and who had brought him up. The coarse
conversation of this woman, which consisted entirely in details of
family oeconomy; and the stupidity of her husband and a booby son of
fourteen, were but ill calculated to render my retirement pleasing.
Having laughed and wondered once at the uncouth figures and obsolete
notions of Mr. Trelawny's Cornish cousins, who hastened, in their best
cloaths, to congratulate him, from places whose barbarous names I could
not pronounce--and having twice entertained the voters of two boroughs
which belonged to the family; I had exhausted all the delights of
Cornwall, and prevailed on him to return to a country where I could see
a few beings like myself.

'When I came back into the world, I was surrounded by a croud of idle
people, whose admiration flattered the vanity of Trelawny more than it
did mine; for I became accustomed to adulation, and it lost it's charms
with it's novelty. Trelawny was continually with young men of fashion,
who called themselves his friends; and who besides doing him the
kindness to advise and instruct him in the disposal of his fortune,
would have relieved him from the affections of his wife, if he had ever
possessed them. They made love to _me_, with as little scruple as they
borrowed money of _him_; and told me that neglect on the part of my
husband, well deserved to be repaid with infidelity on mine: but I felt
for these shallow libertines only disgust and contempt; and received
their professions with so much coldness, that they left me, in search of
some other giddy creature, who might not, by ill-timed prudery, belie
the promise of early coquetry. It was yet however very much the fashion
to admire me; and my husband seemed still to take some delight in
hearing and reading in the daily papers that Lady Adelina Trelawny was
the most elegant figure at Court, or that every beauty at the Opera was
eclipsed on _her_ entrance. The eagerness and avidity with which I had
entered, from the confinement of the nursery, to a life of continual
dissipation, was now considerably abated. I continued it from habit, and
because I knew not how to employ my time otherwise; but I felt a dreary
vacuity in my heart; and amid splendor and admiration was unhappy.

'The return of my elder brother from his first campaign in America, was
the only real pleasure I had long felt. He is perhaps one of the most
elegant and accomplished young men of his time; but to be elegant and
accomplished is his least praise--His solid understanding, and his
excellent heart, are an honour to his country and to human nature. That
quick sense of honour, and that strictness of principle, which now make
my greatest terror, give a peculiar lustre and dignity to his character.
My father received him with that delight a father only can feel; and saw
and gloried with all a father's pride, in a successor worthy of his
ancestors.

'My brother, who had always loved me extremely, tho' we had been very
little together, took up his abode at my house while he staid in
England. Trelawny seemed to feel a sort of awe before him, which made
him endeavour to hide his vices if not his weakness, while he remained
with us. He was more attentive to me than he had long been. My brother
hoped I was happy; and tho' Trelawny was a man whose conversation
afforded him no pleasure, he behaved to him with every appearance of
friendship and regard. He was soon however to return to his regiment;
and my father, who had been in a declining state of health ever since
his second marriage, appeared to grow worse as the period of separation
approached. He seemed to have waited only for this beloved son to close
his eyes; for a few days before he was again to take leave, my father
found his end very rapidly approaching.

'Perfectly conscious of it, he settled all his affairs; and made a
provision for me and my brother William out of the money of the present
Lady Westhaven, which the marriage articles gave him a right to dispose
of after her Ladyship's death if he left no children by her; and
recommended us both to his eldest son.

'"You will act nobly by our dear William," said he; "I have no doubt of
it; but above all, remember my poor Adelina. Camilla is happily married.
Tell her I die blessing her, and her children! But Adelina--my
unfortunate Adelina is herself but a child, and her husband is very
young and thoughtless. Watch over her honour and her repose, for the
sake of your father and that dear woman she so much resembles, your
sainted mother."

'I was in the room, in an agony of sorrow. He called me to him. "My
daughter," said he, in a feeble voice, "remember that the honour of your
family--of your brothers--is in your hands--and remember it is
sacred.--Endeavour to deserve the happiness of being sister to such
brothers, and daughter to such a mother as yours was!"

'I was unable to answer. I could only kiss his convulsed hands; which I
eagerly did, as if to tell him that I promised all he expected of me. My
own heart, which then made the vow, now perpetually reproaches me with
having kept it so ill!

'A few hours afterwards, my father died. My brother, unable to announce
to me the melancholy tidings, took my hand in silence, and led me out of
the house, which was now Lady Westhaven's. He had only a few days to
stay in England, which he employed in paying the last mournful duties to
his father; and then embarked again for America, leaving his affairs to
be settled by my sister's husband, Lord Clancarryl, to whom he wrote to
come over from Ireland; for my brother William was now stationed in the
West Indies, where he obtained the command of a man of war; and my
brother Westhaven knew, that to leave any material business to Trelawny,
was to leave it to ignorance and imbecility.

'In my husband, I had neither a friend or a companion--I had not even a
protector; for except when he was under the restraint of my brother's
presence, he was hardly ever at home. Sometimes he was gone on tours to
distant counties to attend races or hunts, to which he belonged; and
sometimes to France, where he was embarked in gaming associations with
Englishmen who lived only to disgrace their name. Left to pass my life
as the wife of such a man as Trelawny, I felt my brother's departure as
the deprivation of all I loved. But the arrival of my sister and her
husband relieved me. I had not seen them for some years; and was
delighted to meet my sister happy with a man so worthy and respectable
as Lord Clancarryl.

'He took possession on behalf of my brother of the estate my aunt was
now obliged to resign; and as my sister was impatient to return to
Ireland, where she had left her children, they pressed me extremely to
go thither with them. Trelawny was gone out on one of his rambles; but I
wrote to him and obtained his consent--indeed he long since ceased to
trouble himself about me.

'I attended my sister therefore to Lough Carryl; on the beautiful banks
of which her Lord had built an house, which possessing as much
magnificence as was proper to their rank, was yet contrived with an
attention to all the comforts of domestic retirement. Here Lady
Clancarryl chose to reside the whole year; and my Lord never left it but
to attend the business of Parliament at Dublin.

'His tender attention to his wife; his ardent, yet regulated fondness
for his children; the peace and order which reigned in his house; the
delightful and easy society he sometimes collected in it, and the
chearful confidence we enjoyed in quiet family parties when without
company; made me feel with bitterness and regret the difference between
my sister's lot and mine. _Her_ husband made it the whole business of
his life to fulfill every duty of his rank, _mine_ seemed only
solicitous to degrade himself below his. One was improving his fortune
by well regulated oeconomy; the other dissipating his among gamesters
and pick-pockets. The conversation of Lord Clancarryl was sensible,
refined, and improving; Trelawny's consisted either in tiresome details
of adventures among jockies, pedigrees of horses, or scandalous and
silly anecdotes about persons of whom nobody wished to hear; or he sunk
into sullen silence, yawned, and shewed how very little relish he had
for any other discourse.

'When I married him, I knew not to what I had condemned myself. As his
character gradually discovered itself, my reason also encreased; and
now, when I had an opportunity of comparing him to such a man as Lord
Clancarryl, I felt all the horrors of my destiny! and beheld, with a
dread from which my feeble heart recoiled, a long, long prospect of life
before me--without attachment, without friendship, without love.

'I remained two months in Ireland; and heard nothing of Trelawny, 'till
a match having been made on the Curragh of Kildare, on which he had a
large bet depending, he came over to be present at it; and I heard with
regret that I was to return with him. While he remained in Ireland, his
disgusting manners, and continual intoxication, extremely displeased
Lord Clancarryl; and I lived in perpetual uneasiness. A few days before
we were to embark for England, George Fitz-Edward, his Lordship's
younger brother, came from the north of Ireland, where he had been with
his regiment, to Lough Carryl; but it was only a passing visit to his
family--he was going to England, and we were to sail in the same
pacquet.'

       *       *       *       *       *

At the mention of George Fitz-Edward, Lady Adelina grew more distressed
than she had yet been in the course of her narrative. Mrs. Stafford and
Emmeline testified signs of surprize. She observed it; and asked if they
knew him? Mrs. Stafford answered, they had some acquaintance with him;
and Emmeline remarked that she either never heard or had forgotten that
his father's second title was Clancarryl.

His very name seemed to affect Lady Adelina so much, and she appeared so
exhausted by having spoken so long, that tho' she told them she had but
little to add to her mournful story, they insisted upon her permitting
them to release her till the evening, when they would attend her again.



CHAPTER XII


They found Lady Adelina in better spirits in the evening than they had
hoped for--She seemed to have been arguing herself into the composure
necessary to go on with her story.

       *       *       *       *       *

'As you have some acquaintance with George Fitz-Edward, I need not
describe his person or his manner; nor how decided a contrast they must
form with those of such a man as him to whom I was unhappily united.
This contrast, in spite of all my endeavours, was perpetually before my
eyes--I thought Fitz-Edward, who was agreeable as his brother, had a
heart as good; and _my_ heart involuntarily made the comparison between
what I was, and what I might have been, if my fate had reserved me for
Fitz-Edward.

'We embarked--It was about the autumnal equinox; and before we had
sailed two leagues, the wind suddenly changing, blew from the opposite
quarter, and then from every quarter by turns. As I was always subject
to sickness in the cabin, I had lain down on the deck, on a piece of
sail-cloth, and wrapped in my _pelisse_; and Fitz-Edward sat by me. But
when the wind grew so violent that it was necessary every moment to
shift the sails, I, who was totally insensible, was in the way of the
sailors. Fitz-Edward carried me down in his arms; and having often heard
me express an abhorrence to the close beds in the cabin, by the help of
my own maid he accommodated me with one on the floor; where he continued
to watch over me, without attending to his own danger, tho' he heard the
master of the pacquet express his apprehensions that we should be driven
back on the bar, and beat to pieces.

'Trelawny, in whom self-preservation was generally alive, whatever
became of his other feelings, had passed so jovial an evening before he
departed, that he was perfectly unconscious of his own danger. After
struggling some hours to return into the bay, it was with difficulty
accomplished about five in the morning. Fitz-Edward, with the tenderest
solicitude, saw me safe on shore, whither Trelawny was also brought. But
far from being rejoiced at our narrow escape, he cursed his ill luck,
which he said had raised this confounded storm only to prevent his
returning in time to see Clytemnestra got into proper order for the
October meeting.

'I was so ill the next day, thro' the fear and fatigue I had undergone,
that I was absolutely unable to go on board. But nothing that related to
me could detain Trelawny, who embarked again as soon as the pacquet was
refitted, and after some grumbling at my being too ill to go, left me to
follow him by the next conveyance, and recommended me with great
coolness to the care of Fitz-Edward.

'We staid only two days after him. Fitz-Edward, as well during the
passage as on our journey to London, behaved to me with the tenderness
of a brother; and I fancied my partiality concealed from him, because I
tried to conceal it. If he saw it, he shewed no disposition to take
advantage of it, and I therefore thought I might fearlessly indulge it.

'When I arrived at my house in town, I found that Trelawny was absent,
and had left a letter for me desiring me to go down to a house he had
not long before purchased in Hampshire, as a hunting seat. Without
enquiring his reasons, I obeyed him. I took a melancholy leave of
Fitz-Edward, and went into Hampshire; where, as Trelawny was not there,
I betook myself to my books, and I fear to thinking too much of
Fitz-Edward.

'After I had been there about a fortnight, I was surprized by a visit
from the object of my indiscreet contemplations. He looked distressed
and unhappy; and his first conversation seemed to be preparing me for
some ill news. I was dreadfully alarmed, and enquired eagerly for my
sister?--her husband?--her children?--

'"I hope, and believe they are well," answered he. "I have letters of a
very late date from my brother."

'"Oh God!" cried I, in an agony (for his countenance still assured me
something very bad had happened) "Lord Westhaven--my brother, my dear
brother!"--

'"Is well too, I hope--at least I assure you I know nothing to the
contrary."

'"Is it news from Jamaica then? Has there been an engagement. There has,
I know, and my brother William is killed."

'"No, upon my honour," replied Fitz-Edward, "had Godolphin been killed,
I, who love him better than any man breathing, could not have brought
the intelligence--But my dear Lady Adelina, are there then no other
misfortunes but those which arise from the death of friends?"

'"None," answered I, "but what I could very well bear. Tell me,
therefore, I conjure you tell me, and keep me no longer in suspence--I
can hear any thing since I have nothing to apprehend for the lives of
those I love."

'"Well then," answered he, "I will tell you.--I fear things are very bad
with Mr. Trelawny. It is said that all the estate not entailed, is
already gone; and that he has even sold his life interest in the rest.
All his effects at the town house are seized; and I am afraid the same
thing will in a few hours happen here. I came therefore, lovely Lady
Adelina, to intreat you to put yourself under my protection, and to quit
this house, where it will soon be so improper for you to remain."

'I enquired after the unhappy Trelawny? He told me he had left him
intoxicated at a gaming house in St. James's street; that he had told
him he was coming down to me, to which he had consented, tho'
Fitz-Edward said he much doubted whether he knew what he was saying.

'Fitz-Edward then advised me to pack up every thing I wished to
preserve, and immediately to depart; for he feared that persons were
already on the road to seize the furniture and effects in execution.

'"Gracious heaven!" cried I, "what can I do?--Whither can I go!"

'"Trust yourself with me," cried Fitz-Edward--"dear, injured Lady
Adelina."

'"Let me rather," answered I, "go down to Trelawny Park."

'"Alas!" said he, "the same ruin will there overtake you. Be assured Mr.
Trelawny's creditors will equally attach his property there. You know
too, that by the sale of his boroughs he has lost his seat in
parliament, and that therefore his person will not be safe. He must
himself go abroad."

'Doubting, and uncertain what I ought to do, I could determine on
nothing. Fitz-Edward proposed my going to Mr. Percival's, who had
married one of his sisters. They are at Bath, said he; but the house and
servants are at my disposal, and it is only five and twenty miles from
hence. Hardly knowing what I did, I consented to this proposal; and
taking my jewels and some valuable plate with me, I set out in a post
chaise with Fitz-Edward, leaving my maid to follow me the next day, and
give me an account whether our fears were verified.

'They were but too well founded. Four hours after I had left the house,
the sheriff's officers entered it--Information which encreased my
uneasiness for the fate of the unfortunate Trelawny; in hopes of
alleviating whose miseries I would myself have gone to London, but
Fitz-Edward would not suffer me. He said it was more than probable that
my husband was already in France; that if he was yet in England, he had
no house in which to receive me, and would feel more embarrassed than
relieved by my presence. But as I continued to express great uneasiness
to know what was become of him, he offered to go to London and bring me
some certain intelligence.

'At the end of a week, which appeared insupportably long, he returned,
and told me that with some difficulty he had discovered my unhappy
husband at the house of one of his friends, where he was concealed, and
where he had lost at picquet more than half the ready money he could
command. That with some difficulty he had convinced him of the danger as
well as folly of remaining in such a place; and had accompanied him to
Dover, whence he had seen him sail for France.

'I told Fitz-Edward that I would instantly give up as much of my
settlement as would enable Trelawny to live in affluence, till his
affairs could be arranged; but he protested that he would not suffer me
to take any measure of that sort, till I had the advice of _his_
brother: or, till one of my own returned to England.

'"Do you know," said he, at the end of this conversation--"Do you know,
Lady Adelina, that I envy Trelawny his misfortunes, since they excite
such generous pity.--Good God! of what tenderness, of what affection
would not such a heart be capable, if"----

'Fitz-Edward had seldom hazarded an observation of this sort, tho' his
eyes had told me a thousand times that he internally made them. He could
convey into half a sentence more than others could express by the most
elaborate speeches. Alas! I listened to him with too much pleasure; for
my treacherous heart had already said more than his insidious eloquence.

'I wrote to Lord Clancarryl, entreating him to come over. He assured me
he would do so, the moment he could leave my sister, who was very near
her time; but that in the interim his brother George would obey all my
commands, and render me every service he could himself do if present.

'Thrown, therefore, wholly into the power of Fitz-Edward; loving him but
too well; and seeing him every hour busied in serving me--I will not
accuse him of art; I had myself too little to hide from him the fatal
secret of my heart; I could not summon resolution to fly from him, till
my error was irretrievable--till I found myself made compleatly
miserable by the consciousness of guilt.

'After remaining there about a fortnight, I left the house of Mr.
Percival, and took a small lodging in the neighbourhood of
Cavendish-square. Fitz-Edward saw me every day.--I met him indeed with
tears and confusion; but if any accident prevented his coming, or if he
even absented himself at my own request, the anguish I felt till I again
saw him convinced me that it was no longer in my power to live without
him.

'Trelawny had given me no directions for my conduct; nor had he even
written to me, 'till he had occasion for money. He then desired me to
send him five hundred guineas--a sum I had no immediate means of
raising, but by selling some of my jewels. This I would immediately have
done; but Fitz-Edward, who would not hear of it, brought me the money in
a few hours, and undertook to remit it, together with a letter from me,
to the unfortunate man for whom it was designed.

'He tried too--ah, how vainly!--to persuade me, that in acting thus I
had done more than my duty to such an husband. His sophistry, aided by
my own wishes to believe him, could not quiet the incessant reproaches
with which my conscience pursued me--I remembered my father's dying
injunctions, I remembered the inflexible notions of honour inherited by
both my brothers, and I trembled at the severe account to which I might
be called. I could now no longer flatter myself that my error would be
concealed, since of its consequences I could not doubt; and while I
suffered all the terrors of remorse and apprehension, Lord Clancarryl
came over.

'In order to take measures towards settling Trelawny's affairs, it was
necessary to send for his sister, who had a bond for five thousand
pounds, which claim was prior to every other. This woman, whom it was
extremely disagreeable to me to meet, lamented with vulgar clamour her
brother's misfortunes; which she said could never have happened if he
had not been so unlucky as to get quality notions into his head. I know
not what at first raised her suspicions; but I saw that she very
narrowly observed Fitz-Edward; and sneeringly said that it was _very
lucky_ indeed for me to have such a friend, and _quite kind_ in the
colonel to take so much trouble. She made herself thoroughly acquainted
with all that related to her brother, from the time of our parting in
Ireland; and I found that she had attempted to bribe my servant to give
her an account of my conduct; in which tho' she had failed of success,
she had found that Fitz-Edward had been constantly with me. His
attendance was indeed less remarkable when Lord Clancarryl, his brother,
was also present; but Mrs. Bancraft, determined to believe ill of me,
suffered not this circumstance to have any weight, and hinted her
suspicions of our attachment in terms so little guarded, that it was
with the utmost difficulty I could prevail on Fitz-Edward not to resent
her impertinence.

'Lord Clancarryl despised this vulgar and disgusting woman too much to
attend to the inuendos he heard; and far from suspecting my unhappy
weakness, he continued to lay me under new obligations to Fitz-Edward by
employing him almost incessantly in the arrangement of Trelawny's
affairs.

'On looking over the will of that relation, who had bequeathed to Mr.
Trelawny the great fortune he had possessed, I discovered the reason of
Mrs. Bancraft's attentive curiosity in regard to me--if he died without
heirs, above six thousand a year was to descend to her son, who was to
take the name. He had been now married above two years, and his bloated
and unhealthy appearance (the effect of excessive drinking) indicated
short life; and had made her for some time look forward to the
succession of the entailed estate as an event almost certain for her
son. This sufficiently explained her conduct, and encreased all my
apprehensions; for I found that avarice would stimulate malice into that
continued watchfulness which I could not now undergo without the loss of
my fame and my peace.

'All things being settled by Lord Clancarryl in the best manner he could
dispose them for Mr. Trelawny, his Lordship pressed me to go with him to
Ireland; but conscious that I should carry only disgrace and sorrow into
the happy and respectable family of my sister, I refused, under pretence
of waiting to hear again from Trelawny before I took any resolution as
to my future residence.

'His Lordship therefore left me, having obtained my promise to go over
to Lough Carryl in the spring. Fitz-Edward continued to see me almost
every day, attempting by the tenderest assiduity to soothe and
tranquillize my mind. But time, which alleviates all other evils, only
encreased mine; and they were now become almost insupportable. After
long deliberation, I saw no way to escape the disgrace which was about
to overwhelm me, but hiding myself from my own family and from all the
world. I determined to keep my retreat secret, even from Fitz-Edward
himself; and to punish myself for my fatal attachment by tearing myself
for ever from it's object. Could I have supported the contempt of the
world, to which it was evidently the interest of Mrs. Bancraft to expose
me, I could not bear the most distant idea of the danger to which the
life of Fitz-Edward would be liable from the resentment of my brothers.
That he might perish by the hand of Lord Westhaven or Captain Godolphin,
or that one of those dear brothers might fall by his, was a suggestion
so horrid, and yet so probable, that it was for ever before me; and I
hastened to fly into obscurity, in the hope, that if my error is
concealed till I am myself in the grave, my brothers may forgive me, and
not attempt to wash out the offence in the blood of the surviving
offender.

'To remain, and to die here unknown, is all I now dare to wish for. My
servant having formerly known the woman who inhabits this cottage,
contrived to have a few necessaries sent hither without observation; I
have made it worth the while of the people to be secret; and as they
know not my name, I had little apprehension of being discovered.

'I took no leave of Fitz-Edward; nor have I written to him since. I
lament the pain my sudden absence must give him; but am determined to
see him no more. Should my child live----'

       *       *       *       *       *

Lady Adelina was now altogether unable to proceed, and fell into an
agony of distress which greatly affected her auditors. Mrs. Stafford and
Emmeline said every thing they could think of to console her, and soften
the horror she seemed to feel for her unhappy indiscretion. But she
listened in listless despondence to their discourse, and answered, that
to be reconciled to guilt, and habituated to disgrace, was to be sunk in
the last abyss of infamy.

They left her not, however, till they saw her rather more tranquil; and
till Mrs. Stafford had prevailed upon her to accept of some books, which
she hoped might amuse her mind, and detach it awhile from the sad
subject of it's mournful contemplations. These she promised to convey to
the cottage in a way that could create no suspicion. And relieved of her
own apprehensions, yet full of concern for the fair unhappy mourner (to
whom neither she or Emmeline had given the least intimation of
Fitz-Edward's frequent residence in that country,) they returned to
Woodfield, impressed with the most earnest solicitude to soften the
calamities they had just heard related, tho' to cure them was
impossible.


    END OF THE SECOND VOLUME



VOLUME III



CHAPTER I


Whenever Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline were afterwards alone, they could
think and speak of nothing but Lady Adelina. The misfortunes in which an
unhappy marriage had involved her, her friendless youth, her lovely
figure, the settled sorrow and deep regret that she seemed to feel for
the error into which her too great sensibility of heart had betrayed
her, engaged their tenderest pity, and made them both anxious to give
her all the consolation and assistance she was now capable of receiving.

When they considered the uncertainty of her remaining long concealed
where she was, and the probability that Fitz-Edward himself might
discover her, they saw the necessity of her removal from Woodbury
Forest. But it was a proposal they could not yet make--nor had they yet
recollected any place where she might be more secure.

Emmeline, who felt herself particularly interested by her misfortunes,
and who was more pleased with her conversation the oftener she conversed
with her, seldom failed of seeing her every day: but Mrs. Stafford, more
apprehensive of observation, could not so frequently visit her; and the
precaution of both redoubled, when Mrs. Ashwood, Miss Galton, and the
two Miss Ashwood's, arrived at Woodfield, where they declared an
intention of staying the months of June and July.

Thither also, soon after, came the younger Mr. Crofts, who had made an
acquaintance with Mr. Stafford in London with the hope of obtaining an
invitation, which he eagerly accepted.

Sir Richard Crofts, in the ambition of making a family, had determined
to give every advantage to his eldest son, which might authorise him to
look up to those alliances that would, he hoped, make his own obscurity
forgotten. From the first dawn of his fortune, he had considered Mr.
Crofts as it's general heir; and had very plainly told his younger son,
that a place under government, which he had procured for him, of about
three hundred a year, must be his only dependance; till he should
possess two thousand pounds, all the provision he intended making for
him at his death--as he meant not to diminish, by a more equal division,
the patrimony of his brother. He recommended to him therefore to remedy
this deficiency of fortune, by looking out for an affluent wife.

Nature had not eminently qualified him for success in such a project;
for his person was short, thick, and ill made, and his face composed of
large broad features, two dim grey eyes, and a complexion of a dull
sallow white. A vain attempt to look like a gentleman, served only to
render the meanness of his figure more remarkable; and the qualities of
his heart and understanding were but little calculated to make his
personal imperfections forgotten. His heart was selfish, narrow,
unfeeling, and at once mean and proud; his understanding beneath
mediocrity; and his conversation consisted of quaint scraps of something
that he supposed was wit, or at least very like it. And even such
attempts to be entertaining, poor as they were, he retailed from the
office where he passed the greatest part of his time, and for a
subaltern employment in which, his education had been barely such as
fitted him. But ignorant as he was, and devoid of every estimable
accomplishment, he had an infinite deal of that inferior kind of policy
called cunning; and being accustomed to consider his establishment as
depending wholly on himself, he had acquired a habit of sacrificing
every sentiment and every passion to that one purpose; and would adopt
the opinions, and submit to the caprices of others, whenever he thought
they could promote it. He had learned the obsequious attention, the
indefatigable industry, the humble adulation which is necessary for the
under departments of political business: and while such acquisitions
gave him hopes of rising in that line, they failed not to contribute to
his success in another. He would walk from the extremity of Westminster
to Wapping, to smuggle a set of china or of quadrille boxes, for the
mother or aunt of an heiress; and would, with great temper, suffer the
old ladies to take advantage of him at cards, while he ogled the young
ones. Which, together with his being always ready to perform for them
petty services, and to flatter them without scruple, had obtained for
him the character of 'one of the best creatures breathing.' But
whatever favour these various recommendations obtained for him for a
time, from the elderly ladies, he lost his ground when his views were
discovered; and tho' he had received what he fancied encouragement from
two or three young women of fortune on their first emerging from the
nursery, yet they had no sooner acquired an handsomer or richer lover,
than 'the best creature breathing' was discarded.

He was not however discouraged; and meeting with Mrs. Ashwood at a rout
at Lady Montreville's, he was told by Miss Delamere, who was extremely
diverted with her airs of elegance, that she was a rich widow who wanted
a husband. He enquired into the circumstances of her fortune; and being
assured she possessed such an income as would make him easy, he thought
some little advantage she had over him in point of age no diminution of
her attractions, and found it convenient to fall immediately in love.
She listened to him with complaisance; and soon discovered 'that he was
not so plain as at first he appeared to be'--soon afterwards, 'that he
was rather handsome, and vastly sensible and agreeable.' After which, he
made a rapid progress in her heart; and it was concerted between them
that he should follow her to Woodfield.

Emmeline and Mrs. Stafford were wearied to death with the party. But the
former forbore to complain, and the latter was forced to submit, and to
smile, while anguish was frequently at her heart.

Mrs. Ashwood talked of nothing but fashionable parties and fashionable
people, to whom her acquaintance with Lord Montreville's family had
introduced her; and she now seldom deigned to name an untitled
acquaintance--while Crofts hung on her long narratives with affected
admiration; and the two elder of her three daughters, who were all in
training to be beauties, aped their mother in vanity and impertinence.

The eldest Miss Ashwood, now about fourteen, was an insupportable
torment to Emmeline, as she had taken it into her head to form, with
her, a sentimental friendship. She had learned all the cant of sentiment
from novels; and her mama's lovers had extremely edified her in teaching
her to express it. She talked perpetually of delicate embarrassments and
exquisite sensibilities, and had probably a lover, as she extremely
wanted a confidant; a post which Emmeline with some difficulty
declined.--Of 'the sweet novels' she had read, she just understood as
much as made her long to become the heroine of such an history herself,
and she wanted somebody to listen to her hopes of being so. But Emmeline
shrunk from her advances, and repaid her fondness with general and cool
civility; tho' Mrs. Ashwood, who loved rather to listen to Crofts than
to attend to her daughters, continually promoted the intimacy, in hopes
that she would take them off her own hands, and allow them to be the
companions of her walks.

This, Emmeline was obliged studiously to evade, as such companions would
entirely have prevented her seeing Lady Adelina; and by repeated excuses
she not only irritated the curiosity of Mrs. Ashwood and Miss Galton,
but gave the former an additional cause of dislike to that which she had
already conceived; inasmuch as she was younger, handsomer, and more
admired than herself.

Emmeline received frequent letters from Delamere, as warm and passionate
as his personal professions. He told her, that as his mother's health
was greatly amended, he intended soon to visit those parts of France
with which he was yet unacquainted; and should pass some time in the
Northern Provinces, from whence he entreated her to allow him to come
only for a few days to England to see her--an indulgence which he said
would enable him to bear with more tranquillity the remaining months of
his exile.

Tho' now accustomed to consider him as her husband, Emmeline resolutely
refused to consent to this breach of his engagement to his father. She
had lately seen in her friends, Mrs. Stafford and Lady Adelina, two
melancholy instances of the frequent unhappiness of very early
marriages; and she had no inclination to hazard her own happiness in
hopes of proving an exception. She wished, therefore, rather to delay
her union with Delamere two or three years; but to him she never dared
hint at such a delay. A clandestine interview it was, however, in her
power to decline; and she answered his request by entreating him not to
think of such a journey; and represented to him that he could not expect
Lord Montreville would finally adhere to _his_ promises, if he himself
was careless of fulfilling the conditions on which his Lordship had
insisted. Having thus, as she supposed, prevented Delamere from
offending his father, and without any immediate uneasiness on her own
account, she gave up her mind to the solicitude she could not help
feeling for Lady Adelina. This occupied almost all her time when she
was alone; and gave her, when in company, an air of absence and reserve.

Tho' Mrs. Ashwood so much encouraged the attention of James Crofts, she
had not forgotten Fitz-Edward, whom she had vainly sought at Lady
Montreville's, in hopes of renewing an acquaintance which had in it's
commencement offered her so much satisfaction. Fitz-Edward had been
amused with her absurdity at the moment, but had never thought of her
afterwards; nor would he then have bestowed so much time on a woman to
him entirely indifferent, had not he been thrown in her way by his
desire to befriend Delamere with Emmeline, on one of those days when
Lady Adelina insisted on his leaving her, to avoid the appearance of his
passing with her all his time. Happy in successful love, his gaiety then
knew no bounds; and his agreeable flattery, his lively conversation, his
fashionable manners, and his handsome person, had not since been absent
from the memory of Mrs. Ashwood. His being sometimes at the house he had
borrowed of Delamere, near Woodfield, was one of the principal
inducements to her to go thither. She indulged sanguine hopes of
securing such a conquest; and evaded giving to Crofts a positive answer,
till she had made another essay on the heart of the Colonel.

He came, however, so seldom to Woodfield, that Mrs. Stafford had seen
him there only once since her meeting Lady Adelina; and then he appeared
to be under encreased dejection, for which she knew now, how to account.

Emmeline had given Mrs. Stafford so indifferent an account of Lady
Adelina one evening, that she determined the next morning to see her.
She therefore went immediately after breakfast, on pretence of visiting
a poor family who had applied to her for assistance; when as Mrs.
Ashwood, Miss Galton and Emmeline, were sitting together, Colonel
Fitz-Edward was announced.

He came down to Tylehurst only the evening before; and not knowing there
was company at Woodfield, rode over to pass an hour with the two
friends, to whom he had frequently been tempted to communicate the
source of his melancholy.

Whether it was owing to the consciousness of Lady Adelina's mournful
story that arose in the mind of Emmeline, or whether seeing Fitz-Edward
again in company with Mrs. Ashwood renewed the memory of what had
befallen her when they last met, she blushed deeply the moment she
beheld him, and arose from her chair in confusion; then sat down and
took out her work, which she had hastily put up; and trying to recover
herself, grew still more confused, and trembled and blushed again.

Mrs. Ashwood was in the mean time overwhelming Fitz-Edward with
compliments and kind looks, which he answered with the distant civility
of a slight acquaintance; and taking a chair close to Emmeline, enquired
if she was not well?

She answered that she was perfectly well; and attempted to introduce
general conversation. But Fitz-Edward was attentive only to her; and
Mrs. Ashwood, extremely piqued at his distant manner, meditated an
excuse to get Emmeline out of the room, in hopes of obtaining more
notice.

Fitz-Edward, however, having talked apart with Miss Mowbray a short
time, arose and took leave, having by his manner convinced Mrs. Ashwood
of what she reluctantly believed, that some later attachment had
obliterated the impression she had made at their first interview.

'I never saw such a figure in my life,' cried she, 'as Mr. Fitz-Edward.
Mercy on me!--he is grown _so_ thin, and _so_ sallow!'

'And _so_ stupid,'interrupted Miss Galton. 'He is in love I fancy.'

Emmeline blushed again; and Mrs. Ashwood casting a malicious look at
her, said--'Oh! yes--he doubtless is in love. To men of his gay turn you
know it makes no difference, whether a person be actually married or
_engaged_.'

Emmeline, uncertain of the meaning of this sarcasm, and unwilling to be
provoked to make a tart reply, which she felt herself ready to do, put
up her work and left the room.

While she went in search of Mrs. Stafford, to enquire after Lady
Adelina, and to relate the conversation that had passed between her and
Fitz-Edward, Mrs. Ashwood and Miss Galton were indulging their natural
malignity. Tho' well apprized of Emmeline's engagement to Delamere, yet
they hesitated not to impute her confusion, and Fitz-Edward's behaviour,
to a passion between them. They believed, that while her elopement with
Delamere had beyond retreat entangled her with him, and while his
fortune and future title tempted her to marry him, her heart was in
possession of Fitz-Edward; and that Delamere was the dupe of his
mistress and his friend.

This idea, which could not have occurred to a woman who was not herself
capable of all the perfidy it implied, grew immediately familiar with
the imagination of Mrs. Ashwood, and embittered the sense of her own
disappointment.

Miss Galton, who hated Emmeline more if possible than Mrs. Ashwood,
irritated her suspicions by remarks of her own. She observed 'that it
was very extraordinary Miss Mowbray should walk out so early in a
morning, and so studiously avoid taking any body with her--and that
unless she had appointments to which she desired no witness, it was very
singular she should chuse to ramble about by herself.'

From these observations, and her evident confusion on seeing him, they
concluded that she had daily assignations with Fitz-Edward. They agreed,
that it would be no more than common justice to inform Mr. Delamere of
their discovery; and this they determined to do as soon as they had
certain proofs to produce, with which they concluded a very little
trouble and attention would furnish them.

James Crofts, whose success was now indisputable, since of the handsome
Colonel there were no hopes, was let into the secret of their
suspicions; and readily undertook to assist in detecting the intrigue,
for which he assured them he had particular talents. While, therefore,
Mrs. Ashwood, Miss Galton, and James Crofts, were preparing to undermine
the peace and character of the innocent, ingenuous Emmeline, she and
Mrs. Stafford were meditating how to be useful to the unhappy Lady
Adelina. They became every day more interested and more apprehensive for
the fate of that devoted young woman, whose health seemed to be such as
made it very improbable she should survive the birth of her child. Her
spirits, too, were so depressed, that they could not prevail on her to
think of her own safety, or to allow them to make any overtures to her
family; but, in calm and hopeless languor, she seemed resigned to the
horrors of her destiny, and determined to die unlamented and unknown.

Her elder brother, Lord Westhaven, had returned from abroad almost
immediately after her concealment. His enquiries on his first arrival in
England had only informed him of the embarrassment of Trelawny's
affairs, and the inconvenience to which his sister had consequently been
exposed; and that after staying some time in England, to settle things
as well as she could, she had disappeared, and every body believed was
gone to her husband. His Lordship's acquaintance and marriage with
Augusta Delamere, almost immediately succeeded; but while it was
depending, he was astonished to hear from Lord and Lady Clancarryl that
Lady Adelina had never written to them before her departure. He went in
search of Fitz-Edward; but could never meet him at home or obtain from
his servants any direction where to find him. Fitz-Edward, indeed,
purposely avoided him, and had left no address at his lodgings in town,
or at Tylehurst.

Lord Westhaven then wrote to Trelawny, but obtained no answer; and
growing daily more alarmed at the uncertainty he was in about Lady
Adelina, he determined to go, as soon as he was married, to Switzerland;
being persuaded that tho' some accident had prevented his receiving her
letters, she had found an asylum there, amongst his mother's relations.

Fitz-Edward, with anxiety even more poignant, had sought her with as
little success. After the morning when she discharged her lodgings, and
left them in an hackney coach with her maid, he could never, with all
his unwearied researches, discover any traces of her.

He knew she was not gone to Trelawny; and dreading every thing from her
determined sorrow, he passed his whole time between painful and
fruitless conjectures, and the tormenting apprehension of hearing of
some fatal event. Incessantly reproaching himself for being the betrayer
of his trust, and the ruin of a lovely and amiable woman, he gave
himself up to regret and despondence. The gay Fitz-Edward, so lately the
envy and admiration of the fashionable world, was lost to society, his
friends, and himself.

He passed much of his time at Tylehurst; because he could there indulge,
without interruption, his melancholy reflections, and only saw Mrs.
Stafford and Emmeline, in whose soft and sensible conversation he found
a transient alleviation of his sorrow--sorrow which now grew too severe
to be longer concealed, and which he resolved to take the earliest
opportunity of acknowledging, in hopes of engaging the pity of his fair
friends--perhaps their assistance in discovering the unhappy fugitive
who caused it.

From Lady Adelina, they had most carefully concealed, that his residence
was so near the obscure abode she had chosen. Fatal as he had been to
her peace, and conscientiously as she had abstained from naming him
after their first conversation, they knew that she still fondly loved
him, and that her fears for his safety had assisted her sense of
rectitude when she determined to tear herself from him. But were she
again to meet him, they feared she would either relapse into her former
fatal affection, or conquer it by an effort, which in her precarious
state of health might prove immediately fatal.

The request which Fitz-Edward had made to Emmeline, that he might be
allowed to see her and Mrs. Stafford together, without any other person
being present, they both wished to evade; dreading least they should by
their countenances betray the knowledge they had of his unhappy story,
and the interest they took in it's catastrophe.

They hoped, therefore, to escape hearing his confession till Lady
Adelina should be removed--and to remove her became indispensibly
necessary, as Emmeline was convinced she was watched in her visits to
the cottage.

Twice she had met James Crofts within half a quarter of a mile of the
cottage; and at another time discovered, just as she was about to enter
it, that the Miss Ashwoods had followed her almost to the door; which
she therefore forbore to enter. These circumstances made both her and
Mrs. Stafford solicitous to have Lady Adelina placed in greater
security; and, added to Emmeline's uneasiness for her, was the
unpleasant situation in which she found herself.

Observed with malicious vigilance by Mrs. Ashwood, James Crofts, Miss
Galton, and the two Misses, she felt as awkward as if she really had
some secret of her own to hide; and with all the purity and even heroism
of virtue, learned the uneasy sensation which ever attends mystery and
concealment. The hours which used to pass tranquilly and rationally with
Mrs. Stafford, were now dedicated to people whose conversation made her
no amends; and if she retired to her own room, it failed not to excite
sneers and suspicions. She saw Mrs. Stafford struggling with dejection
which she had no power to dissipate or relieve, and obliged to enter
into frequent parties of what is called pleasure, tho' to her it gave
only fatigue and disgust, to gratify Mrs. Ashwood, who hated all society
but a crowd. James Crofts, indeed, helped to keep her in good humour by
his excessive adulation; and chiefly by assuring her, that by any man of
the least taste, the baby face of Emmeline could be considered only as a
foil to her more mature charms, and that her fine dark eyes eclipsed all
the eyes in the world. He protested too against Emmeline for affecting
knowledge--'It is,' said he, 'a maxim of my father's--and my father is
no bad judge--that for a woman to affect literature is the most horrid
of all absurdities; and for a woman to know any thing of business, is
detestable!'

Mrs. Ashwood laid by her dictionary, determined for the future to spell
her own way without it.

Besides the powerful intervention of flattery, James Crofts had another
not less successful method of winning the lady's favour. He told her
that his brother, who had long cherished a passion in which he was at
length likely to be disappointed, was in that case determined never to
marry; that he was in an ill state of health; and if he died without
posterity, the estate and title of his father would descend to himself.

The elder Crofts, very desirous of seeing a brother established who
might otherwise be burthensome or inconvenient to him, suggested this
finesse; and secured it's belief by writing frequent and melancholy
accounts of his own ill health--an artifice by which he promoted at once
his brother's views and his own. He affected the valetudinarian so
happily, and complained so much of the ill effect that constant
application to business had on his constitution, that nobody doubted of
the reality of his sickness. He took care that Miss Delamere should
receive an account of it, which he knew she would consider as the
consequence of his despairing love; and when he had interested her
vanity and of course her compassion, he contrived to obtain leave of
absence for three months from the duties of his office, in order to go
abroad for the recovery of his health. He hastened to Barege; and soon
found means to re-establish himself in the favour of Miss Delamere; from
which, absence, and large draughts of flattery dispensed with French
adroitness, had a little displaced him. This stratagem put his brother
James on so fair a footing with the widow, that he thought her fortune
would be secured before she could discover it to be only a stratagem,
and that her lover was still likely to continue a younger brother.

James Crofts seeing the necessity of dispatch, became so importunate,
that Mrs. Ashwood, despairing of Fitz-Edward, and believing she might
not again meet with a man so near a title, for which she had a violent
inclination, was prevailed on to promise she would make him happy as
soon as she returned to her own house.

It was now the end of June; and Lady Adelina, whose situation grew very
critical, had at length yielded to the entreaties of her two friends,
and agreed to go wherever they thought she could obtain assistance and
concealment in the approaching hour.

Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline, after long and frequent reflections and
consultations on the subject, concluded that no situation would be so
proper as Bath. In a place resorted to by all sorts of people, less
enquiry is excited than in a provincial town, where strangers are
objects of curiosity to it's idle inhabitants. To Bath, therefore, it
was determined Lady Adelina should go. But when the time of her journey,
and her arrangements there, came to be discussed, she expressed so much
terror least she should be known, so much anguish at leaving those to
whose tender pity she was so greatly indebted, and such melancholy
conviction that she should not survive, that the sensible heart of
Emmeline could not behold without sharing her agonies; nor was Mrs.
Stafford less affected. When they returned home after this interview,
Emmeline was pursued by the image of the poor unhappy Adelina. But to
give, to the wretched, only barren sympathy, was not in her nature,
where more effectual relief was in her power. She thought, that if by
her presence she could alleviate the anguish, and soothe the sorrows of
the fair mourner, perhaps save her character and her life, and be the
means of restoring her to her family, she should perform an action
gratifying to her own heart, and acceptable to heaven. The more she
reflected on it, the more anxious she became to execute it--and she at
length named it to Mrs. Stafford.

Mrs. Stafford, tho' aware of the numberless objections which might have
been made to such a plan, could not resolve strenuously to oppose it.
She felt infinite compassion for Lady Adelina; but could herself do
little to assist her, as her time was not her own and her absence must
have been accounted for: but Emmeline was liable to no restraint; and
would not only be meritoriously employed in befriending the unhappy, but
would escape from the society at Woodfield, which became every day more
disagreeable to her. These considerations, particularly the benevolent
one of saving an unhappy young woman, over-balanced, in the mind of Mrs.
Stafford, the objection that might be made to her accompanying a person
under the unfortunate and discreditable circumstances of Lady Adelina;
and her heart, too expansive to be closed by the cold hand of prudery
against the sighs of weakness or misfortune, assured her that she was
right. She knew that Emmeline was of a character to pity, but not to
imitate, the erroneous conduct of her friend; and she believed that the
reputation of Lady Adelina Trelawny might be rescued from reproach,
without communicating any part of it's blemish to the spotless purity of
Emmeline Mowbray.



CHAPTER II


As soon as Emmeline had persuaded herself of the propriety of this plan
and obtained Mrs. Stafford's concurrence, she hinted her intentions to
Lady Adelina; who received the intimation with such transports of
gratitude and delight, that Emmeline, confirmed in her resolution, no
longer suffered a doubt of it's propriety to arise; and, with the
participation of Mrs. Stafford only, prepared for her journey, which was
to take place in ten days.

Mrs. Stafford also employed a person on whom she could rely, to receive
the money due to Lady Adelina from her husband's estate. But of this her
Ladyship demanded only half, leaving the rest for Trelawny. The attorney
in whose hands Trelawny's affairs were placed by Lord Westhaven, was
extremely anxious to discover, from the person employed by Mrs.
Stafford, from whence he obtained the order signed by Lady Adelina; and
obliged him to attend several days before he would pay it, in hopes, by
persuasions or artful questions, to draw the secret from him. He met, at
the attorney's chambers, an officer who had made of him the same
enquiry, and had followed him home, and since frequently importuned
him--intelligence, which convinced Mrs. Stafford that Lady Adelina must
soon be discovered, (as they concluded the officer was Fitz-Edward,) and
made both her and Emmeline hasten the day of her departure.

About a quarter of a mile from Woodfield, and at the extremity of the
lawn which surrounded it, was a copse in which the accumulated waters of
a trout stream formed a beautiful tho' not extensive piece of water,
shaded on every side by a natural wood. Mrs. Stafford, who had
particular pleasure in the place, had planted flowering shrubs and
caused walks to be cut through it; and on the edge of the water built a
seat of reeds and thatch, which was furnished with a table and a few
garden chairs. Thither Emmeline repaired whenever she could disengage
herself from company. Solitude was to her always a luxury; and
particularly desirable now, when her anxiety for Lady Adelina, and
preparations for their approaching departure, made her wish to avoid the
malicious observations of Mrs. Ashwood, the forward intrusion of her
daughters, and the inquisitive civilities of James Crofts. She had now
only one day to remain at Woodfield, before that fixed for their setting
out; and being altogether unwilling to encounter the fatigue of such an
engagement so immediately previous to her journey, she declined being of
the party to dine at the house of a neighbouring gentleman; who, on the
occasion of his son's coming of age, was to give a ball and _fête
champêtre_ to a very large company.

Mrs. Ashwood, seeing Emmeline averse, took it into her head to press her
extremely to go with them; and finding she still refused, said--'it was
monstrous rude, and that she was sure no young person would decline
partaking such an entertainment if she had not some _very particular_
reason.'

Emmeline, teized and provoked out of her usual calmness, answered--'That
whatever might be her reasons, she was fortunately accountable to nobody
for them.'

Mrs. Ashwood, provoked in her turn, made some very rude replies, which
Emmeline, not to irritate her farther, left the room without answering;
and as soon as the carriages drove from the door, she dined alone, and
then desiring one of the servants to carry her harp into the
summer-house in the copse, she walked thither with her music books, and
soon lost the little chagrin which Mrs. Ashwood's ill-breeding had given
her.

Fitz-Edward, who arrived in the country the preceding evening, after
another fruitless search for Lady Adelina, walked over to Woodfield, in
hopes, as it was early in the afternoon, that he might obtain, in the
course of it, some conversation with Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline. On
arriving, he met the servant who had attended Emmeline to the copse, and
was by him directed thither. As he approached the seat, he heard her
singing a plaintive air, which seemed in unison with his heart. She
started at the sight of him--Mrs. Ashwood's suspicions immediately
occurred to her, and at the same moment the real motive which had made
him seek this interview. She blushed, and looked uneasy; but the
innocence and integrity of her heart presently restored her composure,
and when Fitz-Edward asked if she would allow him half an hour of her
time, she answered--'certainly.'

He sat down by her, dejectedly and in silence. She was about to put
aside her harp, but he desired her to repeat the air she was singing.

'It is sweetly soothing,' said he, 'and reminds me of happier days when
I first heard it; while you sing it, I may perhaps acquire resolution to
tell you what may oblige you to discard me from your acquaintance. It
does indeed require resolution to hazard such a misfortune.'

Emmeline, not knowing how to answer, immediately began the air. The
thoughts which agitated her bosom while she sung, made her voice yet
more tender and pathetic. She saw the eyes of Fitz-Edward fill with
tears; and as soon as she ceased he said--

'Tell me, Miss Mowbray--what does the man deserve, who being entrusted
with the confidence of a young and beautiful woman--beautiful, even as
Emmeline herself, and as highly accomplished--has betrayed the sacred
trust; and has been the occasion--oh God!--of what misery may I not have
been the occasion!

'Pardon me,' continued he--'I am afraid my despair frightens you--I will
endeavour to command myself.'

Emmeline found she could not escape hearing the story, and endeavoured
not to betray by her countenance that she already knew it.

Fitz-Edward went on--

'When first I knew you, I was a decided libertine. Yourself and Mrs.
Stafford, lovely as I thought you both, would have been equally the
object of my designs, if Delamere's passion for you, and the reserved
conduct of Mrs. Stafford, had not made me doubt succeeding with either.
But for your charming friend my heart long retained it's partiality; nor
would it ever have felt for her that pure and disinterested friendship
which is now in regard to her it's only sentiment, had not the object of
my present regret and anguish been thrown in my way.

'To you, Miss Mowbray, I scruple not to speak of this beloved and
lamented woman; tho' her name is sacred with me, and has never yet been
mentioned united with dishonour.

'The connection between our families first introduced me to her
acquaintance. In her person she was exquisitely lovely, and her manners
were as enchanting as her form. The sprightly gaiety of unsuspecting
inexperience, was, I thought, sometimes checked by an involuntary
sentiment of regret at the sacrifice she had made, by marrying a man
every way unworthy of her; except by that fortune to which she was
indifferent, and of which he was hastening to divest himself.

'I had never seen Mr. Trelawny; and knew him for some time only from
report. But when he came to Lough Carryl, my pity for her, encreased in
proportion to the envy and indignation with which I beheld the
insensible and intemperate husband--incapable of feeling for her, any
other sentiment, than what she might equally have inspired in the lowest
of mankind.

'Her unaffected simplicity; her gentle confidence in my protection
during a voyage in which her ill-assorted mate left her entirely to my
care; made me rather consider her as my sister than as an object of
seduction. I resolved to be the guardian rather than the betrayer of her
honour--and I long kept my resolution.'

Fitz-Edward then proceeded to relate the circumstances that attended the
ruin of Trelawny's fortune; and that Lady Adelina was left to struggle
with innumerable difficulties, unassisted but by himself, to whom Lord
Clancarryl had delegated the task of treating with Trelawny's sister and
creditors.

'Her gratitude,' continued he, 'for the little assistance I was able to
give her, was boundless; and as pity had already taught me to love her
with more ardour than her beauty only, captivating as it is, would have
inspired; gratitude led her too easily into tender sentiments for me. I
am not a presuming coxcomb; but she was infinitely too artless to
conceal her partiality; and neither her misfortunes, or her being the
sister of my friend Godolphin, protected her against the libertinism of
my principles.'

He went on to relate the deep melancholy that seized Lady Adelina; and
his own terror and remorse when he found her one morning gone from her
lodgings, where she had left no direction; and from her proceeding it
was evident she designed to conceal herself from his enquiries.

'God knows,' pursued he, 'what is now become of her!--perhaps, when most
in need of tenderness and attention, she is thrown destitute and
friendless among strangers, and will perish in indigence and obscurity.
Unused to encounter the slightest hardship, her delicate frame, and
still more sensible mind, will sink under those to which her situation
will expose her--perhaps I shall be doubly a murderer!'

He stopped, from inability to proceed--Emmeline, in tears, continued
silent.

Struggling to conquer his emotion and recover his voice, Fitz-Edward at
length continued--

'While I was suffering all the misery which my apprehension for her fate
inflicted, her younger brother, William Godolphin, returned from the
West Indies, where he has been three years stationed. I was the first
person he visited in town; but I was not at my lodgings there. Before I
returned from Tylehurst, he had informed himself of all the
circumstances of Trelawny's embarrassments, and his sister's absence. He
found letters from Lord Westhaven, and from my brother, Lord Clancarryl;
who knowing he would about that time return to England, conjured him to
assist in the attempt of discovering Lady Adelina; of whose motives for
concealing herself from her family they were entirely ignorant, while it
filled them with uneasiness and astonishment. As soon as I went back to
London, Godolphin, of whose arrival I was ignorant, came to me. He
embraced me, and thanked me for my friendship and attention to his
unfortunate Adelina--I think if he had held his sword to my heart it
would have hurt me less!

'He implored me to help his search after his lost sister, and again said
how greatly he was obliged to me--while I, conscious how little I
deserved his gratitude, felt like a coward and an assassin, and shrunk
from the manly confidence of my friend.

'Since our first meeting, I have seen him several times, and ever with
new anguish. I have loved Godolphin from my earliest remembrance; and
have known him from a boy to have the best heart and the noblest spirit
under heaven. Equally incapable of deserving or bearing dishonour,
Godolphin will behold me with contempt; which tho' I deserve, I cannot
endure. He must call me to an account; and the hope of perishing by his
hand is the only one I now cherish. Yet unable to shock him by divulging
the fatal secret, I have hitherto concealed it, and my concealment he
must impute to motives base, infamous, and pusillanimous. I can bear
such reflections no longer--I will go to town to-morrow, explain his
sister's situation to him, and let him take the only reparation I can
now make him.'

Emmeline, shuddering at this resolution, could not conceal how greatly
it affected her.

'Generous and lovely Miss Mowbray! pardon me for having thus moved your
gentle nature; and allow me, since I see you pity me, to request of you
and Mrs. Stafford a favour which will probably be the last trouble the
unhappy Fitz-Edward will give you.

'It may happen that Lady Adelina may hereafter be discovered--tho' I
know not how to hope it. But if your generous pity should interest you
in the fate of that unhappy, forlorn young woman, your's and Mrs.
Stafford's protection might yet perhaps save her; and such interposition
would be worthy of hearts like yours. As the event of a meeting between
me and Godolphin is uncertain, shall I entreat you, my lovely friend, to
take charge of this paper. It contains a will, by which the child of
Lady Adelina will be entitled to all I die possessed of. It is enough,
if the unfortunate infant survives, to place it above indigence. Lord
Clancarryl will not dispute the disposition of my fortune; and to your
care, and that of Mrs. Stafford, I have left it in trust, and I have
entreated you to befriend the poor little one, who will probably be an
orphan--but desolate and abandoned it will not be, if it's innocence and
unhappiness interest you to grant my request. Delamere will not object
to your goodness being so exerted; and you will not teach it, generous,
gentle as you are! to hold in abhorrence the memory of it's father. This
is all I can now do. Farewell! dearest Miss Mowbray!--Heaven give you
happiness, _ma douce amie!_ Farewell!'

These last words, in which Fitz-Edward repeated the name by which he was
accustomed to address Emmeline, quite overcame her. He was hastening
away, while, hardly able to speak, she yet made an effort to stop him.
The interview he was about to seek was what Lady Adelina so greatly
dreaded. Yet Emmeline dared not urge to him how fatal it would be to
her; she knew not what to say, least he should discover the secret with
which she was entrusted; but in breathless agitation caught his hand as
he turned to leave her, crying--

'Hear me, Fitz-Edward! One moment hear me! Do not go to meet Captain
Godolphin. I conjure, I implore you do not!'

She found it impossible to proceed. Her eyes were still eagerly fixed on
his face; she still held his hand; while he, supposing her extreme
emotion arose from the compassionate tenderness of her nature, found the
steadiness of his despair softened by the soothing voice of pity, and
throwing himself on his knees, he laid his head on one of the chairs,
and wept like a woman.

Emmeline, who now hoped to persuade him not to execute the resolution he
had formed, said--'I will take the paper you have given me, Fitz-Edward,
and will most religiously fulfil all your request in it to the utmost
extent of my power. But in return for my giving you this promise, I must
insist'----

At this moment James Crofts stood before them.

Emmeline, shocked and amazed at his appearance, roused Fitz-Edward by a
sudden exclamation.

He started up, and said fiercely to Crofts--'Well, Sir!--have you any
commands here?'

'Commands, Sir,' answered Crofts, somewhat alarmed by the tone in which
this question was put--'I have no commands to be sure Sir--but, but, I
came Sir, just to enquire after Miss Mowbray. I did not mean to
intrude.'

'Then, Sir,' returned the Colonel, 'I beg you will leave us.'

'Oh! certainly, Sir,' cried Crofts, trying to regain his courage and
assume an air of raillery--'certainly--I would not for the world
interrupt you. My business indeed is not at all material--only a
compliment to Miss Mowbray--your's,' added he sneeringly, 'is, I see, of
more consequence.'

'Look ye, Mr. Crofts,' sharply answered Fitz-Edward--'You are to make no
impertinent comments. Miss Mowbray is mistress of her actions. She is in
my particular protection on behalf of my friend Delamere, and I shall
consider the slightest failure of respect to her as an insult to me.
Sir, if you have nothing more to say you will be so good as to leave
us.'

There was something so hostile in the manner in which Fitz-Edward
delivered this speech, that James Crofts, more at home in the cabinet
than the field, thought he might as well avoid another injunction to
depart; and quietly submit to the present, rather than provoke farther
resentment from the formidable soldier. He therefore, looking most
cadaverously, made one of his jerking bows, and said, with something he
intended for a smile--

'Well, well, good folks, I'll leave you to your _tête a tête_, and
hasten back to my engagement. Every body regrets Miss Mowbray's absence
from the ball; and the partner that was provided for her is ready to
hang himself.'

An impatient look, darted from Fitz-Edward, stopped farther effusion of
impertinence, and he only added--'Servant! servant!' and walked away.

Fitz-Edward, then turning towards Emmeline, saw her pale and faint.

'Why, my dear Miss Mowbray, do you suffer this man's folly to affect
you? Your looks really terrify me!'

'Oh! he was sent on purpose,' cried Emmeline.--'Mrs. Ashwood has lately
often hinted to me, that whatever are my engagements to Delamere I was
much more partial to you. She has watched me for some time; and now, on
my refusing to accompany them to the ball, concluded I had an
appointment, and sent Crofts back to see.'

'If I thought so,' sternly answered Fitz-Edward, 'I would instantly
overtake him, and I believe I could oblige him to secresy.'

'No, for heaven's sake don't!' said Emmeline--'for heaven's sake do not
think of it! I care not what they conjecture--leave them to their
malice--Crofts is not worth your anger. But Fitz-Edward, let us return
to what we were talking of. Will you promise me to delay going to
London--to delay seeing Mr. Godolphin until--in short, will you give me
your honour to remain at Tylehurst a week, without taking any measures
to inform Godolphin of what you have told me. I will, at the end of that
time, either release you from your promise, or give you unanswerable
reasons why you should relinquish the design of meeting him at all.'

Fitz-Edward, however amazed at the earnestness she expressed to obtain
this promise, gave it. He had no suspicion of Emmeline's having any
knowledge of Lady Adelina; and accounted for the deep interest she
seemed to take in preventing an interview, by recollecting the universal
tenderness and humanity of her character. He assured her he would not
leave Tylehurst 'till the expiration of the time she had named. He
conjured her not to suffer any impertinence from Crofts on the subject
of their being seen together, but to awe him into silence by resentment.
Emmeline now desired him to leave her. But she still seemed under such
an hurry of spirits, that he insisted on being allowed to attend her to
the door of the house, where, renewing his thanks for the compassionate
attention she had afforded him, and entreating her to compose herself,
he left her.

Emmeline intending to go to her own room, went first into the drawing
room to deposit her music book. She had hardly done so, when she heard a
man's step, and turning, beheld Crofts open the door, which he
immediately shut after him.

'I thought, Sir,' said Emmeline, 'you had been gone back to your
company.'

'No, not yet, my fair Emmeline. I wanted first to beg your pardon for
having disturbed so snug a party. Ah! sly little prude--who would think
that you, who always seem so cold and so cruel, made an excuse only to
stay at home to meet Fitz-Edward? But it is not fair, little dear, that
all your kindness should be for him, while you will scarce give any
other body a civil look. Now I have met with you I swear I'll have a
kiss too.'

Emmeline, terrified to death at his approaching her with this speech,
flew to the bell, which she rang with so much violence that the rope
broke from the crank.

'Now,' cried Crofts, 'if nobody hears, you are more than ever in my
power.'

'Heaven forbid!' shrieked Emmeline, in an agony of fear. 'Let me go, Mr.
Crofts, this moment.'

She would have rushed towards the door but he stood with his arms
extended before it.

'You did not run thus--you did not scream thus, when Fitz-Edward, the
fortunate Fitz-Edward, was on his knees before you. Then, you could weep
and sigh too, and look so sweetly on him. But come--you see I know so
much that it will be your interest, little dear, to make me your
friend.'

'Rather let me apply to fiends and furies for friendship! hateful,
detestable wretch! by what right do you insult and detain me?'

'Oh! these theatricals are really very sublime!' cried he, seizing both
her hands, which he violently grasped.

She shrieked aloud, and fruitlessly struggled to break from him, when
the footsteps of somebody near the door obliged him to let her go. She
darted instantly away, and in the hall met one of the maids.

'Lord, Miss,' cried the servant, 'did you ring? I've been all over the
house to see what bell it was.'

Emmeline, without answering, flew to her own room. The maid followed
her: but desirous of being left alone, she assured the girl that nothing
was the matter; that she was merely tired by a long walk; and desiring
a glass of water, tried to compose and recollect herself; while Crofts
unobserved returned to the house where the _fête_ was given time enough
to dress and dance with Mrs. Ashwood.

It was at her desire, that immediately after dinner Crofts had left the
company under pretence of executing a commission with which she easily
furnished him; but his real orders were to discover the motives of
Emmeline's refusal to be of the party. This he executed beyond his
expectation. It was no longer to be doubted that very good intelligence
subsisted between Emmeline and Fitz-Edward, since he had been found on
his knees before her; while she, earnestly yet kindly speaking, hung
over him with tears in her eyes. Knowing that Emmeline was absolutely
engaged to Delamere, he was persuaded that Fitz-Edward was master of her
heart; and that the tears and emotion to which he had been witness, were
occasioned by the impossibility of her giving him her hand. He knew
Fitz-Edward's character too well to suppose he could be insensible of
the lady's kindness; and possessing himself a mind gross and depraved,
he did not hesitate to believe all the ill his own base and illiberal
spirit suggested.

Tho', interested hypocrite as he was, he made every other passion
subservient to the gratification of his avarice, Crofts had not coldly
beheld the youth and beauty of Emmeline; he had, however, carefully
forborne to shew that he admired her, and would probably never have
betrayed what must ruin him for ever with Mrs. Ashwood, had not the
conviction of her partiality to Fitz-Edward inspired him with the
infamous hope of frightening her into some kindness for himself, by
threatening to betray her stolen interview with her supposed lover.

The scorn and horror with which Emmeline repulsed him served only to
mortify his self love, and provoke his hatred towards her and the man
whom he believed she favoured; and with the inveterate and cowardly
malignity of which his heart was particularly susceptible, he determined
to do all in his power to ruin them both.



CHAPTER III


Such was the horror and detestation which Emmeline felt for Crofts, that
she could not bear the thoughts of seeing him again. But as she feared
Mrs. Stafford might resent his behaviour, and by that means embroil
herself with the vain and insolent Mrs. Ashwood, with whom she knew
Stafford was obliged to keep on a fair footing, she determined to say as
little as she could of his impertinence to Mrs. Stafford, but to
withdraw from the house without again exposing herself to meet him. As
soon as she saw her the next morning, she related all that had passed
between Fitz-Edward and herself; and after a long consultation they
agreed that to prevent his seeing Godolphin was absolutely necessary;
and that no other means of doing so offered, but Mrs. Stafford's
relating to him the real circumstances and situation of Lady Adelina, as
soon as she could be removed from her present abode and precautions
taken to prevent his discovering her. This, Mrs. Stafford undertook to
do immediately after their departure. It was to take place on the next
day; and Emmeline, with the concurrence of her friend, determined that
she would take no leave of the party at Woodfield: for tho' the
appearance of mystery was extremely disagreeable and distressing to
Emmeline, she knew that notice of her intentions would excite enquiries
and awaken curiosity very difficult to satisfy; and that it was
extremely probable James Crofts might be employed to watch her, and by
that means render abortive all her endeavours to preserve the unhappy
Lady Adelina.

Relying therefore on the generosity and innocence of her intentions, she
chose rather to leave her own actions open to censure which they did not
deserve, than to risk an investigation which might be fatal to the
interest of her poor friend. She took nothing with her, Mrs. Stafford
undertaking every necessary arrangement about her cloaths--and having at
night taken a tender leave of this beloved and valuable woman, and
promised to write to her constantly and to return as soon as the destiny
of Lady Adelina should be decided, they parted.

And Emmeline, arising before the dawn of the following morning, set out
alone to Woodbury Forest--a precaution absolutely necessary, to evade
the inquisitive watchfulness of James Crofts. She stole softly down
stairs, before even the servants were stirring, and opening the door
cautiously, felt some degree of terror at being obliged to undertake so
long a walk alone at such an hour. But innocence gave her courage, and
friendly zeal lent her strength. As she walked on, her fears subsided.
She saw the sun rise above the horizon, and her apprehensions were at an
end.

As no carriage could approach within three quarters of a mile of the
house where Lady Adelina was concealed, they were obliged to walk to the
road where Mrs. Stafford had directed a post chaise to wait for them,
which she had hired at a distant town, where it was unlikely any enquiry
would be made.

Long disuse, as she had hardly ever left the cottage from the moment of
her entering it, and the extreme weakness to which she was reduced, made
Emmeline greatly fear that Lady Adelina would never be able to reach the
place. With her assistance, and that of her Ladyship's woman, slowly and
faintly she walked thither; and Emmeline saw her happily placed in the
chaise. Every thing had been before settled as to the conveyance of the
servant and baggage, and to engage the secresy of the woman with whom
she had dwelt, by making her silence sufficiently advantageous; and as
they hoped that no traces were left by which they might be followed, the
spirits of the fair travellers seemed somewhat to improve as they
proceeded on their journey.--Emmeline felt her heart elated with the
consciousness of doing good; and from the tender affection and
assistance of such a friend, which could be considered only as the
benevolence of heaven itself, Lady Adelina drew a favourable omen, and
dared entertain a faint hope that her penitence had been accepted.

They arrived without any accident at Bath, the following day; and
Emmeline, leaving Lady Adelina at the inn, went out immediately to
secure lodgings in a retired part of the town. As soon as it was dark,
Lady Adelina removed thither in a chair; and was announced by Emmeline
to be the wife of a Swiss officer, to be herself of Switzerland, and to
bear the name of Mrs. St. Laure--while she herself, as she was very
little known, continued to pass by her own name in the few transactions
which in their very private way of living required her name to be
repeated.

When Mrs. Ashwood found that Emmeline had left Woodfield clandestinely
and alone, and that Mrs. Stafford evaded giving any account whither she
was gone, by saying coldly that she was gone to visit a friend in
Surrey whom she formerly knew in Wales, all the suspicions she had
herself harboured, and Miss Galton encouraged, seemed confirmed. James
Crofts had related, not without exaggerations, what he had been witness
to in the copse; and it was no longer doubted but that she was gone with
Fitz-Edward, which at once accounted for her departure and the sudden
and mysterious manner in which it was accomplished. James Crofts had
suspicions that his behaviour had hastened it; but he failed not to
confirm Mrs. Ashwood in her prepossession that her entanglement with
Fitz-Edward was now at a period when it could be no longer
concealed--intelligence which was to be conveyed to Delamere.

The elder Crofts, who had been some time with Lady Montreville and her
daughter, had named Delamere from time to time in his letters to his
brother. The last, mentioned that he was now with his mother and sister,
who were at Nice, and who purposed returning to England in about three
months. Crofts represented Delamere as still devoted to Emmeline; and as
existing only in the hope of being no longer opposed in his intention of
marrying her in March, when the year which he had promised his father to
wait expired; but that Lady Montreville, as time wore away, grew more
averse to the match, and more desirous of some event which might break
it off. Crofts gave his brother a very favourable account of his
progress with Miss Delamere; and hinted that if he could be fortunate
enough to put an end to Delamere's intended connection, it would so
greatly conciliate the favour of Lady Montreville, that he dared hope
she would no longer oppose his union with her daughter: and when once
they were married, and the prejudices of the mother to an inferior
alliance conquered, he had very little doubt of Lord Montreville's
forgiveness, and of soon regaining his countenance and friendship.

This account from his brother added another motive to those which
already influenced the malignant and illiberal mind of James Crofts to
injure the lovely orphan, and he determined to give all his assistance
to Mrs. Ashwood in the cruel project of depriving her at once of her
character and her lover. In a consultation which he held on this subject
with his promised bride and Miss Galton, the ladies agreed that it was
perfectly shocking that such a fine young man as Mr. Delamere should be
attached to a woman so little sensible of his value as Emmeline; that it
had long been evident she was to him indifferent, and it was now too
clear that she was partial to another; and that therefore it would be a
meritorious action to acquaint him of her intimacy with Fitz-Edward; and
it could not be doubted but his knowledge of it would, high spirited as
he was, cure him effectually of his ill-placed passion, and restore the
tranquillity of his respectable family. Hiding thus the inveterate envy
and malice of their hearts under this hypocritical pretence, they next
considered how to give the information which was so meritorious.
Anonymous letters were expedients to which Miss Galton had before had
recourse, and to an anonymous letter they determined to commit the
secret of Emmeline's infidelity--while James Crofts, in his letters to
his brother, was to corroborate the intelligence it contained, by
relating as mere matter of news what had actually and evidently
happened, Emmeline's sudden departure from Woodfield.

Delamere, when he saw his mother out of danger at Barege, had returned
to the neighbourhood of Paris, where he had lingered some time, in hopes
that Emmeline would accede to his request of being allowed to cross the
channel for a few days; but her answer, in which she strongly urged the
hazard he would incur of giving his father a pretence to withdraw _his_
promise, by violating his own, had obliged him, tho' with infinite
reluctance, to give up the scheme; and being quite indifferent where he
was, if he was still at a distance from her, he had yielded to the
solicitations of Lady Montreville, and rejoined her at Nice. There, he
now remained; while every thing in England seemed to contribute to
assist the designs of those who wished to disengage him from his passion
for Emmeline.

The day after Emmeline's departure with Lady Adelina, Fitz-Edward went
to Woodfield; and hearing that Miss Mowbray had suddenly left it, was
thrown into the utmost astonishment--astonishment which Mrs. Ashwood and
Miss Galton observed to each other was the finest piece of acting they
had ever seen.

The whole party were together when he was introduced--a circumstance
Mrs. Stafford would willingly have avoided, as it was absolutely
necessary for her to speak to him alone; and determined to do so,
whatever construction the malignity of her sister-in-law might put upon
it, she said--

'I have long promised you, Colonel, a sight of the two pieces of drawing
which Miss Mowbray and I have finished as companions. They are now
framed; and if you will come with me into my dressing-room you shall see
them.'

As the rest of the company had frequently seen these drawings, there was
no pretence for their following Mrs. Stafford; who, accompanied by the
Colonel, went to her dressing room.

A conference thus evidently sought by Mrs. Stafford, excited the eager
and painful curiosity of the party in the parlour.

'Now would I give the world,' cried Mrs. Ashwood, 'to know what is going
forward.'

'Is it not possible to listen?' enquired Crofts, equal to any meanness
that might gratify the malevolence of another or his own.

'Yes,' replied Mrs. Ashwood, 'if one could get into the closet next the
dressing-room without being perceived, which can only be done by passing
thro' the nursery. If indeed the nursery maids and children are out, it
is easy enough.'

'They are out, mama, I assure you,' cried Miss Ashwood, 'for I saw them
myself go across the lawn since I've been at breakfast. Do, pray let us
go and listen--I long of all things to know what my aunt Stafford can
have to say to that sly-looking Colonel.'

'No, no, child,' said her mother, 'I shall not send you, indeed--but
Crofts, do you think we should be able to make it out?'

'Egad,' answered he, 'I'll try--for depend upon it the mischief will
out. It will be rare, to have such a pretty tale to tell Mr. Delamere of
his demure-looking little dear.--I'll venture.'

Mrs. Ashwood then shewing him the way, he went on tip toe up stairs, and
concealing himself in a light closet which was divided from the dressing
room only by lath and plaister, he lent an attentive ear to the dialogue
that was passing.

It happened, however, that the window near which Mrs. Stafford and
Fitz-Edward were sitting was exactly opposite to that side of the room
to which Crofts' hiding-place communicated; and tho' the room was not
large, yet the distance, the partition, and the low voice in which both
parties spoke, made it impossible for him to distinguish more than
broken sentences. From Mrs. Stafford he heard--'Could not longer be
concealed--in all probability may now remain unknown--the child, I will
myself attend to.' From Fitz-Edward, he could only catch indistinct
sounds; his voice appearing to be lost in his emotion. But he seemed to
be thanking Mrs. Stafford, and lamenting his own unhappiness. His last
speech, in which his powers of utterance were returned, was--'Nothing
can ever erase the impression of your angelic goodness, best and
loveliest of friends!--oh, continue it, I beseech you, to those for whom
only I am solicitous, and forgive all the trouble I have given you!'

He then hurried away. Mrs. Stafford, after remaining alone a moment as
if to compose herself, went back to the parlour; and Crofts, who thought
he had heard enough, tho' he wished to have heard all, slunk from his
closet and walked into the garden; where being soon afterwards joined by
Mrs. Ashwood and Miss Galton, he, by relating the broken and disjointed
discourse he had been witness to, left not a doubt remaining of the
cause of Emmeline's precipitate retreat from Woodfield.

And perhaps minds more candid than their's--minds untainted with the
odious and hateful envy which ulcerated their's, might, from the
circumstances that attended her going and Fitz-Edward's behaviour, have
conceived disadvantageous ideas of her conduct. But such was the
uneasiness with which Mrs. Ashwood ever beheld superior merit, and such
the universal delight which Miss Galton took in defamation, that had
none of those circumstances existed, they would with equal malignity
have studied to ruin the reputation of Emmeline; and probably with equal
success--for against such attacks, innocence, however it may console
it's possessor, is too frequently a feeble and inadequate defence!

While the confederates, exulting in the certainty of Emmeline's ruin,
were manufacturing the letter which was to alarm the jealous and
irascible spirit of Delamere, Fitz-Edward, (from whom Mrs. Stafford,
before she would tell him any thing, had extorted a promise that he
would enquire no farther than what she chose to relate to him,) was
relieved from insupportable anguish by hearing that Lady Adelina was in
safe hands; but he lamented in bitterness of soul the despondency and
affliction to which Mrs. Stafford had told him she entirely resigned
herself. He knew not that Emmeline was with her, whatever he might
suspect; and Mrs. Stafford had protested to him, that if he made any
attempt to discover the residence of Lady Adelina, or persisted in
meeting her brother, she would immediately relinquish all concern in the
affair, and no longer interest herself in what his rashness would
inevitably render desperate.

He solemnly assured her he would take no measures without her
knowledge; and remained at Tylehurst, secluded from every body, and
waiting in fearful and anxious solicitude to hear of Lady Adelina by
Mrs. Stafford.

Delamere, (still at Nice with his mother,) who with different sources of
uneasiness thought the days and weeks insupportably long in which he
lived only in the hope of seeing Emmeline at the end of six months, was
roused from his involuntary resignation by the following letter, written
in a hand perfectly unknown to him.


  'Sir,

    'A friend to your worthy and noble family writes this; which is
  meant to serve you, and to undeceive you in regard to Miss
  Mowbray--who, without any gratitude for the high honour you intend
  her, is certainly too partial to another person. She is now gone
  from Woodfield to escape observation; and none but Mrs. Stafford is
  let into the secret of where she is. You will judge what end it is
  to answer; but certainly none that bodes you good. One would have
  supposed that the Colonel's being very often her attendant at
  Woodfield might have made her stay there agreeable enough; but
  perhaps (for I do not aver it) the young lady has some particular
  reasons for wishing to have private lodgings. No doubt the Colonel
  is a man of gallantry; but his friendship to you is rather more
  questionable. The writer of this having very little knowledge of the
  parties, can have no other motive than the love of justice, and
  being sorry to see deceit and falsehood practised on a young
  gentleman who deserves better, and who has a respectful tho' unknown
  friend in

                                                                 Y. Z.'

  _London, July 22, 17--._


This infamous scroll had no sooner been perused by Delamere, than fury
flashed from his eyes, and anguish seized his heart. But the moment the
suddenness of his passion gave way to reflection, the tumult of his mind
subsided, and he thought it must be an artifice of his mother's to
separate him from Emmeline. The longer he considered her inveterate
antipathy to his marriage, the more he was convinced that this artifice,
unworthy as it was, she was capable of conceiving, and, by means of the
Crofts, executing, if she hoped by it to put an eternal conclusion to
his affection. He at length so entirely adopted this idea, that
determining 'to be revenged and love her better for it,' and to
settle the matter very peremptorily with the Crofts' if they had been
found to interfere, he obtained a tolerable command over his temper and
his features, and joined Lady Montreville and Miss Delamere, whom he
found reading letters which they also had received from England. His
mother asked slightly after his; and, in a few moments, Mr. Crofts
arrived, asking, with his usual assiduity, after the health of Lord
Montreville and that of such friends as usually wrote to her Ladyship?
She answered his enquiries--and then desired to hear what news Sir
Richard or his other correspondents had sent him?

'My father's letters,' said he, 'contain little more than an order to
purchase some particular sort of wine which he is very circumstantial,
as usual, in telling me how to forward safely. He adds, indeed, that he
can allow my absence no longer than until the 20th of September.'--He
sighed, and looked tenderly at Miss Delamere.

'I have no other letters,' continued he, 'but one from James.'

'And does he tell you no news,' asked Lady Montreville?

'Nothing,' answered Crofts, carelessly, 'but gossip, which I believe
would not entertain your Ladyship.'

'Oh, why should you fancy that,' returned she--'you know I love to hear
news, tho' about people I never saw or ever wish to see.'

'James has been at Mr. Stafford's at Woodfield,' said he, 'where your
Ladyship has certainly no acquaintance.'

'At Woodfield, Sir?' cried Delamere, unable to express his anxiety--'at
Woodfield!--And what does he say of Woodfield?'

'I don't recollect any thing very particular,' answered Crofts,
carelessly--'I believe I put the letter into my pocket.' He took it out.

'Read it to us Crofts'--said Miss Delamere.


    ----'I have lately passed a very agreeable month at Woodfield.
  We were a large party in the house. Among other pleasant
  circumstances, during my stay there, was a ball and _fête
  champêtre_, given by Mr. Conway on his son's coming of age. It was
  elegant, and well conducted beyond any entertainment of the sort I
  ever saw. There were forty couple, and a great number of very
  pretty women; but it was agreed on all hands that Miss Mowbray
  would have eclipsed them all, who unluckily declined going. She
  left Woodfield a day or two afterwards.'


Delamere's countenance changed.--Crofts, as if looking for some other
news in his letter, hesitated, then smiled, and went on.--


    'The gossip Fame has made a match for me with Mrs. Ashwood. I
  wish she may be right. In some other of her stories I really think
  her wrong, so I will not be the means of their circulation.'


'The rest,' said Crofts, putting up the letter, 'is only about my
father's new purchases and other family affairs.'

Delamere, who, in spite of his suspicions of Crofts' treachery, could
not hear this corroboration of his anonymous letter without a renewal of
all his fears, left the room in doubt, suspence and wretchedness.

The seeds of jealousy and mistrust thus skilfully sown, could hardly
fail of taking root in an heart so full of sensibility, and a temper so
irritable as his. Again he read over his anonymous letter, and compared
it with the intelligence which seemed accidentally communicated by
Crofts; and with a fearful kind of enquiry compared the date and
circumstances. He dared hardly trust his mind with the import of this
investigation; and found nothing on which to rest his hope, but that it
might be a concerted plan between his mother and Crofts.

His heart alternately swelling between the indignation such a
supposition created and shrinking with horror from the idea of perfidy
on the part of Emmeline, kept him in such a state of mind that he could
hardly be said to possess his reason. But when he remembered how often
his extreme vivacity had betrayed him into error, and hazarded his
losing for ever all he held valuable on earth, he tried to subdue the
acuteness of his feelings, and to support at least without betraying it,
the anguish which oppressed him, till the next pacquet from England,
when it was possible a letter from Emmeline herself might dissipate his
doubts. Resolutely however resolving to call Crofts to a serious
account, if he found him accessory to a calumny so dark and diabolical.

When the next post from England arrived, he saw, among the letters which
were delivered to him, one directed by the hand of Emmeline. He flew to
his own room, and with trembling hands broke the seal.

It was short, and he fancied unusually cold. Towards it's close, she
mentioned that she was going to Bath for a few weeks with a friend, and
as she did not know where she should lodge, thought he had better not
write till she was again fixed at Woodfield.

That she should go to Bath in July, with a nameless friend, and quit so
abruptly her beloved Mrs. Stafford--that she should apparently wish to
evade his letters, and make her actual residence a secret--were a cloud
of circumstances calculated to persuade him that some mystery involved
her conduct; a mystery which the fatal letter served too evidently to
explain.

As if fire had been laid to the train of combustibles which had, since
the receipt of it, been accumulating in the bosom of Delamere, his
furious and uncontroulable spirit now burst forth. A temporary delirium
seized him; he stamped round the room, and ran to his pistols, which
fortunately were not charged. The noise he made brought Millefleur into
the room, whom he instantly caught by the collar, and shaking him
violently, cried--

'Scoundrel!--why are not these pistols loaded?'

'_Eh! eh! Monsieur!_' exclaimed Millefleur, almost strangled-'_que
voudriez vous?--vos pistolets!--Mon Dieu! que voudriez vous avec vos
pistolets?_'

'Shoot _you_ perhaps, you blockhead!' raved Delamere, pushing furiously
from him the trembling valet--then snatching up the pistols, he half
kicked, half pushed him out of the room, and throwing them after him,
ordered him to clean and load them: after which he locked the door, and
threw himself upon the bed.

The resolution he had made in his cooler moments, never again to yield
to such impetuous transports of passion, was now forgotten. He could not
conquer, he could not even mitigate the tumultuous anguish which had
seized him; but seemed rather to call to his remembrance all that might
justify it's excess.

He remembered how positively Emmeline had forbidden his returning to
England, tho' all he asked was to be allowed to see her for a few hours.
He recollected her long and invincible coldness; her resolute adherence
to the promise she need not have given; and forgetting all the symptoms
which he had before fondly believed he had discovered of her returning
his affection, he exaggerated every circumstance that indicated
indifference, and magnified them into signs of absolute aversion.

Tho' he could not forget that Fitz-Edward had assisted him in carrying
Emmeline away, and had on all occasions promoted his interest with her,
that recollection did not at all weaken the probability of his present
attachment; for such was Delamere's opinion of Fitz-Edward's principles,
that he believed he was capable of the most dishonourable views on the
mistress, or even on the wife of his friend. He tortured his imagination
almost to madness, by remembering numberless little incidents, which,
tho' almost unattended to at the time, now seemed to bring the cruellest
conviction of their intelligence--particularly that on the night he had
taken Emmeline from Clapham, Fitz-Edward was found there; tho' neither
his father or himself, who had repeatedly sent to his lodgings, could
either find him at home or get any direction where to meet with him.
Almost all his late letters too had been dated from Tylehurst, where it
was certain he had passed the greatest part of the summer.--Fitz-Edward,
fond of society, and courted by the most brilliant circles, shut himself
up in a country house, distant from all his connections. And to what
could such an extraordinary change be owing, if not to his attachment to
Emmeline Mowbray?

Irritated by these recollections, he gave himself up to all the dreadful
torments of jealousy--jealousy even to madness; and he felt this
corrosive passion in all it's extravagance. It was violent in proportion
to his love and his pride, and more insupportably painful in proportion
to it's novelty; for except once at Swansea, when he fancied that
Emmeline in her flight was accompanied by Fitz-Edward, he had never felt
it before; however they might serve him as a pretence, Rochely and
Elkerton were both too contemptible to excite it.

The night approached; and without having regained any share of
composure, he had at length determined to quit Nice the next day, that
his mother and Crofts might not be gratified with the sight of his
despair, and triumph in the detected perfidy of Emmeline.

Lady Montreville and her daughter were out when the letters arrived; and
he now apprehended that when they returned Millefleur might alarm them
by an account of his frantic behaviour, and that they would guess it to
have been occasioned by his letters from England. Starting up,
therefore, he called the poor fellow to him, who was not yet recovered
from his former terrifying menaces; and who approached, trembling, the
table where Delamere sat; his dress disordered, his eyes flashing fire,
and his lips pale and quivering.

'Come here, Sir!' sternly cried he.

Millefleur sprung close to the table.

'Have you cleaned and loaded my pistols?'

'_Monsieur--je, je m'occupais--je, je--Monsieur, ils sont----_'

'Fool, of what are you afraid?--what does the confounded _poltron_
tremble for?'

'_Mais Monsieur--c'est que--que--mais Monsieur, je ne scais!_'

'_Tenez_, Mr. Millefleur!' said Delamere sharply--'Remember what I am
going to say. Something has happened to vex me, and I shall go out
to-morrow for a few days, or perhaps I may go to England. My mother is
to know nothing of it, but what I shall myself tell her; therefore at
your peril speak of what has happened this evening, or of my intentions
for to-morrow. Come up immediately, and put my things into my
portmanteaus, and put my fire arms in order. I shall take you with me.
David need not be prepared till to-morrow. I shall go on horseback and
shall want him also. The least failure on your part of executing these
orders, you will find very inconvenient--you know I will not be trifled
with.'

Millefleur, frightened to death at the looks and voice of his master,
dared not disobey; and Delamere employing him in putting up his cloaths
till after Lady Montreville came in, was, he thought, secure of his
secresy. He then made an effort, tho' a successless one, to hide the
anguish that devoured him; and went down to supper. He found, that
besides their constant attendant Crofts, his mother and sister were
accompanied by two other English gentlemen, and a French man of fashion
and his sister, who full of the vivacity and gaiety of their country,
kept up a lively conversation with Miss Delamere and the Englishmen. But
Delamere hardly spoke--his eyes were wild and inflamed--his cheeks
flushed--and deep sighs seemed involuntarily to burst from his heart.
Lady Montreville observed him, and then said--

'Surely, Frederic, you are not well?'

'Not very well,' said he; 'but I am otherwise, merely from the
intolerable heat. I have had the head-ache all day.'

'The head-ache!' exclaimed his mother--'Why then do you not go to bed?'

'No,' answered he, 'I am better up. Since the heat is abated, I am in
less pain. I will take a walk by the fine moon that I see is rising, and
be back again presently--and to-morrow,' continued he--'to-morrow, I
shall go northward for a month. I cannot stay under this burning
atmosphere.'

Then desiring the company not to move on his account, he arose from
table and hastened away.

'Do, my good Crofts,' said Lady Montreville--'do follow Frederic--he
frightens me to death--he is certainly very ill.'

Crofts hesitated a moment, being in truth afraid to interfere with
Delamere's ramble while he was in a humour so gloomy; but on her
Ladyship's repeating her request, dared not shew his reluctance. He went
out therefore under pretence of following him; while the party present,
seeing Lady Montreville's distress, almost immediately departed.

Crofts walked on without much desire to fulfill his commission; for
Delamere, whenever he was obliged to associate with him, treated him
generally with coldness, and sometimes rudely. There was, however, very
little probability of his overtaking him; for Delamere had walked or
rather run to a considerable distance from the street where his mother
lived, and then wandering farther into the fields, had thrown himself
upon the grass, and had forgotten every thing but Emmeline--'Emmeline
and Fitz-Edward gone together!--the mistress on whom he had so fondly
doated!--the friend whom he had so implicitly trusted!' These cruel
images, drest in every form most fatal to his peace, tormented him, and
the agony of disappointed passion seemed to have affected his brain.
Deep groans forced their way from his oppressed heart--he cursed his
existence, and seemed resolutely bent, in the gloominess of his despair,
to shake it off and free himself from sufferings so intolerable.

To the first effusions of his phrenzy, a sullen calm, more alarming,
succeeded. He fixed his eyes on the moon which shone above him, but had
no idea of what he saw, or where he was; his breath was short, his hands
clenched; he seemed as if, having lost the power of complaint, he was
unable to express the pain that convulsed his whole frame.

While he continued in this situation, a favourite little spaniel of his
mother's, of which he had from a boy been fond, ran up to him and licked
his hands and face. The caresses of an animal he had so long remembered,
touched some chord of the heart that vibrated to softer emotions than
those which had for the last three hours possessed him--he burst into
tears.

'Felix!' said he, sobbing, 'poor Felix!'

The dog, rejoicing to be noticed, ran barking round him; and presently
afterwards, with hurried steps, came Miss Delamere, leaning on the arm
of Crofts.

'My God!' exclaimed she, almost screaming, 'here he is! Oh Frederic, you
have so terrified my mother! and Mr. Crofts has been two hours in search
of you. Had it not been for the dog, we should not now have found you.
Mr. Crofts has returned twice to the house without you.'

'Mr. Crofts may return then a third time,' said Delamere, 'and cease to
give himself such unnecessary trouble.'

'But you will come with us, brother?--Surely you will now come home?'

'At my leisure,' replied he, sternly--'Lady Montreville need be under no
apprehensions about me. I shall be at home presently. But I will not be
importuned! I will not be watched and followed! and above all, I will
not have a governor!'

So saying, he turned from them and walked another way; while they,
seeing him so impracticable, could only return to report what they had
seen to Lady Montreville. Delamere, however, who had taken another way,
entered the house at the same moment.

Lady Montreville had strictly questioned Millefleur as to the cause of
his master's disorder; and the poor fellow, who dared not relate the
furious passion into which he had fallen on reading his letter,
trembled, prevaricated, stammered, and looked so white, that her
Ladyship, more alarmed, fancied she knew not what; and full of terror,
had sent out Crofts a second time, and the servants different ways, in
search of her son. At length Crofts returning the second time without
success, Miss Delamere went with him herself; and the dog following her,
led her to her brother. But before their return, Lady Montreville's
apprehensions had arisen to such an height, that a return of her fits
seemed to threaten her, and with difficulty was she brought to her
senses when she saw him before her; and when he, moved by the keenness
of her sorrow at his imaginary danger, assured her, in answer to her
repeated enquiries, that he was merely affected by the heat; that he had
no material complaint, and should be quite well and in his usual spirits
when he returned from the excursion he proposed going upon the next day.
Then, being somewhat appeased, his mother suffered him to retire; and
called her counsellor, Mr. Crofts, to debate whether in such a frame of
mind she ought to allow the absence of Delamere? Crofts advised her by
all means to let him go. He suspected indeed that the anonymous letter
had occasioned all the wild behaviour he had been witness to, and
thought it very likely that Delamere might be going to England. But he
knew that James Crofts and his fair associates were prepared for the
completion of their project if he did; and his absence was, on account
of Crofts' own affairs, particularly desirable.

For these reasons, he represented to Lady Montreville that opposition
would only irritate and inflame her son, without inducing him to stay.
He departed, therefore, the next morning, without any impediment on the
part of his mother; but was yet undecided whither to go. While Crofts,
no longer thwarted by his observation, or humbled by his haughty
disdain, managed matters so well, that in spite of the pride of noble
blood, in spite of her reluctance to marry a commoner, he conquered and
silenced all the scruples and objections of Miss Delamere; and a young
English clergyman, a friend of his, coming to Nice, as both he and
Crofts declared, _by the meerest accident in the world_, just about that
time, Crofts obtained her consent to a private marriage; and his friend
took especial care that no form might be wanting, to enable him legally
to claim his bride, on their return to England.



CHAPTER IV


Emmeline had now been near a month at Bath, whence she had not written
to Delamere. She had seldom done so oftener than once in six or eight
weeks; and no reason subsisted at present for a more frequent
correspondence.

Far from having any idea that he would think her temporary removal
extraordinary, she had not attempted to conceal it from him; and of his
jealousy of Fitz-Edward she had not the remotest suspicion. For tho'
Mrs. Ashwood's hints, and the behaviour of James Crofts, had left no
doubt of their ill opinion of her, yet she never supposed them capable
of an attempt to impress the same idea on the mind of Delamere; and had
no notion of the variety of motives which made the whole family of the
Crofts, with which Mrs. Ashwood was now connected, solicitous to
perpetuate the evil by propagating the scandalous story they had
themselves invented.

Unconscious therefore of the anguish which preyed upon the heart of her
unhappy lover, Emmeline gave her whole attention to Lady Adelina, and
she saw with infinite concern the encreasing weakness of her frame; with
still greater pain she observed, that by suffering her mind to dwell
continually on her unhappy situation, it was no longer able to exert the
powers it possessed; and that, sunk in hopeless despondence, her
intellects were frequently deranged. Amid these alienations of reason,
she was still gentle, amiable and interesting; and as they were yet
short and slight, Emmeline flattered herself, that the opiates which her
physician (in consequence of the restless and anxious nights Lady
Adelina had for some time passed) found it absolutely necessary to
administer, might have partly if not entirely occasioned this alarming
symptom.

Still, however, the busy imagination of Emmeline perpetually represented
to her impending sorrow, and her terror hourly encreased. She figured to
herself the decided phrenzy, or the death of her poor friend; and unable
to conquer apprehensions which she was yet compelled to conceal, she
lived in a continual effort to appear chearful, and to soothe the
wounded mind of the sufferer, by consolatory conversation; while she
watched her with an attention so sedulous and so painful, that only the
excellence of her heart, which persuaded her she was engaged in a task
truly laudable, could have supported her thro' such anxiety and fatigue.

She was, however, very desirous that as Mr. Godolphin was now in England
he might be acquainted with his sister's calamitous and precarious
situation; and she gently hinted to Lady Adelina, how great a
probability she thought there was, that such a man as her brother was
represented to be, would in her sorrow and her suffering forget her
error.

But by the most distant idea of such an interview, she found Lady
Adelina so violently affected, that she dared not again urge it; and was
compelled, in fearful apprehension, to await the hour which would
probably give the fair penitent to that grave, where she seemed to wish
her disgrace and affliction might be forgotten.

To describe the anxiety of Emmeline when that period arrived, is
impossible; or the mingled emotions of sorrow and satisfaction, pleasure
and pity, with which she beheld the lovely and unfortunate infant whose
birth she had so long desired, yet so greatly dreaded.

Lady Adelina had, till then, wished to die. She saw her child--and
wished to live.--The physical people who attended her, gave hopes that
she might.--Supported by the tender friendship of Emmeline, and animated
by maternal fondness, she determined to attempt it.

Emmeline, now full of apprehension, now indulging feeble hopes, prayed
fervently for her recovery; and zealously and indefatigably attended her
with more than her former solicitude. For three days, her hopes
gradually grew stronger; when on the evening of the third, as she was
sitting alone by the side of the bed where Lady Adelina had fallen into
a quiet sleep, she suddenly heard a sort of bustle in the next room; and
before she could rise to put an end to it, a gentleman to whom she was a
stranger, walked hastily into that where she was. On seeing her, he
started and said--

'I beg your pardon, Madam--but I was informed that here I might find
Lady Adelina Trelawny.'

The name of Trelawny, thus suddenly and loudly pronounced, awakened Lady
Adelina. She started up--undrew the curtain--and fixing her eyes with a
look of terrified astonishment on the stranger, she exclaimed,
faintly--'Oh! my brother!--my brother William!' then sunk back on her
pillow, to all appearance lifeless.

Mr. Godolphin now springing forward, caught the cold and insensible hand
which had opened the curtain; and throwing himself on his knees, cried--

'Adelina! my love! are you ill?--have I then terrified and alarmed you?
Speak to me--dear Adelina--speak to me!'

Emmeline, whose immediate astonishment at his presence had been lost in
terror for his sister, had flown out of the room for the attendants, and
now returning, cried--

'You have killed her, Sir!--She is certainly dead!--Oh, my God! the
sudden alarm, the sudden sight of you, has destroyed her!'

'I am afraid it has!' exclaimed Godolphin wildly, and hardly knowing
what he said--'I am indeed afraid it has! My poor sister--my unhappy,
devoted Adelina!--have I then found you only to destroy you? But
perhaps,' continued he, after a moment's pause, during which
Emmeline and the nurse were chafing the hands and temples of
the dying patient--'perhaps she may recover. Send instantly for
advice--run--fly--let me go myself for assistance.'

He would now have run out of the room; but Emmeline, whose admirable
presence of mind this sudden scene of terror had not conquered, stopped
him.

'Stay, Sir,' said she, 'I beseech you, stay. You know not whither to go.
I will instantly send those who do.'

She then left the room, and ordered a servant to fetch the physician;
for she dreaded least Mr. Godolphin should discover the real name and
quality of the patient to those to whom he might apply; and on returning
to the bed side, where Lady Adelina still lay without any signs of
existence, and by which her brother still knelt in speechless agony, her
fears were again alive, least when the medical gentlemen arrived, his
grief and desperation should betray the secret to them. While her first
apprehension was for the life of her friend, these secondary
considerations were yet extremely alarming--for she knew, that should
Lady Adelina recover, her life would be for ever embittered, if not
again endangered, by the discovery which seemed impending and almost
inevitable.

The women who were about her having now applied every remedy they could
think of without success, began loudly to lament themselves. Emmeline,
commanding her own anguish, besought them to stifle their's, and not to
give way to fruitless exclamations while there was yet hope, but to
continue their endeavours to recover their lady. Then addressing herself
to Mr. Godolphin, she roused him from the stupor of grief in which he
had fallen, while he gazed with an impassioned and agonizing look on the
pale countenance of his sister.

'Pardon me, Sir,' said she, 'if I entreat you to go down stairs and
await the arrival of the advice I have sent for. Should my poor friend
recover, your presence may renew and encrease the alarm of her spirits,
and embarrass her returning recollection; and should she not recover,
you had better hear such mournful tidings in any place rather than
this.'

'Oh! if I _do_ hear them,' answered he, wildly, 'it matters little
where. But I _will_ withdraw, Madam, since you seem to desire it.'

He had hardly seen Emmeline before. He now turned his eyes mournfully
upon her--'It is, I presume, Miss Mowbray,' said he, 'who thus, with an
angel's tenderness in an angel's form, would spare the sorrows of a
stranger?'

Emmeline, unable to speak, led the way down to the parlour, and
Godolphin silently followed her.

'Go back,' said he, tremulously, as soon as they reached the room--'go
back to my sister; your tender assiduity may do more for her than the
people about her. Your voice, your looks, will soothe and tranquillize
her, should she awaken from her long insensibility. Ah! tell her, her
brother came only to rescue her from the misery of her unworthy
lot--Tell her his affection, his brotherly affection, hopes to give her
consolation; and restore her--if it may yet be--to her repose. But go,
dearest Miss Mowbray go!--somebody comes in--perhaps the physician.'

Emmeline now opening the parlour door, found it to be indeed the
physician she expected; and with a fearful heart she followed him,
informing him, as they went up stairs, that the sudden appearance of
Mrs. St. Laure's brother, whom she had not seen for two or three years,
had thrown her into a fainting fit, from which not all their endeavours
had recovered her.

He remonstrated vehemently against the extreme indiscretion of such an
interview. Emmeline, who knew not by what strange chain of circumstances
it had been brought about, had nothing to reply.

So feeble were the appearances of remaining life, that the physician
could pronounce nothing certainly in regard to his patient. He gave,
however, directions to her attendants; but after every application had
been used, all that could be said was, that she was not actually dead.
As soon as the physician had written his prescription and retired,
Emmeline recollected the painful state of suspense in which she had left
Mr. Godolphin, and trying to recover courage to go thro' the painful
scene before her, she went down to him.

As she opened the door, he met her.

'I have seen the doctor,' said he, in a broken and hurried voice--'and
from his account I am convinced Adelina is dying.'

'I hope not,' faintly answered Emmeline. 'There is yet a possibility,
tho' I fear no great probability of her recovery.'

'My Adelina!' resumed he, walking about the room--'my Adelina! for whose
sake I so anxiously wished to return to England--Gracious God! I am come
too late to assist her! Some strange mystery surely hangs over her!
Long lost to all her friends, I find her here dying! The sight of me,
instead of relieving her sorrow seems to have accelerated her
dissolution! And you, Madam, to whose goodness she appears to be so
greatly indebted--may I ask by what fortunate circumstance, lost and
obscure as she has been, she has acquired such a friend?'

Emmeline, shuddering at the apprehension of enquiries she found it
impossible to answer, was wholly at a loss how to reply to this. She
knew not of what Mr. Godolphin was informed--of what he was ignorant;
and dreaded to say too much, or to be detected in a false
representation. She therefore, agitated and hesitating, gravely said--

'It is not now a time, Sir, to ask any thing relative to Lady Adelina. I
am myself too ill to enter into conversation; and wish, as you have been
yourself greatly affected, that you would now retire, and endeavour to
make yourself as easy as you can. To-morrow may, perhaps, afford us more
chearful prospects--or at least this cruel suspense will be over, and
the dear sufferer at peace.'

She sobbed, and turned away. Godolphin rising, said in a faultering
voice--

'Yes, I will go! since my stay can only encrease the pain of that
generous and sensible heart. I will go--but not to rest!--I cannot rest!
But do you try, most amiable creature! to obtain some repose--Try, I
beseech you, to recover your spirits, which have been so greatly
hurried.'

He knew not what he said; and was hastening out of the room, when
Emmeline, recollecting how ardently Lady Adelina had desired the
concealment of her name and family, stopped him as he was quitting her.

'Yet one thing, Captain Godolphin, allow me to entreat of you?'

'What can I refuse you?' answered he, returning.

'Only--are you known at Bath?'

'Probably I may. It is above three years since I was in England, and
much longer since I have been here. But undoubtedly some one or other
will know me.'

'Then do indulge me in one request. See as few people as you can; and if
you accidentally meet any of your friends, do not say that Lady Adelina
is here.'

'Not meet any one if I can avoid it!--and if I do, not speak of my
sister! And why is all this?--why this concealment, this
mystery?--why--'

Emmeline, absolutely overcome, sat down without speaking. Godolphin,
seeing her uneasiness, said--

'But I will not distress _you_, Madam, by farther questions. Your
commands shall be sufficient. I will stifle my anxiety and obey you.'
Then bowing respectfully, he added--'To-morrow, at as early an hour as I
dare hope for admittance, I shall be at the door. Heaven bless and
reward the fair and gentle Miss Mowbray--and may it have mercy on my
poor Adelina!'--He sighed deeply, and left the house.

Lady Adelina, tho' not so entirely insensible, was yet but little
amended. But as what alteration there was, was for the better, Emmeline
endeavoured to recall her own agitated and dissipated spirits. The
extraordinary scene which had just passed, was still present to her
imagination; the last words of Godolphin, still vibrated in her ears.
'Fair and gentle Miss Mowbray!' repeated she. 'He knows my name; yet
seems ignorant of every thing that relates to his sister!'

Her astonishment at this circumstance was succeeded by reflecting on the
unpleasant task she must have if Mr. Godolphin should again enquire into
her first acquaintance with his sister. To relate to him the melancholy
story she had heard, would, she found, be an undertaking to which she
was wholly unequal; and she was equally averse to the invention of a
plausible falsehood. From this painful apprehension she meditated how to
extricate herself; but the longer she thought of it, the more she
despaired of it. The terrors of such a conversation hourly augmented;
and wholly and for ever to escape from it, she sometimes determined to
write. But from executing that design, was withheld by considering that
if Godolphin was of a fiery and impetuous temper, he would probably,
without reflection or delay, fly to vengeance, and precipitate every
evil which Lady Adelina dreaded.

After having exhausted every idea on the subject, she could think of
nothing on which her imagination could rest, but to send to Mrs.
Stafford, acquaint her with the danger of Lady Adelina, and conjure her
if possible to come to her. This she knew she would do unless some
singular circumstance in her own family prevented her attention to her
friends.

Resolved to embrace therefore this hope, she dispatched an hasty billet
by an express to Woodfield; and then betook herself to a bed on the
floor, which she had ordered to be placed by the side of that where Lady
Adelina, in happy tho' dangerous insensibility, still seemed to repose
almost in the arms of death.

Emmeline could not, however, obtain even a momentary forgetfulness. Tho'
she could not repent her attention to the unhappy Lady Adelina, she was
yet sensible of her indiscretion in having put herself into the
situation she was now in; the cruel, unfeeling world would, she feared,
condemn her; and of it's reflections she could not think without pain.
But her heart, her generous sympathizing heart, more than acquitted--it
repaid her.

Towards the middle of the night, Lady Adelina, who had made two or three
faint efforts to speak, sighed, and again in faint murmurs attempted to
explain herself. Emmeline started up and eagerly listened; and in a low
whisper heard her ask for her child.

Emmeline ordered it instantly to be brought; and those eyes which had so
lately seemed closed for ever, were opened in search of this beloved
object: then, as if satisfied in beholding it living and well, they
closed again, while she imprinted a kiss on it's little hand. She then
asked for Emmeline; who, delighted with this apparent amendment,
prevailed on her to take what had been ordered for her. She appeared
still better in a few moments, but was yet extremely languid.

'I have had a dreadful dream, my Emmeline,' said she, at length--'a long
and dreadful dream! But it is gone--you are here; my poor little boy too
is well; and this alarming vision will I hope haunt me no more.'

Emmeline, who feared that the dream was indeed a reality, exhorted her
to think only of her recovery; of which, added she cheerfully, we have
no longer any doubt.

'Comfortable and consoling angel!' sighed Lady Adelina--'your presence
is surely safety. Do not leave me!'

Emmeline promised not to quit the room; and elate with hopes of her
friend's speedy restoration to health, fell herself into a tranquil and
refreshing slumber.

On awakening the next morning, she found Lady Adelina much better; but
still, whenever she spoke, dwelling on her supposed dream, and sometimes
talking with that incoherence which had for some weeks before so greatly
alarmed her. Her own dread of meeting Godolphin was by no means
lessened; and to prevent an immediate interview, she dispatched to him
a note.


  'Sir,

  'I am happy in having it in my power to assure you that our dear
  patient is much better. But as uninterrupted tranquillity is
  absolutely necessary, that, and other considerations, induce me to
  beg you will forbear coming hither to day. You may depend on having
  hourly intelligence, and that we shall be desirous of the pleasure
  of seeing you when the safety of my friend admits it.

                                       I have the honour to be, Sir,
                                           your most humble servant,
                                                    EMMELINE MOWBRAY.'

     _Sept._ 20,17--.


To this note, Mr. Godolphin answered--


  'If Miss Mowbray will only allow me to wait on her for one moment
  in the parlour, I will not again trespass on her time till I have
  her own permission.

                                                             W. G.'


This request, Emmeline was obliged, with whatever reluctance, to comply
with. She therefore sent a verbal acquiescence; and repaired to the
bed-side of Lady Adelina, who had asked for her.

'Will you pardon my folly, my dear Emmeline,' said she languidly--'but I
cannot be easy till I have told you what a strange idea has seized me. I
seemed, last night, I know not at what time, to be suddenly awakened by
a voice which loudly repeated the name of Trelawny. Startled by the
sound, I thought I undrew the curtain, and saw my brother William, who
stood looking angrily on me. I felt greatly terrified; and growing
extremely sick, I lost the vision. But now again it's recollection
harrasses my imagination; and the image of my brother, sterner, and with
a ruder aspect than he was wont to wear, still seems present before me.
Oh! he was accustomed to be all goodness and gentleness, and to love his
poor Adelina. But now he too will throw me from him--he too will detest
and despise me--Or perhaps,' continued she, after a short
pause--'perhaps he is dead. I am not superstitious--but this dream
pursues me.'

Emmeline, who had hoped that the very terror of this sudden interview
had obliterated it's remembrance, said every thing she thought likely
to quiet her mind, and to persuade her that the uneasy images
represented in her imperfect slumbers were merely the effect of her
weakness and perturbed spirits.

The impression, however, was too strong to be effaced by arguments. It
still hung heavy on her heart, irritated the fever which had before been
only slight, and deprived her almost entirely of sleep; or if she slept,
she again fancied herself awakened by her brother, angrily repeating the
name of Trelawny.

Sometimes, starting in terror from these feverish dreams, she called on
her brother to pardon and pity her; sometimes in piercing accents
deplored his death, and sometimes besought him to spare Fitz-Edward.
These incoherences were particularly distressing; as names were often
heard by the attendants which Emmeline hoped to have concealed; and it
was hardly possible longer to deceive the physician and apothecary who
attended her.

With an uneasy heart, and a countenance pensively expressive of it's
feelings, she went down to receive Captain Godolphin in the parlour.

'I fear, Miss Mowbray,' said he, as soon as they were seated, 'you will
think me too ready to take advantage of your goodness. But there is that
appearance of candour and compassion about you, that I determined rather
to trust to your goodness for pardon, than to remain longer in a state
of suspense about my sister, which I have already found most
insupportable. In the note you honoured me with to day you say she is
better. Is she then out of danger? Has she proper advice?'

'She has the best advice, Sir. I cannot, however, say that she is out of
danger, but'--She hesitated, and knew not how to proceed.

'But--you hope, rather than believe, she will recover,' cried Godolphin
eagerly.

'I both hope it and believe it. Mr. Godolphin, you yesterday did me the
honour to suppose I had been fortunate enough to be of some service to
Lady Adelina; suffer me to take advantage of a supposition so
flattering, and to claim a sort of right to ask in my turn a favour.'

'Surely I shall consider it as an honour to receive, and as happiness to
obey, any command of Miss Mowbray's.'

'Promise me then to observe the same silence in regard to your sister as
I asked of you last night. Trust me with her safety, and believe it
will not be neglected. But you must neither speak of her to others, or
question me about her.'

'Good God! from whence can arise the necessity for these precautions!
What dreadful obscurity surrounds her! What am I to fear? What am I to
suppose?'

'You will not, then,' said Emmeline, gravely--'you will not oblige me,
by desisting from all questions 'till this trifling restraint can be
taken off?'

'I will, I do promise to be guided wholly by you; and to bear, however
difficult it may be, the suspense, the frightful suspense in which I
must remain. Tell me, however, that Adelina is not in immediate danger.
But, but' added he, as if recollecting himself, 'may I not apply for
information on that head to her physician?'

'Not for the world!' answered Emmeline, with unguarded quickness--'not
for the world!'

'Not for the world!'--repeated Godolphin, with an accent of
astonishment. 'Heaven and earth! But I have promised to ask nothing--I
must obey--and will now release you, Madam.'

Godolphin then took his leave; and Emmeline, whose heart had throbbed
violently throughout this dialogue, sat down alone to compose and
recollect herself. She saw, that to keep Godolphin many days ignorant of
the truth would be impossible: and from the eager anxiety of his
questions, she feared that all the horrors Lady Adelina's troubled
imagination had represented would be realized--apprehensions, which
seemed armed with new terror since she had seen and conversed with this
William Godolphin, of whose excellent heart and noble spirit she had
before heard so much both from Lady Adelina and Fitz-Edward, and whose
appearance seemed to confirm the favourable impression those accounts
had given her.

Godolphin, who was now about five and twenty, had passed the greatest
part of his life at sea. The various climates he had visited had
deprived his complexion of much of it's English freshness; but his face
was animated by dark eyes full of intelligence and spirit; his hair,
generally carelessly dressed, was remarkably fine, and his person tall,
light, and graceful, yet so commanding, that whoever saw him immediately
and involuntarily felt their admiration mingled with respect. His whole
figure was such as brought to the mind ideas of the race of heroes from
which he was descended; his voice was particularly grateful to the ear,
and his address appeared to Emmeline to be a fortunate compound of the
insinuating softness of Fitz-Edward with the fire and vivacity of
Delamere. Of this, however, she could inadequately judge, as he was now
under such depression of spirits: and however pleasing he appeared,
Emmeline, who conceived herself absolutely engaged to Delamere, thought
of him only as the brother of Lady Adelina; yet insensibly she felt
herself more than ever interested for the event of his hearing how
little Fitz-Edward had deserved the warm friendship he had felt for him.
And her thoughts dwelling perpetually on that subject, magnified the
painful circumstances of the approaching éclaircissemen; while her fears
for Lady Adelina's life, who continued to languish in a low fever with
frequent delirium, so harrassed and oppressed her, that her own health
was visibly affected. But without attending to it, she passed all her
hours in anxiously watching the turns of Lady Adelina's disorder; or,
when she could for a moment escape, in giving vent to her full heart by
weeping over the little infant, whose birth, so similar to her own,
seemed to render it to her a more interesting and affecting object. She
lamented the evils to which it might be exposed; tho' of a sex which
would prevent it's encountering the same species of sorrow as that which
had embittered her own life. Of her friendless and desolate situation,
she was never more sensible than now. She felt herself more unhappy than
she had ever yet been; and would probably have sunk under her extreme
uneasiness, had not the arrival of Mrs. Stafford, at the end of three
days, relieved her from many of her fears and apprehensions.



CHAPTER V


Mrs. Stafford no sooner heard from Emmeline that Godolphin was yet
ignorant of the true reason of Lady Adelina's concealment, than she saw
the necessity of immediately explaining it; and this task, however
painful, she without hesitation undertook.

He was therefore summoned to their lodgings by a note from Emmeline, who
on his arrival introduced him to Mrs. Stafford, and left them together;
when, with as much tenderness as possible, and mingling with the
mortifying detail many representations of the necessity there was for
his conquering his resentment, she at length concluded it; watching
anxiously the changes in Godolphin's countenance, which sometimes
expressed only pity and affection for his sister, sometimes rage and
indignation against Fitz-Edward.

Both the brothers of Lady Adelina had been accustomed to consider her
with peculiar fondness. The unfortunate circumstance of her losing her
mother immediately after her birth, seemed to have given her a
melancholy title to their tenderness; and the resemblance she bore to
that dear mother, whom they both remembered, and on whose memory their
father dwelt with undiminished regret, endeared her to them still more.
To these united claims on the heart and the protection of William
Godolphin, another was added equally forcible, in a letter written by
his father with the trembling hand of anxious solicitude, when he felt
himself dying, and when, looking back with lingering affection on the
children of her whom he hoped soon to rejoin, he saw with anguish his
youngest daughter liable from her situation to deviate into
indiscretion, and surrounded by the numberless dangers which attend on a
young and beautiful woman, whose husband has neither talents to attach
her affections or judgment to direct her actions. Lord Westhaven,
conscious of her hazardous circumstances, and feeling in his last
moments the keenest anguish, in knowing that his mistaken care had
exposed her to them, hoped, by interesting both her brothers to watch
over her, that he should obviate the dangers he apprehended. He had
therefore, in all their conversations, recommended her to his eldest
son; and as he was not happy enough to embrace the younger before he
died, had addressed to him a last letter on the same subject.

Such were the powerful ties that bound Mr. Godolphin to love and defend
Lady Adelina with more than a brother's fondness. Hastening therefore to
obey the dying injunctions of his father, and in the hope of rendering
the life of this beloved sister, if not happy, at least honourable and
contented, he had heard, that she had clandestinely absented herself
from her family, and after a long search had found her abandoned to
remorse and despair; her reputation blasted; her health ruined; her
intellects disordered; and all by the perfidy of a man, in whom he, from
long friendship, and his sister, from family connection, had placed
unbounded confidence.

Tho' Godolphin had one of the best tempers in the world--a temper which
the roughness of those among whom he lived had only served to soften and
humanize, and which was immovable by the usual accidents that ruffle
others, yet he had also in a great excess all those keen feelings, which
fill a heart of extreme sensibility; added to a courage, that in the
hour of danger had been proved to be as cool as it was undaunted. Of him
might be said what was the glorious praise of immortal Bayard--that he
was '_sans peur et sans reproche_;'[1] and educated with a high sense of
honour himself, as well as possessing a heart calculated to enjoy, and a
hand to defend, the unblemished dignity of his family, all his passions
were roused and awakened by the injury it had sustained from
Fitz-Edward, and he beheld him as a monster whom it was infamy to
forgive. Hardly therefore had Mrs. Stafford concluded her distressing
recital, than, as if commanding himself by a violent effort, he thanked
her warmly yet incoherently for her unexampled goodness to his sister,
recommended her still to her generous care, and the friendship of Miss
Mowbray, and without any threat against Fitz-Edward, or even a comment
on what he had heard, arose to depart. But Mrs. Stafford, more alarmed
by this determined tho' quiet resentment and by the expression of his
countenance than if he had burst into exclamations and menaces,
perceived that the crisis was now come when he must either be persuaded
to conquer his just resentment, or by giving it way destroy, while he
attempted to revenge, the fame of his sister.

She besought him therefore to sit down a moment; and when he had done
so, she told him, that if he really thought himself under any
obligations to Miss Mowbray or to her for the services they had been so
fortunate as to render Lady Adelina, his making all they had been doing
ineffectual, would be a most mortifying return; and such must be the
case, if he rashly flew to seek vengeance on Fitz-Edward: 'for that you
have such a design,' continued she, 'I have no doubt; allow me, however,
to suppose that I have, by doing your sister some good offices, acquired
a right to speak of her affairs.'

'Surely,' answered Mr. Godolphin, 'you have; and surely I must hear with
respect and attention, tho' possibly not with conviction, every opinion
with which you may honour me.'

She then represented to him, with all the force of reason, how little he
could remedy the evil by hazarding his own life or by taking that of
Fitz-Edward.

'At present,' continued she, 'the secret is known only to me, Miss
Mowbray, and Lady Adelina's woman; if it is farther exposed, the heirs
of Mr. Trelawny, who are so deeply interested, will undoubtedly take
measures to prove that the infant has no just claim to the estate they
so eagerly expect. Mr. Trelawny's sister has already entertained
suspicions, which the least additional information would give her
grounds to pursue, and the whole affair must then inevitably become
public. Surely this consideration alone should determine you--why then
need I urge others equally evident and equally forcible.'

Godolphin acknowledged that there was much of truth in the arguments she
used; but denied that any consideration should influence him to forgive
the man who had thus basely and ungenerously betrayed the confidence of
his family.

'However,' added he again, checking the heat into which he feared a
longer conversation on this subject might betray him--'I have not yet,
Madam, absolutely formed the resolution of which you seem so
apprehensive; and am indeed too cruelly hurt to be able to talk longer
on the subject. Suffer me therefore once more to bid you a good day!'

But the encreasing gloom of his countenance, and forced calm of his
manner, appeared to be symptoms so unfavourable, that Mrs. Stafford
thought there was no hope of being able to prevent an immediate and
fatal meeting between him and Fitz-Edward but by engaging him in a
promise at least to delay it; this she attempted by the most earnest
arguments, and the most pressing persuasions; but all she could obtain
was an assurance that he would remain at Bath 'till the next day, and
see her again in the evening.

In the mean time the delirium of Lady Adelina, (which had recurred at
intervals ever since the transient sight she had of her brother) more
frequently, and with more alarming symptoms, returned; and the fever
which had at first threatened the loss of her life, now seemed to be
fixing on her brain, and to menace, by a total deprivation of reason,
reducing her to a condition to which death itself must be preferable.
She still, even in her wildest wanderings, knew Emmeline, and still
caressed her little boy; but much of her time passed in incoherent and
rambling discourse; in which she talked of Fitz-Edward and her brother
William, and held with them both imaginary dialogues. Sometimes she
deprecated the wrath of her elder brother: and then her disordered fancy
ran to the younger; to him from whom she had, in her early life, found
pity and protection in all her little sorrows.

Mrs. Stafford thought it too hazardous to let her again see her brother,
while her intellects were thus disarranged; as she trembled lest she
should start into actual madness. But it was absolutely necessary to do
something; not only because Mr. Godolphin's impatience made every delay
dangerous, but because it was hardly possible to keep the secret from
the physicians and attendants, who had already heard much more than they
ought to have known.

She determined, therefore, after consulting with Emmeline, to introduce
Godolphin into the room adjoining to that where Lady Adelina now sat
some hours every day in an easy chair. The affecting insanity of his
unhappy sister, and the mournful and pathetic entreaties she frequently
used, were likely, in the opinion of the fair friends, to effectuate
more than their most earnest persuasions; and prevail on him to drop all
thoughts of that resentment, which could not cure but might encrease her
calamities.

Mrs. Stafford had heard from him, that he gained information as to the
place of his sister's residence from the mother of Lady Adelina's woman;
who being the reduced widow of a clergyman, resided in the Bishop's
alms-houses at Bromley, where her daughter frequently sent her such
assistance as her own oeconomy, or the bounty of her lady, enabled her
to supply. A few weeks before, she had sent her a note for ten pounds;
and not apprehending that an enquiry would be made of her, had desired
her to acknowledge the receipt of it, and direct to her at Bath, where
she said her lady was with a Miss Mowbray.

Lady Clancarryl, among many expedients to recover traces of her sister,
had at length recollected this widow, and had desired Mr. Godolphin to
make immediate enquiry of her.

He had hastened therefore to Bromley, and easily found the poor woman,
who was paralytic and almost childish. Her letters were read for her by
one of her neighbours; a person, who, being present at the arrival of
Mr. Godolphin, immediately found that something was to be got; and
busily put into his hands the very letter which had enclosed the note,
and which contained the direction.

He eagerly copied the address; and leaving a handsome present for the
use of the old widow, he delayed not a moment to set out for Bath,
where he soon found the house, and where he had enquired for Lady
Adelina Trelawny.

The servant of the house who opened the door assured him no such person
was there. He supposed that for some reason or other she was denied; and
insisting on being allowed to go up stairs, had entered the room in the
abrupt manner which had so greatly alarmed his sister.

In hopes of counteracting the fatal effects of the discovery which had
unavoidably followed this interview, Godolphin was, on his return in the
afternoon, introduced into the dining-room, which opened into Lady
Adelina's bed-chamber. The door was a-jar; the partition thin; and Mrs.
Stafford was pretty well assured that the poor patient would be heard
distinctly. Godolphin came in, pale from the conflict of his mind; and
all his features expressed anger and sorrow, with which he seemed vainly
struggling. He bowed, and sat down in silence.

Mrs. Stafford only was in the room; and as soon as he was seated, said,
in a low voice, yet with forced chearfulness--

'Well, Sir, I hope that Miss Mowbray and myself have prevailed on you to
drop at present every other design than the truly generous one of
healing the wounded heart of our fair unfortunate friend.'

'And shall he who has wounded it,' slowly and sternly replied
Godolphin--'shall he who has wounded it so basely, escape me?'

At this instant Lady Adelina, who had been some time silent, exclaimed
hastily--'Oh! spare him! my dear brother! and spare your poor Adelina!
who will not trouble--who will not disgrace you long!'

'Where is she?' said Godolphin, starting--'Good God! what is it I hear?'

'Your unhappy sister,' answered Mrs. Stafford; 'whom the idea of your
determined vengeance has already driven to distraction.'

Again Lady Adelina spoke. Her brother listened in breathless anguish.

'Ah! William!--and are _you_ grown cruel? You, on whom I depended for
pity and protection?'

'Surely,' said he, 'surely she knows I am here?'

'No,' answered Mrs. Stafford, 'she knows nothing. But this fear has
incessantly pursued her; and since she saw you she dwells more
frequently on it, tho' her erring memory sometimes wanders to other
objects.'

'It is very true, my Lord!' cried Lady Adelina, with affected calmness,
her thoughts wavering again towards Lord Westhaven--'It is all very
true! I have deserved all your reproaches! I am ready to make all the
atonement I can! Then you will both of you, my brothers, be
satisfied--for William has told me that if I died he should be content,
for then all might be forgotten.' She ended with a deep sigh; and
Godolphin, wildly starting from his seat, said--

'This is too much! you cannot expect me to bear this!--let me go to
her!'

'Would you go then,' answered Mrs. Stafford, 'to confirm her fears and
to drive her to deeper desperation? If you see her, it must be to soothe
and comfort her; to assure her of your forgiveness, and that you will
bury your resentment against----'

'Accursed! doubly accursed be the infamous villain who has driven her to
this! And must I bear it tamely! Oh! injured memory of my father!--oh!
my poor, undone sister!' He walked about the room; the tears ran from
his eyes; and Mrs. Stafford, fearing that his hurried step and deep sobs
would be heard by Lady Adelina, determined to bring the scene to a
crisis and not to lose the influence she hoped she had gained on his
mind. She therefore went into the other room, and shutting the door,
advanced with a smile towards the lovely lunatic.

'What will you say, my dear Adelina, if I bring you the best news you
can possibly hear?'

'News!' repeated Lady Adelina, looking at her with eyes which too
plainly denoted her unsettled mind--'News!--Ah! dear Madam! I know very
well that all the world is happy but me; and if you are happy, I am very
glad; but as to _me_--Do you indeed think it is reasonable I should part
with him?'

'With whom?' said Mrs. Stafford.

'Why, one condition which they insist upon is, that I should give up my
poor little one to them, and never ask to see him again. William was the
most urgent for this--William, who used to be so good, so gentle, so
compassionate to every body! Alas! he is now more cruel and relentless
than the rest!'

'So far from it,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'your brother William loves you as
much as ever; he will come and tell you so himself if you will only be
composed, and talk less strangely.'

'To see _me_!' exclaimed she, as if suddenly recovering her
recollection--'Oh! when?--where?--how?'

But again it forsook her; and she continued--

'Ah! he comes perhaps to tell me of the blood he has spilt, and to load
me with reproaches for having obliged him to destroy a friend whom he
once loved. If that is indeed so, why let him come and plunge another
dagger in this poor heart, which has always loved him!'

She was silent a moment, and then languidly went on--

'I thought some time since that I saw him, and Miss Mowbray was with
him; but it was only a dream, for I know he is in Jamaica: and when he
_does_ come home, he will harden his heart against me--he will be my
judge, and sternly will he judge me--he will forget that he is my
brother!'

'Never! my poor Adelina,' cried Godolphin, rushing into the room, 'never
can I forget that I am your brother--never can I cease to feel for you
compassion and tenderness.'

He would have taken her in his arms; but struck by the dreadful
alteration that appeared in her face and figure, he stopt short, and
looking at her with silent horror, seemed incapable of uttering what he
felt.

She knew him; but could neither speak or shed a tear for some moments.
At length, she held out to him her emaciated hand.

'It is _indeed_ William!' said she. 'He seems, too, very sorry for me.
My dear brother, do you then pardon and pity the poor Adelina?'

'Both! both!' answered Godolphin, sobbing, and seating himself by her.
He threw his arms round her, and her pale cheek rested on his bosom,
while her eyes were fixed on his face.

'Stay!' exclaimed she, after a momentary pause, and disengaging herself
suddenly from him--'Stay! I have yet another question, if I dared ask
it! Do you know all? and have you no blood to answer for, on my account?
Will you assure me you will not seek it?'

'For mercy's sake!' said Mrs. Stafford, 'satisfy her, Mr.
Godolphin--satisfy her at once--you see to what is owing this alienation
of her reason.'

'No,' reassumed the afflicted Adelina, 'you need not answer me; I see
you cannot--will not forgive----'

'Name him not, Adelina!' sternly and quickly answered he--'my soul
recoils at his idea! I cannot, I will not promise any thing!'

At this period, Emmeline, who was unwilling to trust the servants in
such a moment, entered with the infant of Lady Adelina sleeping in her
arms.

'See,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'a little unfortunate creature, whose
innocence must surely plead forcibly to you: he comes to join our
intreaties to you to spare his mother!'

Emmeline laid the infant in the lap of Lady Adelina, who was yet unable
to shed a tear. Godolphin beheld it with mingled horror and pity; but
the latter sentiment seemed to predominate; and Emmeline, whose voice
was calculated to go to the heart, began to try it's influence; and
imploring him to be calm, and to promise his sister an eternal oblivion
of the past, she urged every argument that should convince him of it's
necessity, and every motive that could affect his reason or his
compassion.

He gazed on her with reverence and admiration while she spoke, and
seemed greatly affected by what she said. Animated by the hope of
success, her eyes were lightened up with new brilliancy, and her glowing
cheeks and expressive features became more than ever attractive. A
convulsive laugh from Lady Adelina interrupted her, and drew the
attention of Godolphin entirely to his sister. Emmeline, who saw her
reason again forsaking her, took the sleeping baby from her lap. She had
hardly done so, before, trying to rise from her chair, she shrieked
aloud--for again the image of Fitz-Edward, dying by the hand of her
brother, was before her.

'See!' cried she, 'see! there he lies!--he is already expiring! yet
William forgives him not! What? would you strike him again? now! while
he is dying?--Go! cruel, cruel brother!' attempting to put Godolphin
from her--'Go!--Oh! touch me not with those polluted hands, they are
stained with human blood!' A convulsive shudder and a deep sigh seemed
to exhaust all her remaining strength, and she fell back in her chair,
pale and faint; and with fixed, unmeaning eyes, appeared no longer
conscious even of the terrors which pursued her.

But the look of incurable anguish which her features wore; the wild
import of her words; and the sight of the unfortunate child, who seemed
born only to share her wretchedness; could not long be beheld unmoved by
a heart like Godolphin's, which possessed all that tenderness that
distinguishes the truly brave. Again he threw his arms round his sister,
and sobbing, said--

'Hear me, Adelina--hear me and be tranquil! I will promise to be guided
by your excellent friends--I will do nothing that shall give pain to
them or to you!'

'Thank God!' exclaimed Emmeline, 'that you at last hear reason! Remember
this promise is given to us all.'

'It is,' answered Godolphin; 'but try to make poor Adelina sensible of
it.' She no longer understood any thing; but with her eyes shut, and her
hands clasped in each other, was at least quiet.

'I cannot bear it!' continued Godolphin--'I must go for a few moments to
recover myself!' He then left the room, desiring Emmeline to comfort and
compose his sister, who soon afterwards asked hastily what was become of
him?

Emmeline, pleased to find she had a clear recollection of his having
been with her, now told her that he had most solemnly assured them he
would think no more of seeking Fitz-Edward on account of this unhappy
affair. As she seemed still, in fearful apprehension, to doubt the
reality of this promise, Godolphin, who was only in the next room with
Mrs. Stafford, returned, and assured her of his pity, his forbearance
and his forgiveness.

After some farther efforts on the part of Emmeline, and protestations on
that of Godolphin, tears, which had been long denied to Lady Adelina,
came to her relief. She wept, caressed her infant, and blessed and
thanked her brother and her friends. When capable of recollection, she
knew that towards those whom he had once pardoned, he was incapable of
reproach or unkindness; and her mind, eased of the fears which had so
long harrassed it, seemed to be recovering it's tone. Still, however,
the sense of her own incurable unhappiness, her own irretrievable
unworthiness, and the disgrace of having sullied the honour of her
family, and given pain to such a brother, overwhelmed her with grief and
confusion; while her reason, as it at intervals returned, served only to
shew her the abyss into which she had fallen: and she sometimes even
regretted those hours of forgetfulness, when she possessed not the power
of steady reflection, and when the sad reality was obliterated by wild
and imaginary horrors.

[Footnote 1: Without fear and without reproach.]



CHAPTER VI


Some few days elapsed before there was any great alteration for the
better in Lady Adelina. But the incessant attention of her friends, the
soothing pity of her brother, and the skill of her physician, slowly
conquered the lurking fever which had so long hung about her; and her
intellects, tho' still disordered at times, were more collected, and
gave reason to hope that she would soon entirely recover.

In the mean time Captain Godolphin communicated to Mrs. Stafford the
resolution he had taken about his sister. He said that she should
renounce for ever all claim on the Trelawny estate, except only the
stipend settled on her as a consideration for the fortune she was to
receive at the death of the dowager Lady Westhaven, and which was only
three hundred a year; a sum which he thought made her but a paltry and
inadequate compensation for having passed two years in the society of
such a man as Trelawny.

He added, that he had a house in the Isle of Wight (almost all the
patrimony his father had been able to give him,) where, as his ship was
now out of commission, he proposed residing himself; and whither he
should insist upon Lady Adelina's retiring, without any future attempt
to see or correspond with Fitz-Edward.

As to the child, he asked if Mrs. Stafford would have the goodness to
see that it was taken care of at some cottage in her neighbourhood,
'till he could adjust matters with the Trelawny family, and put an end
to all those fears which might tempt them to enquire into it's birth;
after which he said he would take it to his own house, and call it a son
of his own; a precaution that would throw an obscurity over the truth
which would hardly ever be removed, when none were particularly
interested to remove it.

These designs he desired Mrs. Stafford to communicate to Lady Adelina;
and as she was obliged to return home in two days, she took the earliest
opportunity of doing so.

To the conditions her brother offered, Lady Adelina thought herself most
happy to consent. The little boy was immediately baptized by the name of
William Godolphin, and his unfortunate mother now began to flatter
herself that her disastrous history might be concealed even from her
elder brother, Lord Westhaven; of whose indignation and resentment she
had ever the most alarming apprehensions. But while the hope of
escaping them by her brother William's generous compassion, gave to her
heavy sorrows some alleviation, they were renewed with extreme
poignancy, by the approaching separation from her inestimable friends.
Mrs. Stafford could no longer delay her return to her family; and
Emmeline, who now saw Lady Adelina out of danger and in the protection
of her brother, was desirous of accompanying her back to Woodfield.

Lady Adelina ineffectually tried to bear this early departure with some
degree of fortitude and resolution. Nor was it _her_ heart alone that
felt desolate and unhappy at it's approach--That of her brother, had
received an impression from the mental and personal perfections of
Emmeline, which being at first deep, had soon become indelible; and
ignorant of her engagement, he had indulged it till he found it no
longer possible for him to forbear making her the first object of his
life, and that the value of his existence depended wholly on her.

Emmeline was yet quite unconscious of this: but Mrs. Stafford had seen
it almost from the first moment of her seeing Godolphin. In their
frequent conversation, she observed that the very name of Emmeline had
the power of fascination; that he was never weary of hearing her
praises; that whenever he thought himself unobserved, his eyes were in
pursuit of her; while fondly gazing on her face, he seemed to drink deep
draughts of intoxicating passion.

Mrs. Stafford, who knew what ardent and fatal love, such excellence of
person and understanding might produce in a heart susceptible of all
their power, was alarmed for the happiness of this amiable man; and with
regret saw him nourishing an affection which she thought must be
entirely hopeless.

These apprehensions, every hour's observation encreased. Yet Mrs.
Stafford determined not to communicate them to Emmeline; but to put an
end to the flattering delusion which led on Godolphin to indulge his
passion, by telling him, as soon as possible, of the engagement Emmeline
had formed with Mr. Delamere.

Accident soon furnished her with an opportunity. While they were all
sitting together after dinner, a packet of letters was brought in, and
among others which were forwarded to Mrs. Stafford from Woodfield, was
one for Emmeline.

Mrs. Stafford gave it to her, saying--'From France, by the post mark?'

Emmeline replied that it was. She changed colour as she opened it.

'From Mr. Delamere?' enquired Mrs. Stafford.

'No,' answered she, 'it is from Lady Westhaven. Your brother and her
Ladyship are well,' continued she, addressing herself to Mr. Godolphin,
'and are at Paris; where they propose staying 'till Lady Montreville and
Miss Delamere join them as they come to England.'

'And when are they expected?' said Godolphin.

'In about a month,' replied Emmeline. 'But Lord and Lady Westhaven do
not propose to return 'till next spring--they only pass a few days all
together at Paris.'

'And where is Mr. Delamere wandering to?' significantly and smilingly
asked Mrs. Stafford.

'Lady Westhaven says only,' answered Emmeline, blushing and casting down
her eyes, 'that he has left Lady Montreville, and is, they believe, gone
to Geneva.'

'However,' reassumed Mrs. Stafford, 'we shall undoubtedly see him in
England in March.'

Emmeline, in still greater embarrassment, answered two or three other
questions which Godolphin asked her about his brother, and soon after
left the room.

Godolphin, who saw there was something relative to Delamere with which
he was unacquainted, had a confused idea immediately occur to him of his
attachment: and the pain it gave him was so acute, that he wished at
once to know whether it was well founded.

'Why does Mr. Delamere certainly return in March?' said he, addressing
himself to Mrs. Stafford, 'rather than with his mother?'

'To fulfil his engagement,' gravely and coldly replied she.

'Of what nature is it?' asked he.

Mrs. Stafford then related the history of Delamere's long and violent
passion for Emmeline; and the reluctant consent he had wrung from Lord
and Lady Montreville, together with the promise obtained from Miss
Mowbray.

While Mrs. Stafford was making this recital, she saw, by the variations
of Godolphin's countenance, that she had too truly guessed the state of
his heart. Expressive as his features were, it was not in his power to
conceal what he felt in being convinced that he had irrecoverably fixed
his affections on a woman who was the destined wife of another: and
awaking from the soft visions which Hope had offered, to certain
despondence, he found himself too cruelly hurt to be able to continue
the conversation; and after a few faint efforts, which only betrayed his
internal anguish, he hurried away.

Such, however, was the opinion Mrs. Stafford conceived of his honour and
his understanding, that she had no apprehension that he would attempt
imparting to the heart of Emmeline any portion of that pain with which
his own was penetrated; and she hoped that absence and reflection,
together with the conviction of it's being hopeless, would conquer this
infant passion before it could gather strength wholly to ruin his
repose.

She was glad that their departure was so near; and hastened it as much
as possible. The short interval was passed in mournful silence on the
part of Godolphin--on that of Lady Adelina, in tears and regret; while
Emmeline, who was herself sensible of great pain in the approaching
parting, struggled to appear chearful; and Mrs. Stafford attempted, tho'
without much success, to reconcile them all to a separation which was
become as necessary as it was inevitable.

At length the hired coach in which they were to return to Woodfield was
at the door.

Lady Adelina, unable to speak to either of them, brought her little boy
in her arms, and passionately kissing him, gave him into those of
Emmeline. Then taking a hand of each of her friends, she pressed them to
her throbbing heart, and hastened to conceal the violence of her sorrow
in her own room.

Godolphin approached to take leave. He kissed the hand of Mrs. Stafford,
and inarticulately expressed his thanks for her goodness to his sister.

'I know,' continued he, 'I need not recommend to you this poor infant:
the same generosity which prompted you to save his mother, will
effectually plead for him, and secure for him your protection 'till I
can take him to that of his own family. And you, Miss Mowbray,' said he,
turning to Emmeline and taking her hand--'most amiable, loveliest of
human creatures! where shall I find words to thank you as I ought?'

His emotion was too great for utterance. Emmeline felt it but too
sensibly; and hastening into the coach to hide how much she was herself
affected, she could only say--

'All happiness attend you, Sir! Remind Lady Adelina of my hopes of soon
hearing from her.'

Mrs. Stafford being then seated, and the servant who had been hired to
attend the infant following her, the coach drove from the door.
Godolphin pursued it with his eyes to the end of the street; and then,
as if deprived of all that made life desirable, he gave himself up to
languor and despondence, afraid of examining his own heart, least his
reason should condemn an inclination, which, however hopeless, he could
not resolve to conquer.

But while he found charms in the indulgence of his unhappy love, he
determined never to disturb the peace of it's object. But rather to
suffer in silence, than to give pain to a heart so generous and sensible
as her's, merely for the melancholy pleasure of knowing that she pitied
him.

As soon as Lady Adelina could bear the journey, they departed together
to his house in the Isle of Wight; where he left her, and went in search
of Mrs. Bancraft, the sister of Trelawny, of whom he enquired where
Trelawny himself might be found.

This woman, apprehensive that he meditated a reconciliation between her
brother and his wife, which it was so much her interest to prevent,
refused for some time to give him the information he desired. Having
however at length convinced her that he had no wish to renew a union
which had been productive only of misery to his sister, she told him
that Mr. Trelawny was returned to England, and lived at a house hired in
the name of her husband, a few miles from London.

There Godolphin sought him; and found the unhappy man sunk into a state
of perpetual and unconscious intoxication; in which Bancraft, the
husband of his sister, encouraged him, foreseeing that it must soon end
in his son's being possessed of an income, to which the meanness of his
own origin, and former condition, made him look forward with anxious
avidity.

It was difficult to make Trelawny, sinking into idiotism, comprehend
either who Godolphin was, or the purport of his business. But Bancraft,
more alive to his own interest, presently understood, that on condition
of his entering into bonds of separation, Lady Adelina would relinquish
the greater part of her claim on the Trelawny estate; and he undertook
to have the deeds signed as soon as they could be drawn up. In a few
days therefore Godolphin saw Trelawny's part of them compleated; and
returned to Lady Adelina, satisfied in having released her from an
engagement, which, since he had seen Trelawny, had rendered her in his
eyes an object of tenderer pity; and in having acquitted himself
according to his strict sense of honour, by causing her to relinquish
all the advantages Trelawny's fortune offered, except those to which she
had an absolute right.

This affair being adjusted, he again resigned himself to the mournful
but pleasing contemplations which had occupied him ever since he had
heard of Emmeline's engagement. While Lady Adelina, whose intellects
were now restored, but who was lost in profound melancholy, saw too
evidently the state of her brother's heart; and could not but lament
that his tenderness for her had been the means of involving him in a
passion, which the great merit of it's object, and his own sensibility,
convinced her must be incurable.

The letters of Emmeline were the only consolation she was capable of
receiving. They gave her favourable accounts of her child, and of the
continued affection of her inestimable friends. Whenever one of these
letters was brought, Godolphin eagerly watched her while she was reading
it; and then, faultering and impatient, asked if all were well; and if
Mr. Delamere was yet returned? She sometimes gave him the letters to
peruse; after which he generally fell into long absence, broken only by
deep drawn and involuntary sighs--symptoms which Lady Adelina knew too
well to doubt of the cause.

In the mean time Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline visited every day their
innocent charge, who passed for the child of one of Emmeline's friends
gone to the West Indies. Emmeline insensibly grew so fond of him, that
she was uneasy if any accident prevented her daily visit; and her friend
sometimes laughingly reproached her with the robbery little William
committed on her time.

When they were alone, their conversation frequently turned on Lady
Adelina and her brother. The subject, tho' melancholy, was ever a
favourite with them both; and perhaps the more so because it led them to
mournful reflections--for Mrs. Stafford was unhappy, and Emmeline was
not gay; nor were her spirits greatly heightened by finding that in
spite of herself she thought as much of the brother as the sister, and
with a degree of softness and complacency which could not be favourable
to her happiness.

When she first discovered in Godolphin those admirable qualities of
heart and understanding which he so eminently possessed, she asked
herself whether she might indulge the admiration they excited without
prejudice to him whom she considered as her husband? And she fancied
that she might safely give him that esteem which his tenderness to his
unhappy sister, the softness of his manners, the elegance of his mind,
and the generosity of his heart, could hardly fail of extorting from the
most indifferent observer.

But insensibly his idea obtruded itself more frequently on her
imagination; and she determined to attempt to forget him, and no longer
to allow any partiality to rob Delamere of that pure and sincere
attachment with which he would expect her to meet him at the altar. It
was now long since she had heard from him; but she accounted for it by
supposing that he was rambling about, and she knew that letters were
frequently lost.

It was at this time something more than two years since they had first
met at Mowbray Castle, and in a few weeks Delamere would complete his
twenty-first year--a period to which Lord Montreville had long looked
forward with anxious solicitude. And now he could not but think with
bitterness that his son would not be present to animate the joy of his
dependants at this period; but was kept in another country, in the vain
hope of extinguishing a passion which could not be indulged without
rendering abortive all the pains his Lordship had taken to restore his
family to the eminent rank it had formerly borne in his country.

To Sir Richard Crofts, his sons had communicated the success of those
plans, by which they had sown, in the irritable mind of Delamere,
jealousy and mistrust of Emmeline; and he failed not to animate and
encourage their endeavours, while he used his power over the mind of
Lord Montreville to limit the bounty and lessen the affection his
Lordship was disposed to shew her as the daughter of his brother.

She received regularly her quarterly payment, but she received no more;
and instead of hearing, on those occasions, from Lord Montreville
himself, she had twice only a methodical letter from Maddox, the London
steward.

This might, however, be merely accidental; and Emmeline was far from
supposing that her uncle was estranged from her; nor could she guess
that the malice of Mrs. Ashwood, and the artifices of the Crofts', had
occasioned that estrangement.

Lord Montreville rather connived at than participated in their
ungenerous proceedings; and as if fearful of trusting his own ideas of
integrity with a plan which so evidently militated against them, he was
determined to take advantage of their endeavours, without enquiring too
minutely into their justice or candour. Sir Richard had assured him that
Mr. Delamere was in a great measure weaned from his attachment; and that
Mr. Crofts was almost sure, that if their meeting could be prevented for
a few months longer, there would be nothing more to fear from this long
and unfortunate prepossession.

Crofts himself, who had at length torn himself from his bride to pave
the way for his being received by her family as her husband, soon
appeared, and confirmed all this. He told Lord Montreville that Delamere
had conceived suspicions of Emmeline's conduct, (tho' he knew not from
what cause) that had at first excited the most uneasy jealousy, but
which had at length subsided with his love; that he had regained his
spirits; and, when he left his mother and sister, seemed resolved to
make a vigorous effort to expel from his mind a passion he was ashamed
of having so long indulged.

In saying all this, Crofts rather attended to what his Lordship wished
to hear, than to what was really the truth. He knew that a meeting
between Delamere and Emmeline would probably at once explain all the
unworthy artifices which had been used to divide them, and render those
artifices abortive. He therefore told Lord Montreville, that to prevent
all probability of a relapse, it would be advisable to remove Emmeline
to some place where Delamere could not meet her: and his Lordship,
forgetting at once all the obligations he owed her, thought only of
following this advice.

Embarrassed, however, himself with public business, he was unable to
give to these domestic politics all the attention which they demanded.
He threw himself more than ever into the power of the Crofts', to whose
policy he left it to contrive the means, between the months of November
and March, of raising an invincible barrier between his son and his
niece.

Tho' Delamere's being of age encreased the difficulties of this
undertaking, Crofts having no scruples about the methods he was to
pursue, had no doubt of accomplishing his end: and to stimulate his
endeavours, he needed only the particular advantages which would accrue
to himself from the pardon and reception which he hoped to obtain from
Lord Montreville and his family.

Every engine therefore that ambition, avarice, malice and cunning could
employ, was now put in motion against the character and the peace of the
unprotected and unsuspicious Emmeline.

In conscious innocence and unsullied purity, she dreamed not that she
had an enemy on earth; for of Mrs. Ashwood, now Mrs. James Crofts, she
only remembered that she had once been obliged to her. The little,
malicious envy which had given her some pain at the time it was shewn,
she now no longer recollected; and tho' she always continued to dislike
James Crofts, yet his impertinence she had forgiven, and had written in
the usual form to congratulate them both on their marriage.

Of Delamere, she heard nothing; but imputing his silence to his frequent
change of place, she conceived no anger against him on that account; and
still felt herself bound to keep from her mind, as much as possible, the
intrusive image of Godolphin.



CHAPTER VII


Whatever resolution Emmeline might form to drive from her heart those
dangerous partialities which would be fatal to her repose, she found it
impossible to be accomplished while Lady Adelina's frequent letters
spoke only of the generous tenderness and excellent qualities of her
brother. Of what else, indeed, could she speak, in a solitude where his
goodness made all her consolation and his conversation all her pleasure?
where he dedicated to her all his time, and thought of procuring for her
every alleviation to her retirement which books and domestic amusements
afforded? while he taught her still to respect herself; and by his
unwearied friendship convincing her that she had still much to lose,
made her life receive in her own eyes a value it would otherwise have
lost; and prevented her relapsing into that unhappy state of
self-condemnation which makes the sufferer careless of the future. He
thought, that situated as she was, solitude was her only choice; but to
render it as happy as her circumstances allowed, was his continual care:
and tho' oppressive sorrow still lay heavy on her heart; tho' it still
ached with tenderness and regret towards an object whom she had sworn to
think of, to speak of no more; her gratitude and affection towards her
brother were as lively, as if its acute feelings had never felt the
benumbing hand of despair.

In the total sequestration from the world in which she lived, she had no
other topic to dwell upon than her brother, and she gave it all its
force. Perfectly acquainted, however, with Emmeline's engagements, she
never ventured to mention the passion which she was too well assured
Godolphin felt; but she still, almost unknown to herself, cherished a
lurking hope that her connection with Delamere might be dissolved, and
that her lovely friend was destined to bless her beloved brother.

This distant hope was warm enough to animate her pen in his praise; and
Emmeline, tho' every letter she received made on her mind a deeper
impression of the merit of Godolphin, yet found such painful pleasure in
reading them, that she was unhappy if at the usual periods they did not
regularly arrive.

She tried to persuade herself, that the satisfaction she felt in reading
these letters arose purely from the delight natural to every uncorrupted
mind in contemplating a character honourable to human nature. But
accustomed to examine narrowly her own heart, she could not long impose
upon herself; and notwithstanding all her endeavours to stifle it, she
still found the idea of Godolphin mixing itself with all her thoughts,
and embittering the prospect of her certain marriage with Delamere.

In the answers Emmeline gave her friend, she related whatever she
thought likely to amuse the fair recluse; gave a regular account of her
little charge; but avoided punctiliously the least mention of
Fitz-Edward.

Fitz-Edward had received from Mrs. Stafford an account of all that had
passed at Bath, except the pains which had been taken to prevent any
meeting between him and Godolphin. But notwithstanding her cautious
silence on that head, Fitz-Edward, who knew Godolphin well, could hardly
be persuaded not to insist on his taking his chance of depriving him of
a life which he said he had deserved to lose, and could little brook
being supposed to hold on courtesy. Nothing but his consideration for
the unhappy Lady Adelina prevented his pursuing the sanguinary projects
that agitated his mind. To her peace he owed it to conquer them; and
while he was yet struggling against that sense of honour which impelled
him to give Godolphin imaginary reparation, by allowing him an
opportunity of putting an end to _his_ existence or losing his own, his
brother, Lord Clancarryl, wrote to desire his attendance in Ireland on
some family business of importance; a summons, which after some
hesitation, Mrs. Stafford and Miss Mowbray prevailed with him to obey.

Before he went, his eager and affecting entreaties prevailed on Mrs.
Stafford to let him see his son, whom he embraced with an ardour of
affection of which the fair friends believed so gay and fashionable a
man incapable.

The errors of Fitz-Edward, however, were not those of the heart. Among
the dissipation of fashion and the indulgences of libertinism, his heart
was still sensible, and his integrity retrievable. He felt, therefore,
with great keenness, the injury he had done Lady Adelina; and desirous
of making all the reparation he could to the infant, he again placed in
the hands of Emmeline, a will by which he made it his heir, and
recommended it to the protection of Godolphin, whom he besought to
consider as his nephew, the son of a man whom he had once loved, and who
had dearly paid for having forfeited all claim to his friendship. When
he was departed, nothing seemed likely to interrupt the tranquillity of
Emmeline but her encreasing apprehensions for Mrs. Stafford and her
children. The derangement of Stafford's affairs, and his wife's
unavailing efforts to ward off the ruin which he seemed obstinately bent
on incurring, were every day more visible: while his capricious and
unreasonable temper, and a strange opinion of his own sagacity, which
would never allow him to own himself in the wrong, made him seek to load
his wife with the blame of those misfortunes which he had voluntarily
sought, and now as obdurately refused to avoid while it was yet in his
power.

Mrs. Stafford, who saw too plainly that the destruction of their fortune
which she had so long dreaded was now with hasty strides advancing, yet
endeavoured to convince him of his infatuation; but he still improved
his house and garden, still schemed away all the money he could raise or
gain credit for, and still repaid with rudeness and insult her anxious
solicitude to save him.

In Emmeline, she ever found pity and tenderness; but pity and tenderness
was all she had to bestow. The affairs of Stafford required interest and
money; and Emmeline could command neither. Lord Montreville now took no
other notice of her, than to remit her quarterly stipend by the hands of
his steward; and tho' he had promised to double it, that promise yet
remained unfulfilled.

It was at this time near the end of November, and the mornings were cold
and gloomy: but Emmeline, however delicate in her frame, had a
constitution which had not, by early and false indulgences, been
unfitted for the duties of life; and to personal inconvenience she was
always indifferent when the service of those she loved engaged her to
brave fatigue or cold. She therefore still continued her morning visit
to Woodbury Forest, where she generally past an hour with little
William; and in his improving features and interesting smiles, loved to
trace his resemblance to his mother. Lady Adelina was very like her
brother; and the little boy was not the less tenderly caressed for the
similitude she saw to them both.

The appearance of rain had one morning detained her at home later than
usual. She went, however, about eleven o'clock; and was busied in
playing with the infant, who began now to know her, and was therefore
more attractive, when, while she yet held him in her arms, she heard the
woman of the house, who was in the outward room, suddenly
exclaim--'Indeed Sir you cannot go in--pray--I beg your honour!' There
was hardly time for Emmeline to feel surprise at this bustle, before the
door opened, and Delamere stood before her! In his countenance was an
expression compounded of rage, fierceness and despair, which extorted
from Emmeline an involuntary shriek! Unable to arise, she remained
motionless in her chair, clasping the baby to her bosom: Delamere seemed
trying to stifle his anger in contempt; vengeance, disdain, and pride,
were struggling for superiority: while with his eyes sternly turned upon
Emmeline, and smiling indignantly, he exclaimed--'Till I _saw_ this----'
inarticulately and tremulously he spoke--'till I _saw_ this, all the
evidence they brought me was insufficient to cure my blind attachment.
But now--oh! infamy--madness--damnation! It _is_ then possible--It _is_
then true! But what is it to me? Torn--torn for ever from this outraged
heart--never, never shall this sight blast me again!--But what?'
continued he, speaking with more quickness, 'what? for Fitz-Edward! for
the infamous plunderer of his friend's happiness! However, Madam, on you
I intrude no longer. Oh! lost--lost--wretched!'--He could not go on; but
in the speechless agony of contending passions he leaned his head
against the frame of the door near which he stood, and gazed wildly on
Emmeline; who, pale as death, and trembling like a leaf, still sat
before him unable to recall her scattered spirits.

He waited a moment, gasping for breath, and as if he had still some
feeble expectation of hearing her speak. But the child which she held in
her arms was like a basilisk to his sight, and made in his opinion all
vindication impossible. Again conviction appeared to drive him to
desperation; and looking in a frantic manner round the room, as if
entirely bereft of reason, he dashed his hands furiously against his
head, and running, or rather flying out of the house, he immediately
disappeared.

In terror and astonishment, Emmeline remained immovable and speechless.
She almost doubted whether this was any other than a fearful dream,
'till the woman of the house, and the maid who attended on the child,
ran into the room frightened--'Lord! Madam,' cried the woman, 'what is
the matter with the young gentleman?'

'I know not,' answered Emmeline, faintly--'I know not! Where is he now?'

'He's run away into the wood again like any mad,' answered the woman.

'And from whence,' enquired Emmeline, 'did he come?'

'Why, Miss,' said she, 'I was a going out cross our garden to hang out
my cloaths; so up a comes to the hedge side, an a says--Good woman, pray
be'nt here a lady here as comes from Woodfield? one Miss Mowbray?--I
thought how he looked oddish as 'twere about the eyes; but howsever
thinking no harm, I says yes. So he runs up to the door, and I called to
un, to say as I'd come in and let you know; but before I could get thro'
the wicket, whisk he was in the kitchen; then I tried agin to stop un,
but I were as good try to stop the wind.'

The agitation and uneasiness of Emmeline encreased rather than subsided.
She looked so pale, and with so much difficulty drew her breath, that
the women were alarmed least she should faint: and one of them persuaded
her to swallow something, while the other ran out to see if the person
who had so terrified her was yet in sight. But no traces of him were
visible: and after a few moments, Emmeline recalling her presence of
mind, and feeling proudly conscious of her own innocence and integrity,
recovered in some degree her spirits and resolution.

That Delamere should be in England did not greatly astonish tho' it
grieved her; but that he should have conceived such strange suspicions
of her and Fitz-Edward, equally surprised and distressed her; since,
had she an opportunity of undeceiving him, which he did not seem willing
to allow her, she could not relate the truth but by betraying the
confidence of her unfortunate friend, and embittering that life she had
incurred such hazards to preserve. As soon as she had apparently
recovered from the shock of this abrupt intrusion, she was desirous of
returning to Woodfield; anxious to know if Delamere had been there, or
by what means he had been enabled to find her at the cottage in the
forest. The women, who fancied the gentleman they had seen was a lunatic
who might lay in wait to hurt her on her way home, would not suffer her
to set out 'till they had called a woodcutter from the forest to
accompany her. Then, slowly and with difficulty, she returned home;
where she heard from Mrs. Stafford that Delamere had neither been there
or sent thither. This information encreased her wonder and her disquiet.
She related to Mrs. Stafford the distressing interview of the morning;
who, having seen frequent instances of those excesses of which Delamere
was capable, heard the relation with concern and apprehension.



CHAPTER VIII


Some days were passed by Emmeline in painful conjectures on what
measures Delamere would take, and in uncertainty what she ought to do
herself. Sometimes she thought of writing to Lord Montreville: but
against that Mrs. Stafford remonstrated; representing, that as she was
undoubtedly the injured person, in having been insulted by suspicions so
unworthy, she should leave it wholly to Delamere to discover and recant
his error; which, if he refused on cooler reflection to do, she would be
fortunate in escaping from an engagement with a man who had so little
command of his own temper, so little reliance on her principles, as to
be driven on a mere suspicion into rudeness and insult.

Greatly mortified at finding it possible for Delamere to think so
injuriously of her, and depressed by a thousand uneasy apprehensions,
she yielded implicitly to the counsel of her friend. But of her counsel
and consolation she was now on the point of being deprived: Stafford,
who had been some time in London, sent an express to fetch his wife
thither a few days after the interview between Emmeline and Delamere.
His affairs were now growing desperate: James Crofts demanded immediate
payment of a sum of money belonging to his wife, that was left her by
her father, and which she had 'till now suffered to remain in the hands
of her brother. Stafford had made no provision to pay it: his boundless
profusion had dissipated all the ready money he could command; and this
claim of his sister's, which James Crofts seemed determined to urge,
would he knew be the signal for every other creditor to beset him with
demands he had no means of discharging.

Tho' Mrs. Stafford had long tho' vainly implored him to stop in his wild
career, and had represented to him all the evils which were now about to
overtake him, she could not see their near approach without an attempt
again to rescue him. And he was accustomed in every difficulty to have
recourse to her; tho' while he felt none, he scorned and even resented
her efforts to keep them at a distance. He now fancied that her
application might prevail on James Crofts to drop a suit he had
commenced against him: she hastily therefore set out for London; leaving
to Emmeline the care of her children; who promised, by the utmost
attention to them, to obviate part of the inconvenience of such a
journey.

It was unhappily, however, not only inconvenient but fruitless. Mr. and
Mrs. James Crofts were inexorable. The suit was tried; Stafford was
cast; and nothing remained for him but either to pay the money or to be
exposed to the hazard of losing his property and his liberty. His
conduct had so much injured his credit, that to borrow, it was
impossible. Mrs. Stafford attempted therefore to divest herself of part
of her own fortune to assist him with the money: but her trustees were
not to be moved; and nothing but despair seemed darkening round the head
of the unfortunate Stafford.

Mrs. Stafford saw too evidently that to be in the power of James Crofts,
was to trust to avarice, meanness and malignity; and she trembled to
reflect that her husband was now wholly at his mercy. The additional
motives he had to use that power rigorously she knew not: she was
ignorant that the business had so eagerly been pushed to a crisis, not
merely by the avidity of James Crofts to possess the money, but also by
the directions of Sir Richard, who hoped by this means to drive the
family with whom Emmeline resided to another country; where Delamere
might find access to her so difficult, that he might never have an
opportunity of explaining the cause of his estrangement, or of hearing
her vindication.

It was now that Mrs. Stafford remembered the frequent offers of service
which she had repeatedly received from Lord Montreville; and to him she
determined to apply. She hoped that he might be induced to influence the
Crofts' family to give Mr. Stafford time, and to desist from the
violence and precipitation with which they pursued him. She even fancied
that his Lordship would be glad of an opportunity so easily to realize
those offers he had so liberally made; and full of these expectations,
she prepared to become a solicitress for favours to a statesman. She
felt humbled and mortified at the cruel necessity that compelled her to
it; but her children's interest conquering her reluctance, she addressed
a letter to Lord Montreville, and received a very polite answer, in
which he desired the honour of seeing her at two o'clock the following
day; an hour, when he said he should be entirely disengaged. She might
as well, however, have attended at his levee; for tho' punctual to the
hour when he was to be disengaged, she found two rooms adjoining to that
where his Lordship was, occupied by a variety of figures; some of whose
faces, were faces of negociation and equality, but more, whose
expression of fearful suspence marked them for those of petitioners and
dependants. Those of the former description were separately called to an
audience; and each, after a longer or shorter stay, retired; while Mrs.
Stafford, tho' with an heart but ill at ease for observation, could not
help fancying she discerned in their looks the success of their
respective treaties.

As soon as these gentlemen were all departed, Mrs. Stafford, who had
already waited almost three hours, was introduced into the study; where,
with many gracious bows and smiling apologies, Lord Montreville received
her.

Sir Richard Crofts had that morning warmly represented to his Lordship
the necessity of the Staffords' going abroad and taking Emmeline with
them. Lord Montreville knew that Delamere was returned, and was
embroiled with Emmeline; he was therefore eager enough to follow advice
which appeared so necessary, and to promote any plan which might prevent
a renewal of the attachment. He enquired not into the cause of this
estrangement, satisfied with it's effect; and had secretly determined
to give Mrs. Stafford no assistance in the endeavours she was using to
keep her family from dispersion and distress.

But statesman as he was, he could not entirely forget that he _once_
felt as other men; and he could not hear, without some emotion, the
melancholy description that Mrs. Stafford gave of the impending ruin of
her family and all it's fearful consequences: which she did with so much
clear simplicity, yet with so much proper dignity, that he found his
resolution shaken; and recollecting _that he had a conscience_, was
about to ask it by what right he assumed the power of rendering an
innocent family wandering exiles, merely to save himself from a supposed
possible inconvenience.

But while every lingering principle of goodness and generosity was
rising in the bosom of his Lordship to assist the suit of Mrs. Stafford,
a servant entered hastily and announced the Duke of N----. His Grace of
course waited not in the anti-room, but was immediately introduced.

Lord Montreville then civilly apologized to Mrs. Stafford for being
unable to conclude the business; adding, that if she would see Sir
Richard Crofts the next day, he would take care it should be settled to
her satisfaction. She withdrew with a heavy heart; and feeling infinite
reluctance in the proposed application to Sir Richard Crofts, she
employed the whole afternoon in attempting to move, in favour of her
husband, some of those friends who had formerly professed the most
unbounded and disinterested friendship for him and his family.

Of many of these, the doors were shut against her; others affected the
utmost concern, and lamented that their little power and limited
fortunes did not allow them to assist in repairing the misfortunes they
deplored: some told her how long they had foreseen Mr. Stafford's
embarrassments, and how destructive building and scheming were to a
moderate fortune; while others made vague proffers of inadequate
services, which on farther conversation she found they never intended to
perform if unluckily she had accepted their offers. In all, she saw too
plainly that they looked on Mr. Stafford's affairs as desperate; and in
their coldness and studied civility, already felt all the misery and
mortification of reduced circumstances.

With encreased anguish, she was now compelled to go, on the following
day, to Sir Richard Crofts; whom she knew only from Emmeline's
description.

He also, in imitation of his patron, had his anti-chamber filled with
soliciting faces. She waited not quite so long, indeed, for an audience,
but with infinitely less patience. At length, however, she was shewn
into the apartment where Sir Richard transacted business.

Bloated prosperity was in his figure, supercilious scorn in his eyes: he
rose half off his seat, and slightly inclined his head on her entrance.

'Madam, your servant--please to sit down.'

'I waited on you, Sir Richard, to--'

'I beg your pardon, Madam. But as I am perfectly acquainted, and
informed, and aware of the business, there is no occasion or necessity
to give you the trouble to repeat, and dwell upon, and explain it. It is
not, I find, convenient, or suitable, or commodious, for Mr. Stafford to
pay to my son James, who has married his (Mr. Stafford's) sister, that
part, and proportion, and residue, of her fortune, which her father at
his death gave, bequeathed, and left to her.'

'It is not only inconvenient, Sir,' answered Mrs. Stafford, 'but
impossible, I fear, for him to do it immediately; and this is what I
wished to speak to you upon.'

'I am aware, and informed, and apprized, Madam, of what you would say. I
am sorry it is as you say so inconvenient, and impracticable, and
impossible. However, Madam, my way in these cases is to go very plainly,
and straitly, and directly to the point; therefore I will chalk out, and
describe, and point out to you a line of conduct, which if you chuse to
follow, and adopt, and pursue, it appears to me that all may be
adjusted, settled, and put to rights.'

'You will oblige me, Sir Richard, by doing so.'

'Well then, it is this--As it appears, and is evident, and visible, that
you have not the money in question, you must immediately sell, and
dispose of, and make into money, your house and effects in Dorsetshire,
and after paying, and satisfying, and discharging the debt to my son
James, you must (as I understand your husband is besides deeply in
debt,) withdraw, retire, and remove to France, or to Normandy, or
Switzerland, or some cheap country, 'till your affairs come round, and
are retrieved, and accommodated and adjusted.'

'This we might have done, Sir Richard, without troubling you with the
present application.'

'No, Madam, you might _not_. I assure you I have talked, and reasoned,
and argued some time with Mr. James Crofts, before I could induce, and
prevail upon, and dispose him to wait, and remain, and continue unpaid,
until this arrangement and disposition could take place. He wants the
money, Madam, for a particular purpose; and tho' from my heart I grieve,
and lament, and deplore the necessity of the measure, I do assure you,
Madam, nothing else will give you any chance of winding up, compleating,
and terminating the business before us. You will therefore, Madam,
think, and consider, and reflect on it's necessity, and give your final
answer to my son James, who will wait for it only 'till to-morrow
morning.'

He then rang his bell; and saying he had an appointment with Lord
Montreville, who must already have waited for him, he made a cold bow
and hastened out of the room.



CHAPTER IX


Mrs. Stafford now saw that nothing remained but to follow her husband to
a prison, or prevail on him to go to the Continent while she attempted
anew to settle his affairs.

Obstinate even in despair, she had the utmost difficulty to convince him
of the necessity of this measure; and would never, perhaps, have done
it, if the more persuasive argument of a writ, taken out by James
Crofts, had not driven him to embrace it rather than go into
confinement.

Mrs. Stafford with difficulty procured money to furnish him for his
journey, and saw him depart for Dover; while she herself returned to
Emmeline, who had passed the three weeks of her absence in great
uneasiness. No news had been received of Delamere; and she now believed,
that of the promise he had forced from her he meant not to avail
himself; yet did not relinquish it; but in proud and sullen resentment,
disdained even to enquire whether he had justly harboured anger against
her. She wished to have withdrawn a promise she could no longer think of
without pain and regret; but she found Mrs. Stafford so unhappy, that
she could not resolve to oppress her by complaints; and after some
struggles with herself, determined to let the matter take it's course.

Willingly, however, she consented to accompany her friend to France;
where Mrs. Stafford, at her husband's request, now determined to go with
her family. She had found an opulent tradesman in a neighbouring town,
who engaged, on receiving a mortgage on the estate, and ten per cent.
interest, (which he so managed as to evade the appearance of usury,) to
let her have the money to pay Mr. Crofts, and a farther sum for the
support of her family: and having got a tenant for the house, and
satisfied as many of the clamorous creditors as she could, she prepared,
with a heavy heart, to quit her abode, with Emmeline and her infant
family.

As it was necessary that little William should be sent to the Isle of
Wight before their departure, Emmeline wrote to fix a day at the
distance of a month, on which she desired Lady Adelina to send some
careful person for him. But ten days before the expiration of that
period, letters came from Mr. Stafford, in which he directed his wife,
who intended to embark at Brighthelmstone and land at Dieppe, to change
her route, and sail from Southampton to Havre. He also desired her to
hasten her journey: and as every thing was now put on the best footing
the time would allow, Mrs. Stafford immediately complied; and with her
own unfortunate family, Emmeline, and little William, (whom they now
meant to carry themselves to Lady Adelina) they left Woodfield.

The pain of quitting, probably for ever, a favourite abode, which she
feared would at length be torn from her children by the rapacity of the
law, and the fatigue of travelling with infant children, under such
circumstances, almost overcame the resolution and spirits of Mrs.
Stafford. Emmeline, ever reasonable, gentle, and consoling, was her
principal support; and on the evening of the second day they arrived at
Southampton.

While Emmeline almost forgot in her attention to her friend her own
uncertain and unpleasant state, Delamere remained in Norfolk, where he
had hid himself from the enquiries of his father, and from the
importunities of his mother, who was now, with her eldest daughter,
settled again in Berkley Square. Here he nourished inveterate resentment
against Fitz-Edward: and finding it impossible to forget Emmeline, he
continued to think of her as much as ever, but with indignation,
jealousy and rage.

He had, immediately on receiving, as he believed, a confirmation of all
those suspicions with which the Crofts' had so artfully inspired him,
resolved to demand satisfaction of Fitz-Edward; and hearing on enquiry
that he was in Ireland, but his return immediately expected, he waited
with eager and restless uneasiness till the person whom he had
commissioned to inform him of his return should send notice that he was
again in London.

Week after week, however, passed away. He still heard, that tho'
expected hourly, Fitz-Edward arrived not. Time, far from softening the
asperity with which his thoughts dwelt on this supposed rival, seemed
only to irritate and inflame his resentment; and ingenious in tormenting
himself, he now added new anguish to that which corroded his heart, by
supposing that Emmeline, aware of the danger which threatened her lover
from the vengeance of his injured friend, had written to him to prevent
his return. This idea was confirmed, when the agent whom he employed to
watch the return of Fitz-Edward at length informed him that he had
obtained leave of absence from his regiment, now in England, and was to
pass the remainder of the winter with Lord and Lady Clancarryl.

The fury of his passions seemed to be suspended, while with gloomy
satisfaction he looked forward to a speedy retribution: but now, when no
immediate prospect offered of meeting the author of his calamities, they
tormented him with new violence. Emmeline and Fitz-Edward haunted his
dreams; Emmeline and Fitz-Edward were ever present to his imagination;
he figured to himself his happy rival possessed of the tenderness and
attachment of that gentle and sensible heart. The anguish these images
inflicted affected his health; and while every day, as it passed,
brought nothing to alleviate his despair, he became more and more
convinced that the happiness of his life was blasted for ever; and
growing impatient of life itself, determined to go to Ireland and insist
on an opportunity of losing it, or of taking that of the man who had
made it an insupportable burthen.

He set out therefore, attended only by Millefleur, and gave Lord
Montreville no notice of his intention 'till he reached Holyhead; from
thence he wrote to his Lordship to say that he had received an
invitation to visit some friends at Dublin, and that he should continue
about a month in Ireland. His pride prompted him to do this; least his
father, on hearing of his absence, should suppose that he was weak
enough to seek a reconciliation with Emmeline, whose name he now never
mentioned, being persuaded that his Lordship knew how ill she had repaid
an affection, which, tho' he could not divest himself of, he was now
ashamed to acknowledge.

Lord Montreville, happy to find he had really quitted her, was extremely
glad of this seasonable journey; which, as the Crofts' assured him
Emmeline was on the point of leaving England, would, he thought, prevent
his enquiring whither she was gone, and by introducing him into a new
set of acquaintance, turn his thoughts to other objects and perfect his
cure.

While Delamere then was travelling to Ireland in pursuit of Fitz-Edward,
Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline left Southampton on a visit to Lady Adelina
in the Isle of Wight; being desirous of delivering little William into
the arms of his mother and his uncle. Tho' it was now almost the end of
January, they embarked in an open boat, with the servant who waited on
the child; but being detained 'till almost noon on account of the tide,
it was evening before they reached a village on the shore, three miles
beyond Cowes, where they were to land.

On arriving there, they found that the house of Captain Godolphin was
situated two miles farther. Mrs. Stafford, ever attentive and
considerate, was afraid that the sight of the child so unexpectedly,
might overpower the spirits of Lady Adelina, and cause speculation among
the servants which it was absolutely necessary to avoid. Emmeline
therefore undertook to walk forward, attended by a boy in the village,
who was to shew her the way, and apprize Lady Adelina of the visitor she
was to expect.

Pleasure, in spite of herself, glowed in her bosom at the idea of again
meeting Godolphin; tho' she knew not that he had conceived for her the
most pure and ardent passion that was ever inspired by a lovely and
deserving object.

He had long since found that his heart was irrecoverably gone. But tho'
he struggled not against his passion, he loved too truly to indulge it
at the expence of Emmeline; and had therefore determined to avoid her,
and not to embitter _her_ life with the painful conviction that their
acquaintance had destroyed the happiness of _his_. For this reason he
did not intend going himself to fetch his nephew from Woodbury Forest,
but had given a careful servant directions to go thither in a few days
after that when Emmeline herself prevented the necessity of the journey.

Her walk lay along the high rocks that bounded the coast; and it was
almost dark before she entered a small lawn surrounded with a
plantation, in which the house of Godolphin was situated. About half an
acre of ground lay between it and the cliff, which was beat by the
swelling waves of the channel. The ground on the other side rose more
suddenly; and a wood which covered the hill behind it, seemed to embosom
the house, and take off that look of bleakness and desolation which
often renders a situation so near the sea unpleasant except in the
warmest months of Summer. A sand walk lead round the lawn. Emmeline
followed it, and it brought her close to the windows of a parlour. They
were still open; she looked in; and saw, by the light of the fire, for
there were no candles in the room, Godolphin sitting alone. He leaned on
a book, which there was not light enough to read; scattered papers lay
round him, and a pen and ink were on the table.

Emmeline could not forbear looking at him a moment before she approached
the door. She could as little command her curiosity to know on what he
was thus deeply thinking. The boy who was with her ran round to the
kitchen, and sent up a servant to open the door; who immediately
throwing open that of the parlour, said--'A lady, Sir!'

Godolphin starting from his reverie, arose, and unexpectedly beheld the
subject of it.

His astonishment at this visit, was such as hardly left him the power to
express the pleasure with which that astonishment was mingled. 'Miss
Mowbray!' exclaimed he--'Is it indeed Miss Mowbray?'

For a moment he surveyed her in silent extasy, then congratulated
himself upon his unhoped for good fortune; and answering her enquiries
about Lady Adelina, he suddenly seemed to recollect the papers which lay
on the table, hurried them into a drawer, and again returning to
Emmeline, told her how happy he was to see her look so well. He thought
indeed that he had never seen her so infinitely lovely. The sharpness of
the air during her walk had heightened the glow of her complexion; her
eyes betrayed, by their soft and timid glances, the partiality of which
she was hardly yet conscious; she trembled, without knowing why; and
could hardly recover her composure, while Godolphin, who would trust no
other person to deliver the message, ran eagerly up stairs to acquaint
Lady Adelina. 'My sister,' cried he, immediately returning, 'will be
with you instantly; a slight pain in her head has kept her on the bed
almost all day. But to what do we owe the happiness of seeing you here,
when we thought you on the point of sailing for France by another
route?'

Emmeline then hastily explained the change in their plan; adding,
gravely--'You will have another visitor, who cannot fail of being
welcome both to you and Lady Adelina. Mrs. Stafford stays with him at
the village, while she desired me to come on to prepare you for his
reception, and to know how you will have him introduced?'

'As _my_ child,' answered Godolphin. 'My servants are already prepared
to expect such an addition to my family. Ever amiable, ever lovely Miss
Mowbray!' continued he, with looks that encreased her confusion--'what
obligation does not our little boy--do we not all owe you?'

At this moment Lady Adelina, who had been obliged to wait some moments
to recover herself from the joyful surprise into which the news of
Emmeline's arrival had thrown her, ran into the room, and embracing with
transport her lovely friend, sighed; but unable to weep, sat down, and
could only kiss her hands with such wild expressions of rapture, that
Emmeline was alarmed least it should have any ill effect on her
intellects, or on a frame ever extremely delicate; and which now had,
from her having long indulged incurable sorrow, assumed an appearance of
such languor and weakness, that Emmeline with extreme concern looked on
her as on a beautiful shadow whom she probably beheld for the last time.

She stood a moment pensively gazing on her face. Godolphin said gently
to his sister, who still held the hand of Emmeline--'Adelina, my love,
recollect yourself--you keep Miss Mowbray standing.'

'What is yet more material,' answered Emmeline, smiling, is, 'that you
keep me from writing a note to Mrs. Stafford, which the boy who waits
here is to take back to her.'

Godolphin answered that he would go himself to Mrs. Stafford, and
instantly departed; while Emmeline began to talk to Lady Adelina of the
immediate arrival of her child. She at length succeeded in getting her
to speak of him, and to weep extremely; after which, she grew more
composed, and her full heart seemed relieved by talking of her brother.

Her words, tho' faint, and broken by the emotion she felt, yet forcibly
conveyed to the heart of Emmeline impressions of that uncommon worth
they described.

'Never,' said she, 'can I be sufficiently grateful to heaven for having
given me such a brother. 'Tis not in words, my Emmeline, to do him
justice! He is all that is noble minded and generous. Tho' from the loss
of his vivacity and charming spirits, I know too well how deeply my
unworthy conduct has wounded him; tho' I know, that by having sullied
the fair name of our family, and otherwise, I have been the unhappy
cause of injuring his peace, yet never has a reproach or an unkind word
escaped him. Pensive, yet always kind; melancholy, and at times visibly
unhappy; yet ever gentle, considerate, and attentive to me; always ready
to blame himself for yielding to that despondence which he cannot
without an effort conquer; trying to alleviate the anguish of my mind by
subduing that which frequently preys on his own; and now burying the
memory of my fault in compassion to my affliction, he adopts my child,
and allows me without a blush to embrace the dear infant, for whom I
dare not otherwise shew the tenderness I feel.'

Emmeline, affected by this eulogium, to which her heart warmly assented,
was silent.

'There is,' reassumed Lady Adelina, 'but one being on earth who
resembles him:--it is my Emmeline! If ever two creatures eminently
excelled the rest of their species, it is my friend and my brother!'

Something throbbed at the heart of Emmeline at these words, into which
she was afraid to enquire: her engagement to Delamere, yet uncancelled,
lay like a weight upon it; and seemed to impress the idea of her doing
wrong while she thus listened to the praises of another; and felt that
she listened with too much pleasure! She asked herself, however, whether
it was possible to be insensible of the merit of Godolphin? Yet
conscious that she had already thought of it too much, she wished to
change the topic of discourse--But Lady Adelina still pursued it.

'Lord Westhaven,' said she, 'my elder brother, is indeed a most
respectable and excellent man. Equally with my brother William, he
inherits from my father, integrity, generosity and nobleness of mind,
together with a regularity of morals and conduct, unusual in so young a
man even in any rank of life, and remarkable in him, who has passed
almost all his in the army. But he is, tho' not yet thirty, much older
than I am, and has almost always been absent from me; those who know him
better, have told me, that with as many other good qualities as William,
he has less softness of temper; and being almost free from error
himself, makes less allowance for the weakness of others. Such, however,
has been the management of my younger brother, that the elder knows not
the truth of my circumstances--he does not even suspect them. You may
very possibly see him and Lady Westhaven abroad. I know I need not
caution my Emmeline--she will be careful of the peace of her poor
friend.'

Emmeline soon satisfied Lady Adelina on that head, who then asked when
she heard of Delamere?

This question Emmeline had foreseen: but having predetermined not to
distress her unfortunate friend, by telling her into what difficulties
her attendance on her and her child had led her, and being shocked to
own herself the subject of suspicions so injurious as those Delamere had
dared to harbour, she calmly answered that Delamere was returned to
England, but that she had seen him only for a few moments.

'And did he not object,' enquired Lady Adelina, 'to your quitting
England, since he is himself returned to it?'

Emmeline, who could not directly answer this question, evaded it by
saying--

'My absence or my presence you know cannot hasten the period, 'till the
arrival of which our marriage cannot take place--_if_ it ever takes
place at all.'

'_If_ it ever takes place at all?' repeated Lady Adelina--'Does then any
doubt remain of it?'

'An affair of that sort,' replied Emmeline, assuming as much unconcern
as she could, 'is always doubtful where so many clashing interests and
opposite wishes are to be reconciled, and where so very young a man as
Mr. Delamere is to decide.'

'Do you suspect that he wavers then?' very earnestly asked Lady Adelina,
fixing her eyes on the blushing face of Emmeline.

'I really am not sure,' answered she--'you know my promise, reluctantly
given, was only conditional. I am far from being anxious to anticipate
by firmer engagements the certainty of it's being fulfilled; much better
contented I should be, if he yet took a few years longer to consider of
it. You, Lady Adelina,' continued she, smiling, 'are surely no advocate
for early marriages; and Mrs. Stafford is greatly averse to them. You
must therefore suppose that what my two friends have found inimical to
their happiness, I cannot consider as being likely to constitute mine.'

This speech had the effect Emmeline intended. It brought back the
thoughts of Lady Adelina from the uncertainties of her friend to her own
actual sorrows. She sighed deeply.

'You say truly,' said she. '_I_ have no reason to wish those I love may
precipitately form indissoluble engagements; nor _do_ I wish it. Would
to God _I_ had not been the victim of an hasty and unhappy marriage; or
that I had been the _only_ victim. Emmeline,' added she, lowering her
voice, now hardly audible, 'Emmeline, _may_ I ask?--where is--spare me
the repetition of a name I have solemnly vowed never to utter--you
understand me?'

'I do,' answered Emmeline, gravely. 'He has been in Ireland; but is now
I suppose in London, as the time he told me he should pass there has
long since elapsed. I heard he was to return no more to Tylehurst, and
that Mr. Delamere had given up the house there; but of this I know
nothing from themselves. The person you enquire after, I have seen only
once, and that for half an hour. Mrs. Stafford can tell you more, if you
wish to hear it.'

'Ah! pardon my wretched weakness, Emmeline! I know I ought to conquer
it! But I cannot help wishing--I cannot help being anxious to hear of
him! Yet would I conceal from every one but you that the recollection of
this unhappy man never a moment leaves me. Tell me, my angelic friend!
for of you I may ask and be forgiven--has he seen his son?'

'He has; and was extremely affected. But dear Lady Adelina, do not, I
beseech you, enquire into the particulars of the interview. Try, my
beloved friend, to divest yourself of these painful recollections--ah!
try to recover your peace, and preserve your life, for the sake of our
dear little William and those friends who love you.'

The unhappy Adelina, who notwithstanding all her efforts, was devoured
by an incurable affection for a man whom she had sworn to banish from
her heart for ever, and whose name her brother would not suffer her to
pronounce, now gave way to an agony of passion which she could indulge
only before Emmeline; and so violently was she affected by regret and
despair, that her friend trembled least her reason should again forsake
it's seat. She tried, by soothing and tenderness, to appease this
sudden effusion of grief; and had hardly restored her to some degree of
composure, before Mrs. Stafford entered the room and embraced most
cordially Lady Adelina, while Godolphin followed her with the little boy
in his arms. In contemplating the beauty of his nephew, he had forgotten
the misery of which his birth had been the occasion; for with all the
humanity of a brave man, Godolphin possessed a softness of heart, which
the helpless innocence of the son, and the repentant sorrow of the
mother, melted into more than feminine tenderness. He carried the child
to his sister, and put it into her arms--

'Take him, my Adelina!' said he--'take our dear boy: and while you
embrace and bless him, you will feel all you owe to those who have
preserved him.'

Lady Adelina did indeed feel such complicated sensations that she was
unable to utter a word. She could only press the little boy to her heart
and bedew his face with tears. Her affecting silence and pale
countenance alarmed both Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline; and the former,
willing to give her thoughts a new turn, said--

'You do not suppose, my dear friends, that we intend to go back to
Southampton to night? so I hope you will give us some supper and beds in
this hospitable island.'

Godolphin, who had been too much enchanted to think before, immediately
saw that the meaning of Mrs. Stafford's solicitude was merely to call
the thoughts of his sister from herself to her guests; he seconded
therefore this intention, by desiring Lady Adelina to give proper orders
about the apartments for her friends; and to take _his_ little boy to
that which had been prepared for his reception. The three ladies
therefore withdrew with the child; where Lady Adelina soon recovered
some degree of serenity, and was able to sit at table while they supped.

Had Mrs. Stafford been before unsuspicious of the passion of Godolphin
for Emmeline, she would have been convinced of it during the course of
this evening. His voice, his countenance, his manner, evidently betrayed
it; and whenever the eyes of Emmeline were turned to any other object,
his were fixed on her face, with looks so expressive of tender
admiration, yet tempered by a kind of hopeless dejection, that the most
uninterested observer could hardly have mistaken his thoughts.

But it was not her face, however interesting; or her form, however
graceful; that rivetted the chains of Godolphin. He had seen many faces
more regularly beautiful, and many figures equally elegant, with
indifference: he had heard, with coldness, the finest sentiments uttered
by the fairest mouths; and had listened to the brilliant sallies of
fashionable wit, with contempt. In Emmeline, he discovered a native
dignity of soul, an enlarged and generous heart, a comprehensive and
cultivated understanding, a temper at once soft and lively, with morals
the most pure, and manners simple, undesigning and ingenuous. To these
solid perfections, genius had added all the lighter graces; and nature,
a form which, enchanting as it must ever have been, seemed to receive
irresistible charms from the soul by which it was informed.

All his philosophy could not prevent his being sensible of the
attractions of such a woman; nor was his resolution sufficiently strong
to enable him to struggle against their influence, even when he found he
had nothing to hope. But yielding to the painful delight of loving her,
he persuaded himself that tho' he could not conquer he could conceal it;
and that while she was ignorant of his passion it could be injurious
only to himself.

His absence and silence during supper was broken only by his natural
politeness. After it concluded, they drew round the fire; and the three
ladies entered into one of those interesting conversations that are so
pleasant where mutual confidence and esteem reign among the party.

Godolphin continued silent; and insensibly fell into a train of thought
the most dangerous to that appearance of indifference which he believed
he could observe. Looking at Emmeline as she talked to his sister, and
remembering all the friendship she had shewn her, hearing the sound of
her voice and the elegance of her expressions, he began insensibly to
consider how blessed he _might_ have been, had he known her before her
hand was promised and her affections given to the fortunate Delamere.

'Had it but been _my_ lot!' said he to himself--'had it been _my_
lot!--ah, what happiness, after the fatigues and dangers of my
profession, to return to this place which I love so much, and to be
received by such a friend--such a mistress--such a wife as she will
make!' He indulged these ideas, 'till absolutely lost in them, he was
unconscious of every thing but their impression, and starting up, he
struck his hands together and cried--

'Merciful heaven!--and can it then never be?'

Alarmed at the suddenness of an exclamation so causeless, Lady Adelina
looked terrified and her friends amazed.

'What, brother?--what are you speaking of?' enquired she.

'I beg your pardon,' said Godolphin, instantly recollecting himself, and
blushing for this unguarded sally--'I beg your pardon. I was thinking of
some business I have to settle; but I do not deserve to be forgiven for
suffering my mind in such company to dwell on any thing but the pleasure
I enjoy; and for yielding to a foolish custom I have acquired of
uttering aloud whatever is immediately in my mind; an habit,' added he,
smiling, 'that has grown upon me by living so much alone. Since Lady
Adelina is now fixed with me, I hope I shall cease to speak and think
like an hermit, and be again humanized. Adelina, my love, you look
fatigued.'

'Ah!' replied she, 'of what fatigue can I be sensible when with those
who I most love and value; and from whom, to-morrow--to-morrow I must
part!'

'I doubt that extremely,' said Godolphin, trying to carry the
conversation entirely from his own strange behaviour. 'If I have any
skill in the weather, to-morrow will bring a gale of wind, which will
opportunely make prisoners of our two fair friends for another day.'

'How infinitely,' cried Lady Adelina, 'shall I be obliged to it.'

The rising of the wind during the whole evening had made Godolphin's
conjecture highly probable. Mrs. Stafford, impatient to return to her
children, whom she never willingly left wholly in the care of servants,
heard it's encreasing violence with regret. Emmeline tried to do so too;
but she could not prevail on herself to lament a circumstance likely to
keep her another day with Lady Adelina and her little boy. She wanted
too to see a little of this beautiful island, of which she had heard so
much; and found several other reasons for wishing to remain, without
allowing herself to suppose that Godolphin had on these wishes the
smallest influence.



CHAPTER X


Early the next morning, Emmeline arose; and looking towards the sea, saw
a still encreasing tempest gathering visibly over it. She wandered over
the house; which tho' not large was chearful and elegant, and she
fancied every thing in it bore testimony to the taste and temper of its
master. The garden charmed her still more; surrounded by copse-wood and
ever-greens, and which seemed equally adapted to use and pleasure. The
country behind it, tho' divested of its foliage and verdure, appeared
more beautiful than any she had seen since she left Wales; and with
uncommon avidity she enjoyed, even amid the heavy gloom of an impending
storm, the great and magnificent spectacle afforded by the sea. By
reminding her of her early pleasures at Mowbray Castle, it brought back
a thousand half-obliterated and agreeable, tho' melancholy images to her
mind; while its grandeur gratified her taste for the sublime.

As she was indulging these contemplations, the wind suddenly blew with
astonishing violence; and before Mrs. Stafford arose, the sea was become
so tempestuous and impracticable, that eagerly as she wished to return
to her children she could not think of braving it.

Godolphin had seen Emmeline wandering along the cliff, and had
resolutely denied himself the pleasure of joining her; for from what had
passed the evening before, he began to doubt his own power to forbear
speaking to her of the subject that filled his heart.

They now met at breakfast; and Emmeline was charmed with her walk, tho'
she had been driven from it by the turbulence of the weather, which by
this time had arisen to an hurricane. When their breakfast ended, Mrs.
Stafford followed Lady Adelina, who wanted to consult her on something
that related to the little boy; Godolphin went out to give some orders;
and Emmeline retired to a bow window which looked towards the sea.

Could she have divested her mind of its apprehensions that what formed
for her a magnificent and sublime scene brought shipwreck and
destruction to many others, she would have been highly pleased with a
sight of the ocean in its present tremendous state. Lost in
contemplating the awful spectacle, she did not see or hear Godolphin;
who imagining she had left the room with his sister, had returned, and
with his arms crossed, and his eyes fixed on her face, stood on the
other side of the window like a statue.

The gust grew more vehement, and deafened her with it's fury; while the
mountainous waves it had raised, burst thundering against the rocks and
seemed to shake their very foundation. Emmeline, at the picture her
imagination drew of their united powers of desolation, shuddered
involuntarily and sighed.

'What disturbs Miss Mowbray?' said Godolphin.

Emmeline, unwilling to acknowledge that she had been so extremely absent
as not to know he was in the room, answered, without expressing her
surprise to see him there--'I was thinking how fatal this storm which we
are contemplating, may be to the fortunes and probably the lives of
thousands.'

'The gale,' returned Godolphin, 'is heavy, but by no means of such fatal
power as you apprehend. I have been at sea in several infinitely more
violent, and shall probably be in many others.'

'I hope not,' answered Emmeline, without knowing what she said--'Surely
you do not mean it?'

'A professional man,' said he, smiling, and flattered by the eagerness
with which she spoke, 'has, you know, no will of his own. I certainly
should not seek danger; but it is not possible in such service as ours
to avoid it.'

'Why then do you not quit it?'

'If I intended to give you a high idea of my _prudence_, I should say,
because I am a younger brother. But to speak honestly, that is not my
only motive; my fortune, limited as it is, is enough for all my wishes,
and will probably suffice for any I shall _now_ ever form; but a man of
my age ought not surely to waste in torpid idleness, or trifling
dissipation, time that may be usefully employed. Besides, I love the
profession to which I have been brought up, and, by engaging in which, I
owe a life to my country if ever it should be called for.'

'God forbid it ever should!' said Emmeline, with quickness; 'for then,'
continued she, hesitating and blushing, 'what would poor Lady Adelina
do? and what would become of my dear little boy?'

Godolphin, charmed yet pained by this artless expression of sensibility,
and thrown almost off his guard by the idea of not being wholly
indifferent to her, answered mournfully--'To them, indeed, my life may
be of some value; but to myself it is of none. Ah, Miss Mowbray! it
might have been worth preserving had I----But wherefore presume I to
trouble you on a subject so hopeless? I know not what has tempted me to
intrude on your thoughts the incoherences of a mind ill at ease. Pardon
me--and suffer not my folly to deprive me of the happiness of being your
friend, which is all I will ever pretend to.'

He turned away, and hastened out of the room; leaving Emmeline in such
confusion that it was not 'till Mrs. Stafford came to call her to Lady
Adelina's dressing-room, that she remembered where she was, and the
necessity of recollecting her scattered thoughts. When they met at
dinner, she could not encounter the eyes of Godolphin without the
deepest blushes: Lady Adelina, given wholly up to the idea of their
approaching separation, and Mrs. Stafford, occupied by uneasiness of her
own, did not attend to the singularity of her manner.

The latter had never beheld such a tempest as was now raging; and she
could not look towards the sea, whose high and foaming billows were
breaking so near them, without shivering at the terrifying recollection,
that in a very few hours her children, all she held dear on earth, would
be exposed to this capricious and furious element. Tho' of the steadiest
resolution in any trial that merely regarded herself, she was a coward
when these dear objects of her fondness were in question; and she could
not help expressing to Mr. Godolphin some part of her apprehensions.

'As I have gained some credit,' answered he, 'for my sagacity in
foreseeing the gale, I might perhaps as well not hazard the loss of it,
by another prophecy, for which you, Lady Adelina, will not thank me.--It
will be fine, I am afraid, to-morrow.'

'And the day following we embark for France,' said Mrs. Stafford; 'how
providential that we could not sail yesterday!'

'Your heart fails you, my dear Mrs. Stafford,' replied Godolphin, 'and I
do not wonder at it. But I will tell you what you shall allow me to do:
I will attend you to-morrow to Southampton, where in the character of a
veteran seaman I will direct your departure, (as the whole pacquet is
yours) according to the appearance of the weather; and to indulge me
still farther, you shall suffer me to see you landed at Havre. Adelina,
I know, will be wretched 'till she hears you are safe on the other side;
and will therefore willingly spare me to bring her such intelligence;
and give me at the same time a fortunate opportunity of being useful to
you.'

Mrs. Stafford, secretly rejoiced at a proposal which would secure them a
protector and as much safety as depended on human skill, could not
conceal her wish to assent to it; tho' she expressed great reluctance to
give him so much trouble.

Godolphin then consulted the eyes of Emmeline, which on meeting his were
cast down; but he could not find that they expressed any displeasure at
his offer: he therefore assured Mrs. Stafford that he should consider it
as a pleasurable scheme with a party to whom he was indifferent; 'but
when,' added he, 'it gives me the means of being of the least use to
you, to Miss Mowbray, and your children, I shall find in it not only
pleasure but happiness. Alas! how poorly it will repay the twentieth
part of the obligation we owe you!'

It was settled therefore that Mr. Godolphin was to cross the channel
with them. Again Emmeline tried to be sorry, and again found herself
incapable of feeling any thing but satisfaction in hearing that he would
be yet longer with them.

During the rest of the evening, he tried to assume a degree of
chearfulness; and did in some measure feel it in the prospect of this
farther temporary indulgence.

Lady Adelina, unable to conceal her concern, drooped without any effort
to imitate him; and when they parted for the night, could not help
deploring in terms of piercing regret their approaching separation.

The assurances Godolphin had given them of a favourable morning were
fulfilled. They found that tho' there was yet a considerable swell, the
wind had subsided entirely, and that they might safely cross to
Southampton. The boat that was to convey them was ready; and Emmeline
could not take leave of Lady Adelina without sharing the anguish which
she could not mitigate. They embraced silently and in tears; and
Emmeline pressed to her heart the little boy, to whom she was tenderly
attached.

Godolphin was a silent spectator of this melancholy farewel. The
softness of Emmeline's heart was to him her greatest charm, and he could
hardly help repeating, in the words of Louis XIV--'She has so much
sensibility that it must be an exquisite pleasure to be beloved by her!'

He sighed in remembering that such could not be his happiness; then
wishing to shorten a scene which so violently affected the unsettled
spirits of Lady Adelina, he would have led Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline
away; but Lady Adelina insisted on following them to the shore; smiled
thro' her tears; and promised to behave better. Silently they walked to
the sea-side. Mrs. Stafford hastily embracing her, was handed into the
boat by Godolphin; who then advancing with forced gaiety to Emmeline,
about whom his sister still fondly hung, said--'Come, come, I must have
no more adieus--as if you were never to meet again.'

'Ah! who can tell,' answered Lady Adelina, 'that we ever shall!'

Emmeline spoke not; but kissing the hand of her weeping friend, gave her
own to Godolphin; while Lady Adelina, resting on the arm of her woman,
and overwhelmed with sorrow, suffered the boat to depart.

It rowed swiftly away; favoured by the tide. Lady Adelina remained on
the shore as long as she could distinguish it; and then slowly and
reluctantly returned to solitude and tears: while her two friends,
attended by her brother, landed safely at Southampton, where he busied
himself in settling every thing for their departure the next morning in
the pacquet which they had hired, and which now lay ready to receive
them.

During their passage to Havre, which was short and prosperous, the
attention of Godolphin was equally divided between Mrs. Stafford, her
children, and Emmeline. But when he assisted the latter to leave the
vessel, he could not forbear pressing her to his heart, while in a deep
sigh he bade adieu to the happiness of being with her; for he concluded
she would not long remain single, and after she was married he
determined never more to trust himself with the dangerous pleasure of
beholding her.

He had never mentioned the name of Delamere; and knew not that he was
returned to England. Having once been assured of her engagement, he was
unable to enquire into the circumstances of what had destroyed his
happiness. He knew they were to be married in March, and that Delamere
had promised to remain on the Continent 'till that period. He doubted
not, therefore, but that Emmeline, in compliance with the entreaties of
her lover, had consented to accompany Mrs. Stafford to France, and by
her presence to charm away the months that yet intervened; after which
he supposed they would be immediately united.

Notwithstanding some remarks he had made on the interest she seemed to
take in regard to himself, he imputed it merely to her general
sensibility and to his relationship to Lady Adelina. He supposed that
Delamere possessed her heart; and tho' it was the only possession on
earth that would give him any chance of happiness, he envied this happy
lover without hating him. He could not blame him for loving her, who was
in his own opinion irresistible; nor for having used the opportunity his
good fortune had given him of winning her affections. The longer he
conversed with her, the more he was convinced that Delamere, in being as
he believed master of that heart, was the most fortunate of human
beings. But tho' he had not resolution enough to refuse himself the
melancholy yet pleasing gratification of contemplating perfections which
he thought could never be his, and tho' he could not help sometimes
betraying the fondness which that indulgence hourly encreased, he never
seriously meditated supplanting the happy Delamere. He did not think
that to attempt it was honourable; and his integrity would have
prevented the trial, had he supposed it possible to succeed.

Mrs. Stafford had at first seen with concern that Godolphin, whom she
sincerely esteemed, was nourishing for her friend a passion which could
only serve to make him unhappy. But she now saw it's progress rather
with pleasure than regret. She was piqued at the groundless jealousy and
rash injustice of Delamere towards Emmeline: and disappointed and
disgusted at Lord Montreville's conduct towards herself; sickening at
the little sincerity of the latter, and doubtful of the temper of the
former, she feared that if the alliance took place, her friend would
find less happiness than splendour: and she looked with partial eyes on
Godolphin; who in morals, manners, and temper, was equally
unexceptionable, and whose fortune, tho' inferior to his birth, was yet
enough for happiness in that style of life which she knew better
calculated for the temper and taste of Emmeline than the parade and
grandeur she might share with Delamere.

Godolphin had no parents to accept her with disdainful and cold
acquiescence--no sister to treat her with supercilious condescension.--But
all his family, tho' of a rank superior to that of Delamere, would
receive her with transport, and treat her with the respect and affection
she deserved.

Mrs. Stafford, however, spoke not to Emmeline of this revolution in her
sentiments, but chose rather to let the affair take it's course than to
be in any degree answerable for it's consequences.

The hour in which Godolphin was to leave them now approached. Unable to
determine on bidding Emmeline farewel, he would still have lingered with
her, and would have gone on with them to Rouen, where Stafford waited
their arrival: but this, Mrs. Stafford was compelled to decline; fearing
least this extraordinary attention in a stranger should induce her
husband to make enquiry into their first acquaintance, and by that means
lead to discoveries which could not fail of being injurious to Lady
Adelina.

Of all that related to her, he was at present ignorant. He had been
told, that the infant which his wife and Miss Mowbray so often visited,
was the son of an acquaintance of the latter; who being obliged soon
after it's birth to go to the West Indies, had sent it to Bath to
Emmeline, who had undertaken to overlook the nurse to whose care it was
committed.

Into a circumstance which offered neither a scheme to occupy his mind,
or money to purchase his pleasures, Stafford thought it not then worth
his while farther to enquire; but now, in a country of which he
understood not the language, and detached from his usual pursuits, Mrs.
Stafford knew not what strange suspicions the assiduity of Godolphin
might excite in a head so oddly constructed; and without explaining her
reasons to Godolphin, she said enough to convince him that he must, with
whatever reluctance, leave the lovely travellers at Havre.

He busied himself, however, in adjusting every thing for the safety of
their journey; and being in the course of their preparations left alone
with Emmeline in a room of the hotel, he could not forbear using the
last opportunity he was likely to have of speaking to her.--

'Has Miss Mowbray any commands to Lady Adelina?'

'My most affectionate love!' answered Emmeline, 'my truest remembrance!
And tell her, that the moment I am settled I will give her an account of
my situation, and of all that happens worth her knowing.'

'We shall hear then,' said he, forcing a melancholy smile, 'we shall
hear when you meet the fortunate, the happy Mr. Delamere.'

'Lady Adelina,' blushingly replied Emmeline, 'will certainly know it if
I should meet him; but nothing is at present more improbable.'

'Tis now,' reassumed Godolphin, 'the last week of
January--February--March--ah! how soon March will come! Tell me, how
long in that month may Adelina direct to Miss Mowbray?'

'Mr. Delamere, Sir,' said Emmeline, gravely, 'is not now in France.'

'But may he not immediately return thither from Geneva or any other
place? Is my sister, Lady Westhaven, to be present at the ceremony?'

'The ceremony,' answered she, half angry and half vexed, 'may perhaps
never take place.'

The awkwardness of her situation in regard to Delamere arose forcibly to
her mind, and something lay very heavy at her heart. She tried to check
the tears which were filling her eyes, least they should be imputed to a
very different cause; but the effort she made to conquer her feelings
rendered them more acute. She took out a handkerchief to wipe away these
involuntary betrayers of her emotion, and sitting down, audibly sobbed.

Godolphin had asked these questions, in that sort of desperate
resolution which a person exerts who determines to know, in the hope of
being able to endure, the worst that can befal him. But he was now
shocked at the distress they had occasioned, and unable to bear the
sight of her tears.

'Pardon me,' cried he, 'pardon me, most lovely, most amiable
Emmeline!--oh! pardon me for having given a moment's pain to that soft
and sensible bosom. Had I suspected that a reference to an event towards
which I supposed you looked forward with pleasure, could thus affect
you, I had not presumed to name it. Whenever it happens,' added he,
after a short pause--'whenever it happens, Delamere will be the most
enviable of human beings: and may you, Madam, be as happy as you are
truly deserving of happiness!'

He dared not trust his voice with another word: but under pretence of
fetching a glass of water left the room, and having recovered himself,
quickly returned and offered it to Emmeline, again apologizing for
having offended her.

She took the glass from him; and faintly smiling thro' her tears, said
in the gentlest accents--'I am not offended--I am only low spirited.
Tired by the voyage, and shrinking from the fatigue of a long journey,
yet you talk to me of a journey for life, on which I may never set out
in the company you mention--and still more probably never undertake at
all.'

The entrance of Mrs. Stafford, who came to entreat some directions from
Godolphin, prevented the continuance of this critical conversation; in
which, whatever the words imported in regard to Delamere, he found but
little hope for himself. He attributed what Emmeline had said to mere
evasion, and her concern to some little accidental neglect on the part
of her lover which had excited her displeasure. Ignorant of the jealousy
Delamere had conceived from the misrepresentation of the Crofts', which
the solicitude of Emmeline for the infant of Lady Adelina had so
immediately matured, he had not the most distant idea of the truth; nor
suspected that the passion of Delamere for Emmeline, which he knew had
within a few weeks been acknowledged without hesitation, and received
with encouragement, was now become to him a source of insupportable
torment; that she had left England without bidding him adieu, or even
informing him that she was gone.

The two chaises were now ready; and Godolphin having placed in the
first, Mrs. Stafford and her younger children, approached Emmeline to
lead her to the second, in which she was to accompany the elder. He
stopped a moment as they were quitting the room, and said--'I cannot,
Miss Mowbray, bid you adieu till you say you forgive me for the
impertinence of my questions.'

'For impertinence?' answered Emmeline, giving him her hand--'I cannot
forgive you, because I know not that you have been guilty of it. Before
I go, however, allow me to thank you most sincerely for the protection
you have afforded us.'

'And not one word,' cried he, 'not one parting good wish to your little
_protegé_--to my poor William?'

'Ah! I send him a thousand!' answered Emmeline.

'And one last kiss, which I will carry him.' She suffered him to salute
her; and then he hastily led her to the chaise; and, as he put her in,
said very solemnly--'Let me repeat my wishes, Madam, that wheresoever
you are, you may enjoy felicity--felicity which I shall never again
know; and that Mr. Delamere--the fortunate Delamere--may be as sensible
of your value as----'

Emmeline, to avoid hearing this sentence concluded, bade the chaise
proceed. It instantly did so with all the velocity a French postillion
could give it; and hardly allowed her to observe the mournful
countenance and desponding air with which Godolphin bowed to her, as
she, waving her hand, again bade him adieu!

The travellers arrived in due time safe at Rouen; where Mrs. Stafford
found that her husband had been prevented meeting her, by the necessity
he fancied himself under to watch the early nests of his Canary birds,
of which he had now made a large collection, and whose encrease he
attended to with greater solicitude than the arrival of his family. Mrs.
Stafford saw with an eye of hopeless regret a new source of expence and
absurdity opened; but knowing that complaints were more likely to
produce anger and resentment in his mind, than any alteration in his
conduct, she was obliged to conceal her chagrin, and to take possession
of the gloomy chateau which her husband had chosen for her residence,
about six miles from Rouen; while Emmeline, with her usual equality of
temper, tried to reconcile herself to her new abode, and to share and
relieve the fatigue and uneasiness of her friend. She found the activity
she was for this purpose compelled to exert, assuaged and diverted that
pain which she now could no longer hope to conquer, tho' she had not yet
had the courage to ascertain, by a narrow examination of her heart in
regard to Godolphin, that it would be removed no more.

On the evening after he had bade her adieu, Godolphin embarked in the
pacquet which was on it's departure to England. The weather, tho' cold,
was calm; and he sat down on the deck, where, after they had got a few
leagues from France, all was profoundly quiet. Only the man at the helm
and one sailor were awake on board. The vessel glided thro' the expanse
of water; while the soul of Godolphin fled back to Emmeline, and dwelt
with lingering fondness on the object of all it's affection.



CHAPTER XI


Emmeline having thus quitted England, and Delamere appearing no longer
to think of her, the Crofts', who had brought about an event so
desirable for Lord Montreville, thought it time to claim the reward of
such eminent service.

Miss Delamere, in meeting Lady Westhaven at Paris, had severely felt all
the difference of their situation; and as she had repented of her
clandestine union almost as soon as she had formed it, the comparison
between her sister's husband and her own had embittered her temper,
never very good, and made her return to England with reluctance; where
she knew that she could not long evade acknowledging her marriage, and
taking the inferior and humiliating name of _Mrs. Crofts_.

To avoid returning was however not in her power; nor could she prevail
on Crofts to delay a declaration which must be attended with
circumstances, to her most mortifying and unpleasant. But impatient to
demand a daughter of Lord Montreville as his wife, and still more
impatient to receive twelve thousand pounds, which was her's independant
of her father, he would hear of no delay; and the present opportunity of
conciliating Lord and Lady Montreville, was in the opinion of all the
Crofts' family not to be neglected.

Sir Richard undertook to disclose the affair to Lord Montreville, and to
parry the first effusions of his Lordship's anger by a very common, yet
generally successful stratagem, that of affecting to be angry first, and
drowning by his own clamours the complaints of the party really injured.

For this purpose, he waited early one morning on Lord Montreville, and
with a countenance where scornful superiority was dismissed for
pusillanimous dejection, he began.--

'My Lord--when I reflect and consider and remember the innumerable,
invaluable and extraordinary favours, kindnesses and obligations I owe
your Lordship, my heart bleeds--and I lament and deplore and regret that
it is my lot to announce and declare and discover, what will I fear give
infinite concern and distress and uneasiness to you--and my Lord----'

'What is all this, Sir Richard?' cried Lord Montreville, hastily
interrupting him.--'Is Delamere married?'

'Heaven forbid!' answered the hypocritical Crofts.--'Bad, and unwelcome,
and painful as what I have to say is, it does not amount or arise to
that misfortune and calamity.'

'Whatever it is Sir,' said his Lordship impatiently, 'let me hear it at
once.--Is it a dismission from my office?'

'Never, I hope!' replied Sir Richard. 'At least, for many years to come,
may this country not know and feel and be sensible of such a loss,
deprivation and defection. My Lord, my present concern is of a very
different nature; and I do assure and protest to your Lordship that no
time nor intreaties nor persuasion will erase and obliterate and wipe
away from my mind, the injury and prejudice the parties have done _me_,
by thus----'

'Keep me no longer in suspense!' almost angrily cried Lord Montreville.

'Mr. Crofts, my Lord; Mr. Crofts is, I find, married--'

'To _my_ daughter, Sir Richard.--Is it not so?'

'He is indeed, my Lord! and from this moment I disclaim, and renounce
and protest against him; for my Lord----'

Sir Richard continued his harangue, to which Lord Montreville did not
seem to attend. He was a moment silent, and then said--

'I have been more to blame than the parties.--I might have foreseen
this. But I thought Fanny's pride a sufficient defence against an
inferior alliance. Pray Sir, does Lady Montreville know of this
marriage?'

Sir Richard then related all that his son had told him; interlarding his
account with every circumstance that might induce his Lordship to
believe he was himself entirely ignorant of the intrigue. Lord
Montreville, however, knew too much of mankind in general, and of the
Crofts' in particular, to give implicit credit to this artful recital.
But Sir Richard was now become so necessary to him, and they had so many
secrets in common of great consequence to the political reputation of
both, that he could not determine to break with him. He considered too
that resentment could not unmarry his daughter; that the lineal honours
of his family could not be affected by her marriage; and that he owed
the Crofts' some favour for having counteracted the indiscretion of
Delamere. Determining therefore, after a short struggle, to sacrifice
his pride to his politics, he dismissed Sir Richard with infinitely less
appearance of resentment than he expected; and after long contention
with the furious and irascible pride of his wife, prevailed upon her to
let her daughter depart without her malediction. She would not see
Crofts, or pardon her daughter; protesting that she never could be
reconciled to a child of her's who bore such an appellation as that of
'_Mrs. Crofts_.' Soon afterwards, however, the Marquisate which Lord
Montreville had been so long promised was to be granted him. But his
wife could not bear, that by assuming a title which had belonged to the
Mowbray family, (a point he particularly wished to obtain) he should
drop or render secondary those honours which he derived from _her_
ancestors. Wearied by her persecution, and accustomed to yield to her
importunity, he at length gratified her, by relinquishing the name he
wished to bear, and taking the title of Marquis of Montreville, while
his son assumed that of Viscount Delamere. This circumstance seemed
more than any other to reconcile Lady Montreville to her eldest
daughter, whose surname she could evade under the more satisfactory
appellation of Lady Frances. She was now therefore admitted to her
mother's presence; Crofts received an haughty and reluctant pardon; and
some degree of tranquillity was restored to the noble house of
Mowbray-Delamere; while the Crofts', more elated and consequential than
before, behaved as if they had inherited and deserved the fortune and
splendor that surrounded them: and the table, the buildings, the
furniture of Sir Richard, vied in expence and magnificence with those of
the most affluent of the nobility.

Lord Delamere, to whom the acquisition of a title could offer nothing in
mitigation of the anguish inflicted by disappointed love, was now at
Dublin; where, immediately on his arrival, he had enquired for Colonel
Fitz-Edward at the house of his brother, Lord Clancarryl.

As the family were in the country, and only a servant in it, he could
not for some days obtain the information he wanted. He heard, however,
that Lord Clancarryl was very soon expected, and for his arrival he
determined to wait. In this interval of suspense, he heard from a
correspondent in England, that Miss Mowbray had not only disappeared
from Woodfield, but had actually quitted England; and was gone no one
knew precisely whither; but it was generally supposed to France.

Tho' he had sworn in bitterness of heart to drive for ever from it this
perfidious and fatal beauty, it seemed as if forgetting his resolution,
he had in this intelligence received a new injury. He still fancied that
she should have told him of her design to quit England, without
recollecting that he had given her no opportunity to speak to him at
all.

Again he felt his anger towards Fitz-Edward animated almost to madness;
and again impatiently sought to hasten a meeting when he might discuss
with him all the mischief he had sustained.

Lord Clancarryl coming for a few days to Dublin, found there letters
from Lord Montreville, in which his Lordship bespoke for his son the
acquaintance of the Clancarryl family. Desirous of shewing every
attention to a young man so nearly connected with his wife's family, by
the marriage of her brother, Lord Westhaven, to his youngest sister, and
related also to himself, Lord Clancarryl immediately sought Delamere;
and was surprised to find, that instead of receiving his advances with
warmth or even with politeness, he hardly returned them with common
civility, and seemed to attend to nothing that was said. The first pause
in the conversation, however, Delamere took advantage of to enquire
after Colonel Fitz-Edward.

'My brother,' answered Lord Clancarryl, 'left us only three days ago.'

'For London, my Lord?'

'No; he is gone with two other friends on a kind of pleasurable
tour.--They hired a sloop at Cork to take them to France.'

'To France!' exclaimed Delamere--'Mr. Fitz-Edward gone to France?'

'Yes,' replied Lord Clancarryl, somewhat wondering at the surprise
Delamere expressed--'and I promoted the plan as much as I could; for
poor George is, I am afraid, in a bad state of health; his looks and his
spirits are not what they used to be. Chearful company, and this little
tour, may I hope restore them. But how happens it that he knew not, Sir,
of your return? He was persuaded you were still abroad; and expressed
some pleasure at the thoughts of meeting you when you least expected
it.'

'No, no, my Lord,' cried Delamere, in a voice rendered almost
inarticulate by contending passions--'his hope was not to meet _me_. He
is gone with far other designs.'

'What designs, Lord Delamere?' gravely asked Lord Clancarryl.

'My Lord,' answered Delamere, recollecting himself, 'I mean not to
trouble you on this matter. I have some business to adjust with Mr.
Fitz-Edward; and since he is not here, have only to request of your
Lordship information when he returns, or whither a letter may follow
him?'

'Sir,' returned Lord Clancarryl with great gravity, 'I believe I can
answer for Colonel Fitz-Edward's readiness to settle _any business_ you
may desire to adjust with him; and I wish, since there is _business_
between ye, that I could name the time when you are likely to meet him.
All, however, I can decidedly say is, that he intends going to Paris,
but that his stay in France will not exceed five or six weeks in the
whole; and that such letters as I may have occasion to send, are to be
addressed to the care of Monsieur de Guisnon, banker, at Paris.'

Delamere having received this intelligence, took a cold leave; and Lord
Clancarryl, who had before heard much of his impetuous temper and
defective education, was piqued at his distant manner, and returned to
his house in the country without making any farther effort to cultivate
his friendship.

Debating whether he should follow Fitz-Edward to France or wait his
return to Ireland, Delamere remained, torn with jealousy and distracted
by delay. He was convinced beyond a doubt, that Fitz-Edward had met
Emmeline in France by her own appointment. 'But let them not,' cried
he--'let them not hope to escape me! Let them not suppose I will
relinquish my purpose 'till I have punished their infamy or cease to
feel it!--Oh, Emmeline! Emmeline! is it for this I pursued--for this I
won thee!'

The violence of those emotions he felt after Lord Clancarryl's
departure, subsided only because he had no one to listen to, no one to
answer him. He determined, as Lord Clancarryl seemed so certain of his
brother's return in the course of six weeks, to wait in Ireland 'till
the end of that period, since there was but little probability of his
meeting him if he pursued him to France. He concluded that wherever
Emmeline was, Fitz-Edward might be found also; but the residence of
Emmeline he knew not, nor could he bear a moment to think that he might
see them together.

The violence of his resentment, far from declining, seemed to resist all
the checks it's gratification received, and to burn with accumulated
fury. His nights brought only tormenting dreams; his days only a
repetition of unavailing anguish.

He had several acquaintances among young men of fashion at Dublin. With
them he sometimes associated; and tried to forget his uneasiness in the
pleasures of the table; and sometimes he shunned them entirely, and shut
himself up to indulge his disquiet.

In the mean time, Lady Clancarryl was extremely mortified at the account
her husband gave her of Delamere's behaviour. She knew that her brother,
Lord Westhaven, would be highly gratified by any attention shewn to the
family of his wife; particularly to a brother to whom Lady Westhaven was
so much attached. She therefore entreated her Lord to overlook
Delamere's petulance, and renew the invitation he had given him to Lough
Carryl. But his Lordship, disgusted with the reception he had before met
with, laughed, and desired her to try whether _her_ civilities would be
more graciously accepted. Lady Clancarryl therefore took the trouble to
go herself to Dublin: where she so pressingly insisted on Delamere's
passing a fortnight with them, that he could not evade the invitation
without declaring his animosity against Fitz-Edward, and his resolution
to demand satisfaction--a declaration which could not fail of rendering
his purpose abortive. He returned, therefore, to Lough Carryl with her
Ladyship; meaning to stay only a few days, and feeling hurt at being
thus compelled to become the inmate of a family into which he might so
soon carry grief and resentment.

Godolphin, after his return to the Isle of Wight, abandoned himself more
than ever to the indulgence of his passion. He soothed yet encreased his
melancholy by poetry and music; and Lady Adelina for some time
contributed to nourish feelings too much in unison with her own. He now
no longer affected to conceal from her his attachment to her lovely
friend; but to her only it was known. Her voice, and exquisite taste, he
loved to employ in singing the verses he made; and he would sit hours by
her _piano forté_ to hear repeated one of the many sonnets he had
written on her who occupied all his thoughts.


                     SONNET

    When welcome slumber sets my spirit free
      Forth to fictitious happiness it flies,
    And where Elysian bowers of bliss arise
      I seem, my Emmeline--to meet with thee!

    Ah! Fancy then, dissolving human ties,
      Gives me the wishes of my soul to see;
    Tears of fond pity fill thy softened eyes;
      In heavenly harmony--our hearts agree.

    Alas! these joys are mine in dreams alone,
    When cruel Reason abdicates her throne!
      Her harsh return condemns me to complain
    Thro' life unpitied, unrelieved, unknown.
      And, as the dear delusions leave my brain,
      She bids the truth recur--with aggravated pain.


But Lady Adelina herself at length grew uneasy at beholding the progress
of this unhappy passion. His mind seemed to have lost all it's strength,
and to be incapable of making even an effort to shake off an affection
which his honour would not allow him to attempt rendering successful.
His spirits, affected by the listless solitude in which he lived, were
sunk into hopeless despondence; and his sister was every day more
alarmed, not only for his peace but for his life. She therefore tried
to make him determine to quit her, for a short abode in London; but to
do that he absolutely refused. Lord Clancarryl had long pressed him to
go to Ireland: he had not seen his eldest sister for some years; and
ardently wished to embrace her and her children. But Fitz-Edward was at
her house; and to meet Fitz-Edward was impossible. Lady Clancarryl,
deceived by a plausible story, which had been framed to account for Lady
Adelina's absence, was, as well as her Lord, entirely ignorant of the
share Fitz-Edward had in it: they believed it to have been occasioned
solely by her antipathy to Trelawny, and her fear lest her relations
should insist on her again residing with him; and it was necessary that
nothing should be said to undeceive them.

Godolphin had therefore been obliged to form several excuses to account
for his declining the pressing invitations he received; and he found
that his eldest sister was already much hurt by his apparent neglect. In
one of her last letters, she had mentioned that Fitz-Edward was gone to
France; and Lady Adelina pointed out to Godolphin several passages which
convinced him he had given pain by his long absence to his beloved
Camilla, and prevailed upon him to go to Ireland. He arrived therefore
at Lough Carryl two days after his sister had returned thither with Lord
Delamere.



CHAPTER XII


Mr. Godolphin was extremely surprised to find, in Ireland, Delamere, the
happy Delamere! who he supposed had long since been with Emmeline,
waiting the fortunate hour that was to unite them for ever. A very few
weeks now remained of the year which he had promised to remain
unmarried; yet instead of his being ready to attend his bride to
England, to claim in the face of the world his father's consent, he was
lingering in another country, where he appeared to have come only to
indulge dejection; for he frequently fled from society, and when he was
in it, forgot himself in gloomy reveries.

Nobody knew why he came to Ireland, unless to satisfy a curiosity of
which nothing appeared to remain; yet he still continued there; and as
Lord and Lady Clancarryl were now used to his singular humour, they
never enquired into it's cause; while he, flattered by the regard of two
persons so amiable and respectable, suffered not his enmity to
Fitz-Edward to interfere with the satisfaction he sometimes took in
their society; tho' he oftener past the day almost entirely alone.
Godolphin could not repress the anxious curiosity he felt, to know what,
at this period, could separate lovers whose union appeared so certain.
But this curiosity he had no means of satisfying. Lady Clancarryl had
heard nothing of his engagement, or any hint of his approaching
marriage; and tho' he was on all other topics, when he entered at all
into conversation, remarkably open and unguarded, he spoke not, in
company, of any thing that related to himself.

He seemed, however, to seek a closer intimacy with Godolphin, whose
excellent character he had often heard, and whose appearance and
conversation confirmed all that had been reported in his favour.
Godolphin neither courted him or evaded his advances; but could not help
looking with astonishment on a man, who on the point of being the
husband of the most lovely woman on earth, could saunter in a country
where he appeared to have neither attachments or satisfaction. Sometimes
he almost ventured to hope that their engagement was dissolved: but then
recollecting that Lady Adelina had assured him the promise of Emmeline
was still uncancelled, he checked so flattering an illusion, and
returned again to uncertainty and despondence.

On the third day after Godolphin's arrival, Delamere, who intended to go
back to Dublin the following morning save one, joined Lady Clancarryl
and her brother in the drawing-room immediately after dinner.

Godolphin, on account of the expected return of Fitz-Edward, had
determined to make only a short stay at Lough Carryl. He wished to carry
with him to his own house, portraits of his sister and her children; and
was expressing to her this wish--'I should like to have them,' said he,
'in a large miniature; the same size as one I have of Adelina.'

'Have you then a portrait of Adelina,' enquired Lady Clancarryl, 'and
have not yet shewn it me?'

'I have,' answered Godolphin; 'but my sister likes not that it should be
seen. It is very like her _now_, but has little resemblance to her
former pictures. This is painted by a young lady, her friend.' He then
took it out of his pocket, and gave it to Lady Clancarryl.

'And is Adelina so thin and pale,' asked her Ladyship, 'as she is here
represented?'

'More so,' answered Godolphin.

'She is then greatly changed.--Yet the eyes and features, and the whole
air of the countenance, I should immediately have acknowledged.'
Continuing to look pensively at the picture, she added, 'Tis charmingly
coloured; and might represent a very lovely and penitent Magdalen. The
black veil, and tearful eye, are beautifully touched. But why did you
indulge her in this melancholy taste?'

Godolphin, excessively hurt at this, speech, answered mournfully--'Poor
Adelina, you know, has had little reason to be gay.'

Delamere, who during this conversation seemed lost in his own
reflections, now suddenly advanced, and desired Lady Clancarryl would
favour him with a sight of the picture. He took it to a candle; and
looking steadily on it, was struck with the lightness of the drawing,
which extremely resembled the portraits Emmeline was accustomed to make;
tho' this was more highly finished than any he had yet seen of her's.

Without being able to account for his idea, since nothing was more
likely than that the drawing of two persons might resemble each other,
he looked at the back of the picture, which was of gold; and in the
centre a small oval crystal contained the words _Em. Mowbray_, in hair,
and under it the name of _Adelina Trelawny_. It was indeed a memorial of
Emmeline's affection to her friend; and the name was in her own hair;--a
circumstance that made it as dear to Godolphin as the likeness it bore
to his sister: and the whole was rendered in his eyes inestimable, by
it's being painted by herself. Delamere, astonished and pained he knew
not why, determined to hear from Godolphin himself the name of the
paintress: returning it to him, he said--'A lady, you say, Sir, drew it.
May I ask her name?'

Godolphin, now first aware of the indiscretion he had committed, and
flattering himself that the chrystal had not been inspected, answered
with an affectation of pleasantry--'Oh! I believe it is a secret between
my sister and her friend which I have no right to reveal; and to tell
you the truth I teized Adelina to give me the picture, and obtained it
only on condition of not shewing it.'

Delamere, who had so often sworn to forget her, still fancied he had a
right to be exclusively acquainted with all that related to Emmeline. He
felt himself piqued by this evasion, and answered somewhat quickly--'I
know the drawing, Sir; it is done by Miss Mowbray.'

Godolphin was then compelled to answer 'that it was.'

'I envy Miss Mowbray her charming talent,' cried Lady Clancarryl. 'Pray
who is Miss Mowbray?'

'A relation of Lord Delamere's,' answered Godolphin; 'and a most lovely
and amiable young woman.'

Delamere, whose varying countenance ill seconded his attempt to appear
indifferent on this subject, now grew pale, now red.

'Are you acquainted then with Miss Mowbray, Sir?' said he to Godolphin.

'I have seen her,' replied Godolphin, 'with my sister, Lady Adelina
Trelawny.'

He then hurried the discourse to some other topic; being unwilling to
answer any other questions that related either to his sister or her
friend.

But Delamere, whose wounds bled afresh at the name of Emmeline, and who
could not resist enquiring after her of a person who had so lately seen
her, took the earliest opportunity of seeking Godolphin to renew this
discourse.

They met therefore the following morning in the breakfast parlour; and
Delamere suddenly turning the conversation from the topics of the day,
said--'You are, I find, acquainted with Miss Mowbray. You may perhaps
know that she is not only a relation of mine, but that I _was_
particularly interested in whatever related to her.'

Godolphin, whose heart fluttered so as almost to deprive him of speech,
answered very gravely--'I have heard so from Mrs. Stafford.'

'Then you know, perhaps----But you are undoubtedly well acquainted with
Colonel Fitz-Edward?'

'Certainly,' replied Godolphin. 'He was one of my most intimate
friends.'

'Then, Sir,' cried Delamere, losing all temper, 'one of your most
intimate friends is a villain!'

Godolphin, shocked at an expression which gave him reason to apprehend
Lady Adelina's story was known, answered with great emotion--'You will
be so good, my Lord, as to explain that assertion; which, whatever may
be it's truth, is very extraordinary when made thus abruptly to me.'

'You are a man of honour, Mr. Godolphin, and I will not conceal from you
the cruel injuries I have sustained from Fitz-Edward, nor that I wait
here only to have an opportunity of telling him that I bear them not
tamely.' He then related, in terms equally warm and bitter, the supposed
alienation of Emmeline's affections by the artifices of Fitz-Edward,
enumerated all the imaginary proofs with which the invidious artifices
of the Crofts' had furnished him, and concluded by asserting, that he
had himself seen, in the arms of Emmeline, a living witness of her ruin,
and the perfidy of his faithless friend.

To this detail, including as it did the real history of his sister under
the false colours in which the Crofts' had drest it to mislead Delamere
and destroy Emmeline, Godolphin listened with sensations impossible to
be described. He could not hear without horror the character of Emmeline
thus cruelly blasted; yet her vindication he could not undertake without
revealing to a stranger the unhappy story of Lady Adelina, which he had
with infinite difficulty concealed even from his own family.

The fiery and impatient spirit of Delamere blazing forth in menace and
invective, gave Godolphin time to collect his thoughts; and he almost
immediately determined, whatever it cost him, to clear up the reputation
of Emmeline.

Tho' he saw, that to explain the whole affair must put the character of
his sister, which he had been so solicitous to preserve, into the power
of an inconsiderate young man, yet he thought he might trust to the
honour and humanity of Delamere to keep the secret; and however
mortifying such a measure appeared, his justice as well as his love
would not allow him to suffer the innocent Emmeline to remain under an
imputation which she had incurred only by her generous and disinterested
attentions to the weakness and misfortunes of another.

But resolutely as he bore the pain of these reflections, he shrunk from
others with which they were mingled: he foresaw, that as soon as the
jealousy of Delamere was by his information removed; his love, which
seemed to be as passionate as ever, would prompt him to seek a
reconciliation: his repentance would probably be followed by Emmeline's
forgiveness and their immediate union.

Farewel then for ever to all the hopes he had nourished since his
unexpected meeting with Delamere!--Farewel to every expectation of
happiness for ever!

But tho' in relinquishing these delightful visions he relinquished all
that gave a value to life, so truly did he love and revere her, that to
have the spotless purity of her name sullied even by a doubt seemed an
insupportable injustice to himself; and his affection was of a nature
too noble to owe it's success to a misrepresentation injurious to it's
object. That the compassion which had saved his sister, should be the
cause of her having suffered from the malicious malice of the Crofts'
and the rash jealousy of Delamere, redoubled all his concern; and he was
so much agitated and hurt, that without farther consideration he was on
the point of relating the truth instantly, had not the entry of Lord
Clancarryl for that time put an end to their discourse: from this
resolution, formed in the integrity of his upright heart, nothing could
long divert him; yet he reflected, as soon as he was alone, on the
violent and ungovernable passions which seemed to render Delamere,
unguided by reason and incapable of hearing it. He was apprehensive that
the discovery, if made to him at Lough Carryl, might influence him to
say or do something that might discover to Lady Clancarryl the unhappy
story of her sister; and he thought it better to delay the explanation
'till he could follow Delamere to Dublin, which he determined to do in a
few days after he left Lough Carryl.

This interval gave him time to feel all the pain of the sacrifice he was
about to make. Nor could all his strength of mind, and firmness of
honour, prevent his reluctance or cure his anguish.

He was about to restore to the arms of his rival, the only woman he had
ever really loved; and whom he adored with the most ardent passion, at
the very moment that his honour compelled him to remove the impediments
to her marriage with another.

Sometimes he thought that he might at least indulge himself in the
melancholy pleasure of relating to her in a letter, what he had done, as
soon as the explanation should be made: but even this gratification he
at length determined to refuse himself.

'If she loves Delamere,' said he, 'she will perhaps rejoice in the
effect and forget the cause. If she has, as I have sometimes dared to
hope, some friendship and esteem for the less fortunate Godolphin, why
should I wound a heart so full of sensibility by relating the conflicts
of my soul and the passion I have vainly indulged?'

A latent hope, however, almost unknown, at least unacknowledged,
lingered in his heart. It _was_ possible that Emmeline, resenting the
injurious suspicions and rash accusations of Delamere, might refuse to
fulfil her engagement. But whenever this feeble hope in spite of himself
arose, he remembered her soft and forgiving temper, her strict adherence
to her word on other occasions, and it faded in a conviction that she
would pardon her repentant lover when he threw himself on her mercy; and
not evade a promise so solemnly given, which he learned from Delamere
himself had never been cancelled.

Delamere now returned to Dublin; and in a few days Godolphin followed
him: but on enquiring at his lodgings, he heard that he was gone out of
town for some days with some of his friends on a party of pleasure.
Godolphin left a letter for him desiring to see him immediately on his
return; and then again resigned himself to the painful delight of
thinking of Emmeline, and to the conscious satisfaction of becoming the
vindicator and protector of her honour even unknown to herself.

Emmeline, in the mean time, unhappy in the unhappiness of those she
loved, and by no means flattered by the prospect of dependance thro'
life, of which Lord Montreville now made her see all the dreariness and
desolation, by the careless and irregular manner in which even her small
quarterly stipend was remitted to her, yet exerted all her fortitude to
support the spirits of Mrs. Stafford. Calm in the possession of
conscious innocence, and rich in native integrity and nobleness of
nature, she was, tho' far from happy herself, enabled to mitigate the
sorrows of others. Nor was her residence, (otherwise disagreeable and
forlorn enough,) entirely without it's advantages: it afforded her time
and opportunity to render herself perfectly mistress of the language of
the country; of which she had before only a slight knowledge. To the
study of languages, her mind so successfully applied itself, that she
very soon spoke and wrote French with the correctness not only of a
native, but of a native well educated.

While she thus suffered banishment in consequence of the successful
intrigues of the Crofts' family, they enjoyed all the advantages of
their prosperous duplicity; at least they enjoyed all the satisfaction
that arises from accumulating wealth and an ostentatious display of it.
Sir Richard, by the political knowledge his place afforded him, had been
enabled (by means of trusty agents) to carry on such successful traffic
in the stocks, that he now saw himself possessed of wealth greater than
his most sanguine hopes had ever presented to his imagination. But as
his fortune enlarged, his spirit seemed to contract in regard to every
thing that did not administer to his pride or his appetite. In the
luxuries of the table, his house, his gardens, he expended immense sums;
and the astonished world saw, with envy and indignation, wealth, which
seemed to be ill-gotten, as profusely squandered: but dead to every
generous and truly liberal sentiment, these expences were confined only
to himself; and in regard to others he still nourished the sordid
prejudices and narrow sentiments with which he set out in life--a needy
adventurer, trusting to cunning and industry for scanty and precarious
bread. Mr. Crofts, who had received twelve thousand pounds with his
wife, (whose clandestine marriage had prevented it's being secured in
settlement,) used it, as his father directed, in gaming in the stocks,
with equal avidity and equal success. Lady Frances, in having married
beneath herself, had yet relinquished none of the privileges of high
birth: she played deep, dressed in the extremity of expence, and was
celebrated for the whimsical splendor of her equipages and the
brilliancy of her assemblies. Her husband loved money almost as well as
the fame acquired by these fashionable displays of her Ladyship's taste;
but on the slightest hint of disapprobation, he was awed into silence by
her scornful indignation; and with asperity bade to observe, that tho'
the daughter of the Marquis of Montreville had so far forgotten her rank
as to marry the son of Crofts the attorney, she would allow nobody else
to forget that she was still the daughter of the Marquis of Montreville.

This right honourable eloquence subdued the plebeian spirit of Crofts;
while he was also compelled to submit patiently, lest Lord Montreville
should be offended and withhold the fortune he farther expected to
receive. Lady Frances therefore pursued the most extravagant career of
dissipation unchecked. She was young, handsome and vain; and saw every
day new occasion to lament having thrown herself away on Crofts: and as
she could not now release herself from him, she seemed determined to
render him at least a fashionable husband.

Mrs. James Crofts trod as nearly as she could in the footsteps of Lady
Frances; whose name she seemed to take exquisite pleasure in repeating,
tho' it's illustrious possessor scarce deigned to treat her with common
civility; and never on any account admitted her to any thing but her
most private parties, with a few dependants and persons who found the
way to her favour by adulation. Mrs. James Crofts however consoled
herself for the slights she received from Lady Frances, by parading in
all inferior companies with the names of her high and illustrious
relations: and she employed the same tradespeople; laid out with them as
much money; and paid them better than Lady Frances herself.--

Her chariot and job horses were discarded for a fashionable coach; her
house at Clapham, for an elegant town residence. She tried to hide the
approaches of age, by rouge; and dress and amusements effectually kept
off the approaches of thought; her husband, slowly yet certainly was
creeping up the hill of preferment; her daughters were certainly growing
more beautiful and accomplished than their mother; and Mrs. James Crofts
fancied she was happy.



CHAPTER XIII


It was now early in May; and in the blooming orchards and extensive
beech woods of Normandy, Emmeline found much to admire and something to
lament.

The Seine, winding thro' the vale and bringing numberless ships and
vessels to Rouen, surrounded by hills fringed with forests, the property
of the crown, and extending even to that of Arques, formed a rich and
entertaining scene. But however beautiful the outline, the landscape
still appeared ill finished: dark and ruinous hovels, inhabited by
peasants frequently suffering the extremes of poverty; half cultivated
fields, wanting the variegated enclosures that divide the lands in
England; and trees often reduced to bare poles to supply the inhabitants
with fewel, made her recollect with regret the more luxuriant and happy
features of her native country.

The earth, however, covered with grass and flowers, offered her minute
objects on which she delighted to dwell; but she dared not here wander
as in England far from home: the women of the villages, who in this
country are robust and masculine, often followed her with abuse for
being English; and yet oftener the villagers clattered after her in
their sabots, and addressed her by the name of _la belle Demoiselle
Anglaise_, with a rudeness and familiarity that at once alarmed and
disgusted her.

The long avenue of fir and beech which led to the _chateau_, and the
_parterre_, _potagerie_, and _verger_[2] behind it, were therefore the
scenes of her morning and evening walks. She felt a pensive pleasure in
retracing the lonely rambles she used to take at the same season at
Mowbray Castle; and memory bringing before her the events of the two
years and an half which had elapsed since she left it, offered nothing
that did not renew her regret at having bid it's solitary shades and
unfrequented rocks adieu!

The idea of Godolphin still obtruded itself continually on her mind: nor
could all her resolution prevent it's obtruding with pleasure, tho' she
perpetually condemned herself for allowing it to recur to her at all.
Lady Adelina, in her two or three last letters, had not mentioned him
farther than to say he was in Ireland; and Emmeline was ashamed of
suffering her thoughts to dwell on a man, whose preference of her seemed
uncertain and perhaps accidental, since he had neither absolutely
declared himself when present or sought to engage her favour when
absent; and tho' she was now fully persuaded that of Delamere she should
hear no more as a lover, yet while her promise remained in his hands
uncancelled, she fancied herself culpable in indulging a partiality for
another.

Nor could she reflect on the jealousy which had tortured Delamere, and
the pain he must have suffered in tearing her from his heart, without
mingling with her resentment some degree of pity and sorrow.

She was one afternoon sitting at an open window of the _chateau_,
revolving in her mind these reflections, when raising her eyes at a
sudden noise, she saw driving along the avenue that led to it, an
English post chaise and four, preceded by a _valet de chambre_, and
followed by two livery servants.

To those who are driven by misfortune to seek a melancholy asylum in a
foreign country, there is an inconceivable delight in beholding whatever
forcibly brings back to the memory, the comforts and conveniences of
their own: Emmeline, who had for many weeks seen only the boors or the
_curé_ of the village, gazed at English servants and English horses
with as much avidity as if she beheld such an equipage for the first
time.

Instantly however her wonder was converted into pleasure.--Lady
Westhaven was assisted out of the chaise by a gentleman, whose likeness
to Godolphin convinced the fluttering heart of Emmeline that it was her
Lord; and eagerly enquiring for Miss Mowbray, she was immediately in her
arms.

As soon as the joy (in which Mrs. Stafford partook,) of this unexpected
meeting had a little subsided, Lady Westhaven related, that hearing by a
letter they had received at Paris from Mr. Godolphin, that Emmeline was
with Mrs. Stafford in or near Rouen, she had entreated Lord Westhaven to
make a journey to see her.

'And I assure you Emmeline,' added she, 'I had no great difficulty to
persuade him. His own curiosity went as far as my inclination; for he
has long wished to see this dangerous Emmeline; who began by turning the
head of _my_ brother, and now I believe has turned the more sage one of
_his_--for Godolphin's letters have been filled only with your praises.'

Emmeline, who had changed colour at the beginning of this speech,
blushed more deeply at it's conclusion. Involuntary pleasure penetrated
her heart to hear that Godolphin had praised her. But it was immediately
checked. Lady Westhaven seemed to know nothing of Delamere's desertion;
of the history of Lady Adelina she was undoubtedly ignorant. How could
Emmeline account for one without revealing the other? This reflection
overwhelmed her with confusion, and she hardly heard the affectionate
expressions with which Lady Westhaven testified her satisfaction at
meeting her.

'I trust, my Lord,' said her Ladyship, 'that the partiality which I
foresee you will feel for my fair cousin for her own sake, will not be a
little encreased by our resemblance.--Tell me, do you think us so very
much alike?'

'I never,' answered he, 'saw a stronger family likeness between sisters.
Our lovely cousin has somewhat the advantage of you in height.'

'And in complexion, my Lord, notwithstanding the improvements I have
learned to make to mine in France.'

'_I_ should not,' answered his Lordship smiling, 'have ventured such a
remark. I was merely going to add that you have the same features as
Miss Mowbray, with darker hair and eyes; if however our charming
Emmeline had a form less attractive, I have heard enough of her to be
convinced that her understanding and her heart justify all that Lord
Delamere or Mr. Godolphin have said of her.'

Lady Westhaven then expressed her wonder that she had heard nothing of
Delamere for some months.--'And it is most astonishing to me,' said she
to Emmeline, 'that the month of March should elapse without _your_
hearing of him.'

The distress of Emmeline now redoubled; and became so evident, that Lady
Westhaven, convinced there was something relative to her brother of
which she was ignorant, desired her to go with her into another room.

Incapable of falsehood, and detesting concealment, yet equally unwilling
to ruin the reputation of the unhappy Adelina with her brother's wife,
and having no authority to divulge a secret entrusted to her by her
friend, Emmeline now felt the cruellest conflict. All she could
determine was, to tell Lady Westhaven in general terms that Lord
Delamere had undoubtedly altered his intentions with regard to her, and
that the affair was, she believed, entirely and for ever at an end.

However anxious her Ladyship was to know from what strange cause such a
change of sentiments proceeded, she found Emmeline so extremely hurt
that she forbore at present to press the explanation. Full of concern,
she was returning to the company, having desired Emmeline to remain and
compose herself; when, as she was leaving the room, she said--

'But I forgot, my dear Emmeline, to ask you where you first became
acquainted with Mr. Godolphin?'

Again deep blushes dyed the cheeks of the fair orphan; for this question
led directly to those circumstances she could not relate.

'I knew him,' answered she, faultering as she spoke, 'at Bath.'

'And _is_ he,' enquired Lady Westhaven, 'so _very_ charming as his
brother and his family represent him?'

'He is indeed very agreeable,' replied she--'very much so. Extremely
pleasant in his manner, and in his person very like Lord Westhaven.'

'He never told us how he first became acquainted with _you_; and to tell
you the truth Emmeline, if I had not thought, indeed known, that you
was engaged to Lord Delamere, I should have thought Godolphin your
lover.'

This speech did not serve to hasten the composure Emmeline was trying to
regain. She attempted to laugh it off; but succeeded so ill, that Lady
Westhaven rejoined her Lord and Mr. and Mrs. Stafford, full of uneasy
conjectures; and Emmeline, with a still more heavy heart, soon after
followed her.

The pressing and earnest invitation of Mrs. Stafford, induced her guests
to promise her their company for some days. But Lady Westhaven was so
astonished at her brother's desertion of Emmeline, and so desirous of
accounting for it without finding occasion to impute cruelty and caprice
to him, or imprudence and levity to Emmeline, that she took the earliest
opportunity of asking Mrs. Stafford, with whom she knew Miss Mowbray had
no secrets, to explain to her the cause of an event so contrary to her
expectations.

Mrs. Stafford had heard from Emmeline the embarrassment into which the
questions of Lady Westhaven had thrown her; and with great difficulty at
length persuaded her, that she owed it to her own character and her own
peace to suffer her Ladyship to be acquainted with the truth: that she
could run no risk in telling her what, for the sake of her Lord (whose
happiness might be disturbed, and whose life hazarded by it's knowledge)
she certainly would not reveal. Besides which motives to secresy, the
gentleness and humanity of Lady Westhaven would, Mrs. Stafford said, be
alone sufficient to secure Lady Adelina from any possible ill
consequences by her being made acquainted with the unhappy story.

These arguments wrung from Emmeline a reluctant acquiescence: and Mrs.
Stafford related to Lady Westhaven those events which had been followed
by Delamere's jealousy and their separation.

The love and regard, which on her first knowledge of Emmeline Lady
Westhaven had conceived for her, and which her admirable qualities had
ever since encreased, was now raised to enthusiasm. She knew not (for
Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline were themselves ignorant) of the artful
misrepresentations with which the Crofts' had poisoned the mind of her
brother; and was therefore astonished at his suspicions and grieved at
his rashness. She immediately proposed writing to him; but this design
both her friends besought her for the present to relinquish. Emmeline
assured her that she had so long considered the affair as totally at an
end, that she could not now regret it; or if she felt any regret, it was
merely in resigning the hope of being received into a family of which
Lady Westhaven was a part. Her Ladyship could not however believe that
Emmeline was really indifferent to her brother; and accounted for her
present coldness by supposing her piqued and offended at his behaviour,
for which she had so much reason.

Anxious therefore to reconcile them, she still continued desirous of
writing to Delamere. And so much did her affectionate heart dwell on the
happiness she should have in re-uniting her brother and her friend, that
only the difficulty which there seemed to be in vindicating Emmeline
without injuring Lady Adelina, withheld her; and she promised to delay
writing 'till means could be found to clear up the reputation of the one
without ruining that of the other.

Lord Westhaven had, during his stay, learnt from Mrs. Stafford the
circumstances that had driven her and her family abroad; and had heard
them with a sincere wish to alleviate the inconveniences that oppressed
a woman whose manners and conduct convinced him she deserved a better
fate. Unwilling however to hold out to her hopes that he was not sure he
should be able to fulfil, he contented himself with procuring from
Emmeline general information of the state of their affairs, and silently
meditated the noble project of doing good, as soon as it should be in
his power.

Her children, for whose sake only she seemed to be willing to support
with patience her unfortunate lot, were objects particularly interesting
to Lord Westhaven; and for the boys he thought he might, on his return
to England, assist in providing. To their father, consoling himself in
trifling follies and dirty intrigues for his misfortunes, it seemed more
difficult to be serviceable.

While these benevolent purposes engaged his attention, Lady Westhaven
reflected with regret on her approaching departure, which must divide
her from Emmeline, whom she seemed now to love with redoubled affection.
His Lordship, ever solicitous to gratify her, proposed that Emmeline
should go with them into Switzerland with the Baron de St. Alpin, his
Lordship's uncle; who, after a life passed in the service of France, now
prepared to retire to his native country.

The Baron had seen his nephew at Paris. He had embraced with transport
the son of a beloved sister, and insisted on his and Lady Westhaven's
going back with him to his estate in the Païs de Vaud, as soon as he
should have the happiness of being rejoined by his only son, the
Chevalier de Bellozane, who was expected with his regiment from
Martinique. Lord Westhaven, on his first visit to the paternal house of
his mother, had found there only one of her sisters, who, with the
Baron, were the last survivors of a numerous family. He could not
therefore resist his uncle's earnest entreaties to accompany him back;
and Lady Westhaven, who was charmed with the manners of the respectable
veteran and interested by his affection for her Lord, readily consented
to delay her return to England for three months and to cross France once
more to attend him.

To have Emmeline her companion in such a journey seemed to offer all
that could render it charming. But how could she ask her to quit Mrs.
Stafford, to whom she had been so much obliged; and who, in her present
melancholy solitude, seemed more than ever to need her consolatory
friendship.

Her Ladyship however ventured to mention it to Emmeline; who answered,
that tho' nothing in the world would give her more pleasure than being
with such friends, she could not, without a breach of duty which it was
impossible to think of, quit Mrs. Stafford, to whom she was bound by
gratitude as well as by affection.

Lord Westhaven acquiesced in the justice of this objection, but
undertook to remove it by rendering the situation of her friend such as
would make a short absence on both sides more supportable.

He therefore in his next conversation with Stafford represented the
inconvenience of a house so far from a town, and how much better his
family would be situated nearer the metropolis. He concluded by offering
him a house he had himself hired at St. Germains; which he said he
should be obliged to Mrs. Stafford and her family if they would occupy
'till his return from Switzerland. And that no objection might arise as
to expence, he added, that considering himself as Miss Mowbray's banker,
he had furnished her with five hundred pounds, with which she was
desirous of repaying some part of the many obligations she owed Mr. and
Mrs. Stafford.

Mrs. Stafford, who saw immediately all the advantages that might arise
to Emmeline from her residence with Lady Westhaven, had on the slightest
hint been warmly an advocate for her going. However reluctant to part
with her, she suffered not her own gratifications to impede the interest
of her fair charge. But she could not prevail on Emmeline to yield to
her entreaties, 'till Lord Westhaven having settled every thing for the
removal of the family to St. Germains, she was convinced that Mrs.
Stafford would be in a pleasant and advantageous situation; and that she
ought, even for the sake of her and her children, whom Lord Westhaven
had so much the power of serving, to yield to an arrangement which would
so much oblige him.

The _chateau_ they inhabited was ready furnished; their cloaths were
easily removed; and the Staffords and their children set out at the same
time with Lord Westhaven, his wife, and Emmeline; who having seen them
settled at St. Germains greatly to the satisfaction of Mrs. Stafford,
went on to Paris; where, in about a week, they were joined by the Baron
de St. Alpin, and the Chevalier de Bellozane.

[Footnote 2: Flower garden, kitchen garden, and orchard.]



CHAPTER XIV


The Baron de St. Alpin was a venerable soldier, near sixty, in whom the
natural roughness of his country was polished by a long residence among
the French. He was extremely good humoured and chearful, and
passionately fond of the Chevalier de Bellozane, who was the youngest of
three sons, the two elder of whom had fallen in the field. The military
ardour however of the Baron had not been buried with them; and he still
entrusted the sole survivor of his house, and the last support of his
hopes, in the same service.

With infinite satisfaction he embraced this beloved son on his return
from Martinique, and with exultation presented him to his nephew, to
Lady Westhaven, and Miss Mowbray. The Baron was indeed persuaded that he
was the most accomplished young man in France, and had no notion that
every body did not behold him with the same eyes.

Bellozane was tall, well made, and handsome; his face, and yet more, his
figure, bore some resemblance to the Godolphin family; his manners were
elegant, his air military, his vivacity excessive, and he was something
of a coxcomb, but not more than is thought becoming to men of his
profession in France at two and twenty.

Having lived always in the army or in fashionable circles at Paris, he
had conceived no advantageous ideas of his own country, where he had not
been since his childhood. His father now retiring thither himself, had
obtained a long leave of absence for him that he might go also; but
Bellozane would willingly have dispensed with the journey, which the
Baron pressed with so much vehemence, that he had hardly time to
modernize his appearance after his American campaigns; a point which was
to him of serious importance.

He had therefore with reluctance looked forward to their journey over
the Alps. But as soon as his father (who had met him at Port L'Orient on
his landing) introduced him at Paris to his English relations and to
Emmeline, the journey seemed not only to have lost it's horrors, but to
become a delightful party of pleasure, and he was happy to make the
fourth in the post-coach in which Lady Westhaven, Emmeline, and her
Ladyship's woman, travelled; Lord Westhaven and the Baron following in a
post-chaise.

Nothing could exceed the happiness of the Baron, nor the gaiety of his
son. Lord Westhaven and his wife, tho' they talked about it less, were
not less pleased with their friends and their expedition; while Emmeline
appeared restored to her former chearfulness, because she saw that they
wished to see her chearful: but whenever she was a moment alone,
involuntary sighs fled towards England; and when she remembered how far
she must be from Lady Adelina, from little William, in short, from
Godolphin, how could she help thinking of them with concern.

During the day, however, the Chevalier gave her no time for reflection.
He waited on her with the most assiduous attention, watched her looks to
prevent her slightest wishes, talked to her incessantly, besought her to
teach him English, and told her all he had seen in his travels, and much
that he had done. A Frenchman talks without hesitation of himself, and
the Chevalier was quite a Frenchman.

Too polite however for exclusive adulation, Lady Westhaven shared all
his flattery; and her real character being now unrepressed by the
severity of her mother, she, all gaiety and good humour, was extremely
amused with the extravagant gallantry of the Chevalier and at
Emmeline's amazement, who having been little used to the manners of the
French, was sometimes alarmed and sometimes vexed at the warmth of his
address and the admiration which he professed towards them both.

Lady Westhaven assured her that such conversation was so usual that
nobody ever thought of being offended at it; and that Bellozane was
probably so much used to apply the figures of speech, which she thought
so extraordinary, to every woman he saw, that he perhaps knew not
himself, and certainly never thought of, what he was saying.

Emmeline therefore heard from him repeatedly what would from an
Englishman have been considered as an absolute declaration of love,
without any other answer than seeming inattention, and flying as soon as
possible to some other topic.

In the progress of their journey these common place speeches and this
desultory gallantry was gradually exchanged for a deportment more
respectful. He besought Emmeline very seriously to give him an
opportunity of speaking to her apart; which she with the utmost
difficulty evaded. His extreme gaiety forsook him--the poor Chevalier
was in love.

It was in vain he communicated his malady to _la belle cousine_, (as he
usually called Lady Westhaven); _la belle cousine_ only laughed at him,
and told him he had according to his own account been so often in love,
that this additional _penchant_ could not possibly hurt him, and would
merely serve to prevent what he owned he had so much dreaded, being
'_ennuyé a la mort_' at St. Alpin.

When he found the inexorable Lady Westhaven refused seriously to attend
to him, he applied with new ardour to Emmeline herself; to whom his
importunity began to be distressing, as she foresaw in his addresses
only a repetition of the persecution she had suffered from the fiery and
impetuous Delamere. Still, however, she was often obliged to hear him.
She could hear him only with coldness; which he was far from taking as
discouragement. As she did not love to think _herself engaged_, she
could not use that plea, or even name an engagement which she believed
might now never be claimed by _him_ to whom it was given. All therefore
she could say was, that she had no thoughts of marrying. An answer,
which however frequently repeated, Bellozane determined to think
favourable; and Emmeline knew not how to treat with peremptory rudeness
the cousin of Lord Westhaven and of Captain Godolphin.

But whatever diminution of her ease and tranquillity she might suffer or
apprehend from the growing attachment of this young man, the journey was
attended with so many pleasant circumstances, that all parties were
desirous that it might be lengthened.

The extreme eagerness with which the Baron de St. Alpin had wished to
revisit his estate, gave way to the pleasures he found in travelling in
such society; and as Lady Westhaven had never been farther South than
Lyons, and Emmeline had never seen the Southern Provinces at all, it was
determined on their arrival at that city to proceed to the shore of the
Mediterranean before they went into Switzerland.

It was the finest season of the year and the loveliest weather
imaginable. The party consulted therefore only pleasure on their way.
Sometimes they went no more than a single stage in a day, and employed
the rest in viewing any place in it's neighbourhood worth their
curiosity. They often left their carriages to walk, to saunter, to dine
on the grass on provisions they had brought with them; and whenever a
beautiful view or uncommon scene presented themselves, they stopped to
admire them; and Bellozane drew sketches, which were put into Emmeline's
_port feuille_.

As they were travelling between Marseilles and Toulon they entered a
road bounded on each side by mountainous rocks, which sometimes
receding, left between them small but richly cultivated vallies; and in
other parts so nearly met each other, as to leave little more room than
sufficed for the carriage to pass; while the turnings of the road were
so angular and abrupt, that it seemed every moment to be carrying them
into the bosom of the rock. Thro' this defile, as it was quite shady,
they agreed to walk.

In some places huge masses impended over them, of varied form and
colour, without any vegetation but scattered mosses; in others, aromatic
plants and low shrubs; the lavender, the thyme, the rosemary, the
mountain sage, fringed the steep craggs, while a neighbouring aclivity
was shaded with the taller growth of holly, phillyrea, and ever-green
oak; and the next covered with the glowing purple of the Mediterranean
heath. The summits of almost all, crowned with groves of fir, larch, and
pine.

Emmeline in silent admiration beheld this beautiful and singular scene;
and with the pleasure it gave her, a soft and melancholy sensation was
mingled. She wanted to be alone in this delightful place, or with some
one who could share, who could understand the satisfaction she felt.
She knew nobody but Godolphin who had taste and enthusiasm enough to
enjoy it.

Insensibly she left Lady Westhaven and the Chevalier behind her; and
passing his Lordship and the Baron, who were deeply engaged in a
discourse about the military operations of the past war, she walked on
with some quickness. Intent on the romantic wildness of the cliffs with
which she was surrounded, and her mind associating with these objects
the idea of him on whom it now perpetually dwelt, she had brought
Godolphin before her, and was imagining what he would have said had he
been with her; with what warmth he would enjoy, with what taste and
spirit point out, the beauty of scenes so enchanting!

She had now left her companions at some distance; yet as she heard their
voices swell in the breeze along the defile, she felt no apprehension.
In the narrowest part of it, where she saw only steep craggs and the
sky, which their bending tops hardly admitted, she was stopped by a
transparent stream, which bursting suddenly with some violence out of
the rock, is received into a small reservoir of stone and then carried
away in stone channels to a village at some distance.

While Emmeline stood contemplating this beautiful spring, she beheld, in
an excavation in the rock close to it, two persons sitting on a bench,
which had been rudely cut for the passenger to rest. One of them
appeared to be a man about fifty; he wore a short, light coloured coat,
a waistcoat that had once been of embroidered velvet; from his head,
which was covered first with a red thrum night-cap, and then with a
small hat, bound with tarnished lace, depended an immense _queüe_; his
face, tho' thin and of a mahogena darkness, seemed to express
penetration and good humour; and Emmeline, who had at first been a
little startled, was no longer under alarm; when he, on perceiving her
near the entrance of the cavern, flew nimbly out of it, bowed to the
ground, and pulling off most politely his thrum night-cap,
enquired--'_Si Mademoiselle voudrez bien se reposer?_'[3]

Emmeline thanked him, and advanced towards the bench; from which a girl
about seventeen, very brown but very pretty, had on her approach arisen,
and put up into a kind of wallet the remains of the provisions they had
been eating, which were only fruit and black bread. As soon as the old
Frenchman perceived that Emmeline intended to sit down, he sprung
before her, brushed down the seat with his cap, and then making several
profound bows, assured '_Mademoiselle qu'elle pourroit s'asseoir sans
incommodité_.'[4]

The young woman, dressed like the _paisannes_ of the country, was
modestly retiring; but Emmeline desired her to remain; and entering into
conversation with her, found she was the daughter of the assiduous old
Frenchman, and that he was going with her to Toulon in hopes of
procuring her a service.

The Baron and Lord Westhaven now approached, and laughingly reproached
Emmeline for having deserted them. She told them she was enchanted with
the seat she had found, and should wait there for the Chevalier and Lady
Westhaven.

'I am only grieved,' said she, 'that I have disturbed from their humble
supper these good people.'

The two gentlemen then spoke to the old Frenchman; whose countenance had
something of keen intelligence and humble civility which prejudiced both
in his favour.

'_Je vois bien_,' said he, addressing himself to Lord Westhaven,--'_je
vois bien que j'ai l'honneur de parler a un Milor Anglais_.'[5]

'_Eh! comment?_' answered his Lordship--'_comment? tu connois donc bien
les Anglais?_'[6]

'_Oh oui!--j'ai passé a leur service une partie de ma jeunesse.--Ils
sont les meilleur maitres_--'[7]

'_Parle tu Anglais, mon ami?_'[8]

'Yes Milor, I speak little English. _Mais_,' continued he, relapsing
into the volubility of his own language--'_Mais il y'a à peu pres dix
neuf ans, depuis que mon maitre--mon pauvre maitre mouroit dans mes
bras; helas!--s'i avoit vecu--car il etoit tout jeun--j'aurois passé ma
vie entiere avec lui--j'aurois retournez avec lui en Angleterre--Ah
c'est un païs charmant que cette Angleterre._'[9]

'You have been there then?'

He answered that he had been three times; and should have been happy had
it pleased heaven to have ended his days there.

'The praise you bestow on our country, my friend,' said Lord Westhaven,
'is worth at least this piece _de six francs_, and the beauty _de cette
jolie enfant_,[10] added he, turning towards the little _paisanne_, 'is
interesting enough to induce me to enquire whether such a gift may not
serve to purchase _quelques petites amplettes a la ville_.'[11] He
presented the young woman with another crown.

The old Frenchman seemed ready to thank his Lordship with his tears.

Without solicitation or ceremony, seeing that the gentlemen were
disposed to listen to him, he began to relate his 'short and simple'
story.

Lady Westhaven and the Chevalier now arrived: but she sat down by
Emmeline, and desired the old man to continue whatever he was saying.

'He has been praising our country,' said Lord Westhaven, 'and in return
I am willing to hear the history of himself, which he seems very
desirous of relating.'

'I was in the army,' said he, 'as we all are; till being taken with a
pleurisy at Calais, and rendered long incapable of duty, I got my
discharge, and hired myself as a travelling valet to a _Milor Anglais_.
With him (he was the best master in the world) I lived six years. I went
with him to England when he came to his estate, and five years
afterwards came back with him to France. He met with a misfortune in
losing _une dame tres amiable_, and never was quite well afterwards. To
drive away trouble, _pour se dissiper_, he went among a set of his own
countrymen, and I believe _le chagrin_, and living too freely, gave him
a terrible fever. _Une fievre ardente lui saisit a Milan, ses compagnons
apparemment n'aimoit gueres les malades_;[12] for nobody came near him
except a young surgeon who arrived there by accident, and hearing that
an Englishman of fashion lay ill, charitably visited him. But it was too
late: he had already been eleven days under the hands of an Italian
physician, and when the English gentleman saw him he said he had only a
few hours to live.

'He sat by him, however. But my poor master was senseless; 'till about
an hour before he died he recovered his recollection.

'He ordered me to bring him two little boxes, which he always carried
with him, and charged me to go to England with his body, and deliver
those boxes to a person he named. He bade me give one of his watches,
which was a very rich one, to his brother, and told _me_ to keep the
other in memory of my master.

'Then he spoke to the stranger--"Sir," said he, "since you have the
humanity to interest yourself for a person unknown to you, have the
goodness to see that my servant is suffered to execute what I have
directed, and put your seal on my effects. The money I have about me, my
cloaths, and my common watch, I have given him. He knows what farther I
would have done; I told him on the second day of my illness.
Baptist--you remember----"

'He tried to say something more; but in a few moments he died in my
arms.

'With the assistance of the young English surgeon, I arranged every
thing as my master directed. I went with his corps to England, and
received a large present from his brother, whom, however, I did not see,
because he was not in London. Then I returned to France.'

'Since you loved England so much,' enquired the Baron, '_puisque vous
aimiez tant cet païs pourquoi ne pas y' rester?_'[13]

'_Ah, Monsieur! j'etois riche; et je brulez de partager mes richesse
avec une jolie fille dont j'etois eperdument amoureux._'[14]

'_Eh bien?_'

'I married her, Monsieur; and for above two years we were the happiest
people on earth. But we were very thoughtless. _Je ne scais comment cela
se faisoit, mes espece Anglais, qui je croyais inepuisable se
dissiperent peu a peu, et enfin il falloit songer a quelque provision
pour ma femme et mes deux petites filles._'[15]

'I returned therefore into the Limosin, of which province I was a
native; but some of my family were dead, and the rest had neither power
or inclination to assist their poor relations. The seigneur of the
village had bought a post at Paris, and was about to quit his chateau.
He heard I was honest; and therefore, tho' he had very little to lose,
he put me into it. I worked in the garden, and raised enough, with the
little wages we had, to keep us. My wife learned to work, and my two
little girls were healthy and happy.

'_Oui Messieurs, nous etions pauvre a la verité! mais nous etions tres
contents!_[16] 'till about eight months ago; and then an epidemical
distemper broke out in the village, and carried off my wife and my
eldest daughter.

'_Oh, Therese! et toi ma petite Suzette, je te pleurs; encore amerement
je te pleurs._'[17]

The poor Frenchman turned away and wept bitterly.

'_Je scais bien_,' continued he--'_je scais bien qu'il faut s'accoutumer
a les souffrances!_[18] We might still have lived on, Madelon and me, at
our ruinous chateau; but the possessor of it dying, his son sent us
notice that he should pull it down (indeed it must soon have fallen) and
ordered us to quit it.

'_Ainsi me voila, Messieurs, a cinquante ans, sans pain. Mais pour cela
je ne m'embarrasse pas; si je pourrois bien placer ma pauvre Madelon
tout ira bien!_'[19]

There was in this relation a touching simplicity which drew tears from
Lady Westhaven and Emmeline. The whole party became interested for the
father and the daughter, who had wept silently while he was relating
their story.

'Can nothing be done for these poor creatures?' said Lady Westhaven.

'Certainly we will assist them,' answered her Lord.--'But let us enquire
how we can best do it. _Tu t'appelles?_'[20] continued he, speaking to
the Frenchman.

'_Baptiste La Fere--mais mon nomme de guerre, et de condition fut
toujours Le Limosin._'[21]

'_Dites moi donc_,[22] Monsieur Le Limosin,' said his Lordship, 'what
hopes have you of placing your daughter at Toulon?'

'Alas! Milor, but little. I know nobody there but an old relation of my
poor wife's, who is _Touriere_ at a convent; and if I cannot get a
service for Madelon, I must give the good abbess a little money to take
her till I can do something better for her.'

'And where do you expect to get money?'

'_Tenez, mon Seigneur_,' answered he, pulling a watch out of his pocket,
'_ayez la bonté d'examiner cet montre_.[23] It is an English watch. Gold;
and in a gold case. I have been offered a great deal of money for it;
but in all my poverty, in all my distresses, I have contrived to keep it
because it was the last gift of my dear master. But now, my poor Madelon
must be thought of, and if it must be so, I will sell it and pay for her
staying in the convent.'

'You shall not do that, my friend,' replied Lord Westhaven, still
holding the watch in his hand.

It had a cypher, H. C. M. and a crest engraved on it.

'H. C. M,' said his Lordship, 'and the Mowbray crest! Pray what was your
master's name?'

'_Milor Moubray_,' answered Le Limosin.

'_Comment? Milor Mowbray?_'

'_Oui Milor--regardez s'il vous plait. Voila son chiffre, Henri-Charles
Moubray--et voila le cimier du famille._'[24]

Emmeline, who no longer doubted but this was her father's servant, was
so much affected, that Lady Westhaven, apprehending she would faint,
called for assistance; and the Chevalier, who during this conversation
had attended only to her, snatched up the beechen cup out of which Le
Limosin and Madelon had been drinking, and which still stood on the
ground, and flying with it to the spring, brought it instantly back
filled with water; while Lady Westhaven bathed her temples and held to
her her salts. She soon recovered; and then speaking in a faint voice to
his Lordship, said--'My Lord, this is the servant in whose arms my poor
father expired. Do allow me to intercede with your Lordship for him and
for his daughter; but let him not know, to-night at least, who I am. I
cannot again bear a circumstantial detail about my father.'

Lord Westhaven now led Le Limosin out of the cave; told him he had
determined, as he had known his master's family, to take him into his
own service, and that Lady Westhaven would provide for his daughter. At
this intelligence the poor fellow grew almost frantic. He would have
thrown himself at the feet of his benefactor had he not been prevented;
then flew back to fetch his Madelon, that she might join in prayers and
benedictions; and hardly could Lord Westhaven persuade him to be
tranquil enough to understand the orders he gave him, which were, to
hire some kind of conveyance at the next village to carry his daughter
to Toulon; where he gave him a direction to find his English benefactor
the next day.

It was now late; and the party hastened to leave this romantic spot,
which had been marked by so singular a meeting. On their arrival at
Toulon, they equipped, and sent away before them to St. Alpin, Le
Limosin and Madelon, the latter of whom Lady Westhaven took entirely to
wait on Emmeline.

The soft heart and tender spirits of Emmeline had not yet recovered the
detail she had heard of her father's death. A pensive melancholy hung
over her; which the Chevalier, nothing doubting his own perfections,
hoped was owing to a growing affection for himself. But it had several
sources of which he had no suspicion; and it made the remaining three
weeks of their tour appear tedious to Emmeline; who languished to be at
St. Alpin, where she hoped to find letters from Mrs. Stafford and from
Lady Adelina. She thought it an age since she had heard from the latter;
and secretly but anxiously indulged an hope of meeting a large pacquet,
which might contain some intelligence of Godolphin.

[Footnote 3: If the young lady would please to sit down.]

[Footnote 4: That she might sit down without inconvenience.]

[Footnote 5: I perceive I have the honour to speak to an English
nobleman.]

[Footnote 6: How? are you then well acquainted with the English?]

[Footnote 7: I passed part of my youth in their service.----They are
the best masters in the world.]

[Footnote 8: Do you speak English, my friend?]

[Footnote 9: It is almost nineteen years, since my master--my poor
master, died in my arms; had he lived, for he was quite a young man, I
should have passed my life with him--I should have returned with him to
England--Ah! that England is a charming country!]

[Footnote 10: Of this pretty maid.]

[Footnote 11: Some little necessaries, bargains, at the neighbouring
town.]

[Footnote 12: A burning fever seized him at Milan; his companions seemed
to have but little affection for the sick.]

[Footnote 13: Why not stay there?]

[Footnote 14: Ah, Sir! I was rich, and I longed eagerly to share my
riches with a pretty young woman with whom I was distractedly in love.]

[Footnote 15: I know not how it happened, my English money, which I
thought inexhaustible, diminished by little and little; and at length it
was necessary to think what I was to do for my wife and my two little
girls.]

[Footnote 16: Yes, gentlemen, we were indeed poor; but we were very, very
happy!]

[Footnote 17: Oh! Theresa!--and you, my poor Suzette, I lament
ye!--bitterly I still deplore your loss!]

[Footnote 18: I know well--I know, that we must learn to suffer!]

[Footnote 19: So here I am, gentlemen, at fifty years old, without bread
to eat. But it is not that which troubles me--If I could get a
comfortable place for my poor Madelon, all would be well!]

[Footnote 20: Your name?]

[Footnote 21: Baptiste La Fere. But the name under which I served as a
soldier and as a servant is Le Limosin.]

[Footnote 22: Tell me then.]

[Footnote 23: See, my Lord; have the goodness to look at this watch.]

[Footnote 24: Yes, my Lord; be so good as to observe. There is his
cypher, H. C. M. and there the family crest.]


    END OF THE THIRD VOLUME



VOLUME IV



CHAPTER I


The Chateau de St. Alpin was a gloomy and antique building, but in
habitable repair. The only constant resident in it for some years had
been the Demoiselle de St. Alpin, now about five and forty; whose whole
attention had been given to keeping it in order, and collecting, in the
garden, variety of plants, in which she took singular pleasure. Detached
from the world, and with no other relations than her brother and her
nephews, whom she was seldom likely to see, she found in this innocent
and amusing pursuit a resource against the tedium of life. Her manners,
tho' simple, were mild and engaging; and her heart perfectly good and
benevolent. With her, therefore, Emmeline was extremely pleased; and the
country in which her residence was situated, was so beautiful, that
accustomed to form her ideas of magnificent scenery from the first
impressions that her mind had received in Wales, Emmeline acknowledged
that her eye was here perfectly satisfied.

With her heart it was far otherwise. On her arrival at St. Alpin, she
found letters from Lady Adelina enclosed in others from Mrs. Stafford.
Lady Adelina gave such an account of her own health as convinced
Emmeline it was not improved since she left England. Of Mr. Godolphin
she only said, that he was returned from Ireland, but had staid with her
only a few hours, and was then obliged to go on business to London,
where his continuance was uncertain.

Mrs. Stafford gave of herself and her family a more pleasing account.
She said she had hopes that the readjustment of Mr. Stafford's affairs
would soon allow of their return to England; and as it might possibly
happen on very short notice, and before Emmeline could rejoin them, she
had sent, by a family who were travelling to Geneva, and who readily
undertook the care of it, a large box which contained some of her
cloaths and the caskets which belonged to her, which had been long left
at Mrs. Ashwood's after Emmeline's precipitate departure from her house
with Delamere, and which, on Mrs. Ashwood's marriage and removal, she
had sent with a cold note (addressed to Miss Mowbray) to the person who
negociated Mr. Stafford's business in London.

Their lengthened journey had so much broken in on the time allotted to
their tour, that Lord and Lady Westhaven purposed staying only a month
at St. Alpin. The Baron, who had equal pride and pleasure in the company
of his nephew, endeavoured by every means in his power to make that time
pass agreeably; and felt great satisfaction in shewing to the few
neighbours who were within fifteen miles of his _chateau_, that he had,
in an English nobleman of such rank and merit, so near a relation.

He had observed very early the growing passion of his son for Miss
Mowbray. He was assured that she returned it; for he never supposed it
possible that any woman could behold the Chevalier with indifference.

He had heard from Lord Westhaven that Emmeline was the daughter of a man
of fashion, but was by the circumstances of her birth excluded from any
share of his fortune, and entirely dependant on the favour of the
Marquis of Montreville. The old Baron, charmed himself with her person
and her manners, rather approved than opposed the wishes of his son; and
however convenient it might have been to have seen him married to a
woman of fortune, he was disposed to rejoice at his inclining to marry
at all; and convinced that with Emmeline he must be happy, thought he
might dispense with being rich. The Chevalier, confident of success, and
believing that Emmeline had meant by her timid refusals only
encouragement, grew so extremely importunate, that she was sometimes on
the point of declaring to him her real situation.

But from this she was deterred by the apprehension that he would apply
to Lord Delamere for the relinquishment of her promise; and should he
obtain it, consider himself as having a claim to the hand his Lordship
resigned.

This was an hope, which whatever his vanity might have suggested, she
never meant to give him; yet she had the mortification to find that all
her rejections, however repeated, were considered by the Chevalier as
words of course. It was in vain she assured him that besides her
disinclination to change her situation by marriage at all, she had other
forcible objections; that she should never think of passing her life
out of England; that not only their country, but their manners, their
ideas on a thousand subjects, so materially differed, as to make every
other reason of her refusal unnecessary.

When she seriously urged thus much, he usually answered that he would
then reside in England; that he would accommodate his manner of living
to her pleasure; and that as to the ideas which had displeased her, he
would never again offend her with their repetition.

Emmeline had indeed been extremely hurt and disgusted at that levity of
principle on the most serious subjects which the Chevalier avowed
without reserve, and for which he appeared to value himself. Tho'
brought up a Calvinist, he had as he owned always conformed to the mode
of worship and ceremonies of the Catholics while he was among them; and
usually added, that had he served amid the Turks or the Jews, he should
have done the same, as a matter of great indifference.

The Baron, whose life had been more active than contemplative, was
unaccustomed to consider these matters deeply. And as every thing
Bellozane advanced had with him great authority, he was struck with his
lively arguments; and whatever might be their solidity, could not help
admiring the wit of the Chevalier, whom he sometimes encouraged to
dispute with Lord Westhaven. The religion of Lord Westhaven was as
steady and unaffected as his morals were excellent; and he entered
willingly into these dialogues with Bellozane, in hopes of convincing
him that infidelity was by no means necessary to the character of a
soldier; and that _he_ was unlikely to serve well the country to which
he belonged, or for which he fought, who began by insulting his God.

He found however that the young man had imbibed these lessons so early,
and fancied them so much the marks of a superior and penetrating mind,
that he could make no impression by rational argument. Bellozane usually
answered by a sprightly quotation from some French author, and his
Lordship soon declined the conversation, believing that if sickness and
sorrow did not supercede so slow a cure, time at least would convince
him of his folly.

But such was the effect of this sort of discourse on Emmeline, that had
Bellozane been in other respects unexceptionable, and had her heart been
free from any other impression, she would never have listened to him as
a lover.

From his own account of himself in other respects, Emmeline had gathered
enough to believe that he was profligate and immoral. But as she could
not appear to detect these errors without allowing him to suppose her
interested in his forsaking them, she generally heard him in silence;
and only when pressed to name her objections stated his loose opinions
as one in her mind very material.

To this he again repeated, that his opinions he would correct; his
residence should be settled by herself.--'Had she any objection to his
person?' enquired he, as he proudly surveyed it in the long old
fashioned glass which ornamented the _sal a manger_.[25]

Emmeline, blushing from the conscious recollection of the resemblance it
bore in height and air to that of Godolphin, answered faulteringly--'That
to his person there could be no objection.'

'To his fortune?'

'It was undoubtedly more than situated as she was she could expect.'

'To his family?'

'It was a family whose alliance must confer honour.'

'What then?' vehemently continued the Chevalier--'what then, charming
Emmeline, occasions this long reserve, this barbarous coldness? Since
you can form no decided objection; since you have undoubtedly allowed me
to hope; why do you thus cruelly prolong my sufferings? Surely you do
not, you cannot mean finally to refuse and desert me, after having
permitted me so long to speak to you of my passion?'

'It is with some justice,' gravely and coldly answered Emmeline--'I own
it is with some justice that you impute to me the appearance of
coquetry; because I have listened with too much patience, (tho'
certainly never with approbation,) to your discourse on this subject.
But be assured that whatever I have said, tho' perhaps with insufficient
firmness, I now repeat, in the hope that you will understand it as my
unalterable resolution--The honour you are so obliging as to offer me, I
_never_ can accept; and I beg you will forbear to urge me farther on a
subject to which I never can give any other answer.'

This dialogue, which happened on the second day of her residence at St.
Alpin, and the first moment he could find her alone, did not seem to
discourage the Chevalier. He observed her narrowly: the country round
St. Alpin, which, as well as the place itself, he thought '_triste et
insupportable_,' seemed to delight and attract her. He saw her not only
enduring but even fond of his aunt and her plants, which were to him,
'_les sujets du monde les plus facheux_.'[26]--His excessive vanity made
him persist in believing that she could not admire such a place but
thro' some latent partiality to it's master; nor seek the company and
esteem of his aunt, but for the sake of her nephew.

These remarks, and a conviction formed on his own self-love and on the
experience of his Parisian conquests, made him disregard her refusal and
persecute her incessantly with his love. Lord Westhaven saw her
uneasiness; but knew not how to relieve her without offending the Baron
and the Chevalier, or divulging circumstances of which he did not think
himself at liberty without her permission to speak.

Lady Westhaven, to whom Emmeline was obliged to complain of the
importunity of Bellozane, repeatedly but very fruitlessly remonstrated
with him. What she had at first ridiculed, now gave her pain; and
anxious as she was to reconcile her brother to her friend, from whom she
thought only his warmth of temper and a misunderstanding had divided
him, she wished to shorten as much as possible their stay at St. Alpin.

Her own situation too made her very anxious to return to England; and
she was impatient to see Lord Delamere, to explain to him all the
mystery of Emmeline's conduct; a detail which she could not venture by
the post, tho' she had written to him from Lyons, intreating him to
suspend all opinion in regard to Miss Mowbray's conduct 'till she should
see him.

This letter never reached the hands of Lord Delamere, and therefore was
not answered to St. Alpin; whither his sister had desired him to direct,
and where she now grew very uneasy at not hearing from him.

Le Limosin and his Madelon had arrived at St. Alpin some time before
their noble patrons, with whose goodness they were elated to excess. Le
Limosin himself, assiduous to do every thing for every body, flew about
as if he was but twenty. His particular province was to attend with Lady
Westhaven's English servant on her Ladyship and Miss Mowbray; and
Madelon was directed to wait on the latter as her _fille de chambre_.

Emmeline, with painful solicitude for which she could hardly account,
wished to hear from Le Limosin those particulars of her father of which
he was so well able to inform her. He had served, too, her mother; whose
name she had hardly ever heard repeated, and of whom, before witnesses,
she dared not enquire.

Lord Westhaven had not yet explained to him to what he principally owed
the extraordinary kindness he had met with. He knew not that the lady on
whom he had the honour to wait was the daughter of that master to whom
he had been so much obliged.

The first days that Lord and Lady Westhaven and Emmeline had passed with
the Baron, had been engaged by company or in parties which he made to
shew the views of the surrounding country to his English guests. The
Chevalier never suffered Emmeline to be absent from these excursions,
nor when at home allowed her to be a moment out of his company. If she
sought refuge in the chamber of Mrs. St. Alpin, he followed her; if she
went with her to her plants, thither also came Bellozane; and having
acquired from his aunt's books a few physical and botanical terms,
affected to desire information, which the old Lady, highly pleased with
his desire of improvement in her favourite studies, gave him with great
simplicity.

Lord Westhaven grew apprehensive that the jaunts of pleasure which the
Baron continued to propose would be too fatigueing for his wife. And as
they were now to go on a visit to one of St. Alpin's old military
friends, who resided at the distance of fifteen miles, and where they
were to remain all night, he prevailed on her to stay at home, where
Emmeline also desired to be left.

Bellozane, detesting a party which the ladies were not to enliven, made
some efforts to be excused also; but he found his declining to go would
so much chagrin and disappoint his father, that, with whatever
reluctance, he was obliged to set out with him.

Lady Westhaven, who was a good deal indisposed, went to lie down in her
own room; whither Emmeline attended her, and finding she was disposed to
sleep, left her. Mrs. St. Alpin was busied in her garden; and Emmeline,
delighted with an opportunity of being alone, retired to her room to
write to Mrs. Stafford. She had not proceeded far in her letter, when a
servant informed her that the messenger who had been sent to Geneva for
her box was returned with it. She desired that it might be brought up.
Madelon came to assist her in opening it, and then left her.

She took out the cloaths and linen, and then the two embroidered
caskets, which she put on the table before her, and gazed at with
melancholy pleasure, as silent memorials of her parents. They brought
also to her mind the recollection of Mrs. Carey, and many of her
infantine pains and pleasures at Mowbray Castle, where she remembered
first to have remarked them in a drawer belonging to that good woman; to
which, tho' it was generally locked, she had occasionally sent her
little charge when she was herself confined to her chair.

One of them she had began to inspect at Clapham, and perused some of the
letters it contained. They were from her grandmother, Mrs. Mowbray, to
her father; and were filled with reproaches so warm and severe, and such
pointed censures of his conduct in regard to Miss Stavordale, her
mother, to whom one letter yet more bitter was addressed, that after
reading three of them, Emmeline believed that the further inspection of
the casket was likely to produce for her only unavailing regret.

Still however she would then have continued it, painful as it was, but
was interrupted by the sudden entrance of Lord Montreville, who came to
enquire after his son. The sight of Mr. Mowbray's picture, which she had
taken out, created in the breast of his Lordship a momentary tenderness
for his niece. She had since always worn that picture about her; but the
papers, by which she had been too much affected after that interview
farther to peruse, she had again secured in the caskets; and being
almost immediately afterwards taken by Delamere on her involuntary
journey to Stevenage, from whence she returned no more to Clapham, she
had not since had them in her possession.

Her mind in this interval had acquired greater strength; and she at
length wished to know those particulars of her mother's fate, into which
she had hitherto forborne thro' timidity to enquire. Being now therefore
alone, and having these repositories once more in her hands, she
resolutely inspected them.

The first contained about twenty letters. Some were those she had before
seen, and others followed them equally severe. They seemed in sullen
resentment to have been preserved; and Emmeline could not but reflect
with pain on the anger and asperity in which they were written; on the
remorse and uneasiness with which they must have been read.

The second casket seemed also to hold letters. On opening it, Emmeline
found they were part of the correspondence between her father and mother
during the early part of their acquaintance, when, tho' they sometimes
resided in the same house, the vigilant observation of Mrs. Mowbray very
seldom allowed them to converse.

Among these, were several pieces of poetry, elegant and affecting. After
having read which, Emmeline imagined she had seen all the box contained,
a few loosely folded papers only remaining; but on opening one of these,
what was her astonishment to find in it two certificates of her mother's
marriage; one under the hand of a Catholic priest, by whom she had been
married immediately on their arrival at Dunkirk; the other signed a few
days before the birth of Emmeline by an English clergyman, who had again
performed the ceremony in the chapel of the English Ambassador at Paris.

That the memory of her mother should thus be free from reproach; that
the conduct of her father, which had hitherto appeared cruel and unjust,
should be vindicated from every aspersion; and that she should herself
be restored to that place in society from which she seemed to be
excluded for ever; was altogether such unexpected, such incredible
happiness, as made her almost doubtful of the evidence of her senses.
Ignorant as she was of the usual form of such papers, yet the care with
which these seemed to be executed left her little doubt of their
regularity. One other folded paper yet remained unread. Trembling she
opened it. It was written in her father's hand and endorsed


                              MEMORANDUM

    'The harshness with which my mother and her family have treated
  Miss Stavordale, for a supposed crime, has forced her to put herself
  under my protection. Miss Stavordale is now my wife; but of this I
  shall not inform my family, conceiving myself accountable no longer
  to persons capable of so much rashness and injustice. Least any
  thing however should happen before I can make a will in due form, I
  hereby acknowledge Emmeline Stavordale (now Mowbray) as my wife; and
  her child, whether a son or a daughter, heir to my estate. My
  brother being possessed of a very large fortune, both by his late
  marriage and the gifts of his mother's family, will hardly dispute
  the claim of such child to my paternal estate.

    '(This is a duplicate of a paper sent to Francis Williamson, my
  steward at Mowbray Castle.) Signed by me at Paris in presence of
  two witnesses, this fifteenth of March 17--.

                                               HENRY CHARLES MOWBRAY.

    Witnessed by
  ROBERT WALLACE,
  BAPTISTE LA FERE, (dit Le Limosin.)'


This, which was of the same date as the last certificate, confirmed
every claim which they both gave Emmeline to her name and fortune. A
change of circumstances so sudden; her apprehensions that the Marquis of
Montreville, who she thought must have long known, should dispute her
legitimacy, and her wonder at the concealment which Mr. Williamson and
Mrs. Carey seemed passively to have suffered; which together with a
thousand other sensations crouded at once into her mind, so greatly
affected her, that feeling herself grow sick, she was obliged to call
Madelon, who being at work in an adjoining room, ran in, and seeing her
lady look extremely pale, and hearing her speak with difficulty, she
threw open the window, fetched her some water, and then without waiting
to see their effects she flew away to call Mrs. St. Alpin; who presently
appeared, followed by her maid carrying a large case which was filled
with bottles of various distillations from every aromatic and pungent
herb her garden or the adjacent mountains afforded.

Emmeline, hardly knowing what she did, was compelled to swallow a glass
full of one of these cordials; which Mrs. St. Alpin assured her was
'_excellente pour les vapeurs_.'[27] It almost deprived her of breath,
but recalled her astonished spirits; and having with great difficulty
prevailed on her kindly-busy hostess to leave her, she locked up her
papers, and threw herself on the bed; where, having directed Madelon to
draw the curtains and retire, she tried to compose her mind, and to
consider what steps she ought to take in consequence of this
extraordinary discovery.

[Footnote 25: Dining Room.]

[Footnote 26: The most wearisome, or to use the cant of the times, the
most _boring_ subjects in the world.]

[Footnote 27: Excellent for the cure of vapours.]



CHAPTER II


Convinced of the noble and disinterested nature of Lord Westhaven,
Emmeline thought she ought immediately on his return to shew him the
papers she had found, and entreat him to examine, for farther
particulars, Le Limosin, who seemed providentially to have been thrown
in her way on purpose to elucidate her history.

After having formed this resolution, her mind was at liberty for other
reflections. Delamere returned to it: his unjust suspicions; his haughty
reproaches; his long, indignant anger, which vouchsafed not even to
solicit an explanation; she involuntarily compared with the gentleness,
the generosity of Godolphin; with his candid temper, his warm
affections, his tender heart. And with pain she remembered, that unless
Delamere would relinquish the fatal promise she had given him, she could
not shew the preference which she feared she must ever feel for him.
Sometimes she thought of asking Lord Westhaven to apply to Delamere for
her release. But how could she venture on a measure which might involve,
in such difficulties, Lady Adelina, and engage Lord Westhaven in an
enquiry fatal to his repose and that of his whole family? How could she,
by this application, counteract the wishes of Lady Westhaven, who
anxiously hoped to re-unite her brother and her friend; and who desired
ardently to be in England, that she might explain herself, to Delamere,
all the circumstances that had injured Emmeline in his opinion; which
she thought she could easily do without hazarding any of the evils that
might follow from an inconsiderate disclosure of the occurrences he had
misunderstood.

Uneasily ruminating on the painful uncertainty of her situation and the
difficulties which every way surrounded her, she continued alone; till
Lady Westhaven, alarmed at hearing she had been ill, sent her woman to
enquire after and know if she might herself come to her? Emmeline, to
relieve at once her friendly solicitude, arose and went to her
apartment; where she made light of her sickness, and endeavoured to
assume as much chearfulness as possible.--'Till she had seen Lord
Westhaven, she determined not to mention to her Ladyship the discovery
of the morning; feeling that there would be great indelicacy in eagerly
divulging to her a secret by which she must tacitly accuse the Marquis
of Montreville of having thus long detained from its legal owner the
Mowbray estate; and of having brought up in indigence and obscurity, the
daughter of his brother, while conscious of her claim to education and
affluence.

Struggling therefore to subdue the remaining tumult of her spirits, she
rejoined her friend. They passed the afternoon tranquilly with Mrs. St.
Alpin; and about eleven o'clock the following morning, Lord Westhaven,
the Baron, and the Chevalier, returned.

Emmeline took the earliest opportunity of telling Lord Westhaven that
she wished to speak to him alone. There was no way of escaping from the
Chevalier but by his Lordship's openly declaring that he wanted a
private conference with his fair cousin, whom he led into the garden.
Bellozane, who hoped that his earnest solicitations had prevailed on
Lord Westhaven to befriend his love, was glad to see them walk out
together, while he watched them from a window.

Emmeline put into her pocket the two certificates and the memorandum
written by her father. Without explanation or comment, she gave them, as
soon as they were at a little distance from the house, to Lord
Westhaven.

He read them twice over in silence; then looking with astonishment at
Emmeline, he asked her from whence she had these papers?

'They were enclosed, my Lord,' answered she 'in two little boxes or
caskets which were left to me among other things by my father's nurse;
who becoming the housekeeper at Mowbray Castle, brought me up. They
afterwards long remained at the house of Mrs. James Crofts, with whom
you know I resided; on her removal after her marriage, they were sent,
together with some of my cloaths, to Mrs. Stafford's agent in London;
from whence she lately received them; and having an opportunity of
sending them to Geneva by a family travelling thither, she forwarded
them to me, and I found them yesterday in the trunk brought by the
messenger which you know the Baron sent thither on purpose.'

Again Lord Westhaven read the papers; and after pausing a moment said--

'There is no doubt, there can be none, of the authenticity of these
papers, nor of your consequent claim to the Mowbray estate. Surely,'
added he, again pausing--'surely it is most extraordinary that Lord
Montreville should have suffered the true circumstances of your birth to
remain thus long unexplained. Most cruel! most ungenerous! to possess
himself of a property to which he must know he had no right! Your
father's memorandum says that he had forwarded a duplicate of it to
Francis Williamson; do you know whether that person is yet living?'

'He is dead, my Lord. He died in consequence of an accident at Mowbray
Castle, where he was many years steward.'

'He must however have had sufficient time to give Lord Montreville every
information as to his master's marriage, even if his Lordship knew it
not, as he probably did, by other means. Yet from a man of honour--from
Lord Montreville--such conduct is most unworthy. I can hardly conceive
it possible that he should be guilty of such concealment.'

'Surely, my Lord, it is possible,' said the candid and ingenuous
Emmeline--'surely it _is_ possible that my uncle might, by some
accident, (for which without knowing more we cannot account) have been
kept in ignorance of my mother's real situation. For your satisfaction
and mine, before we say more on this subject, would it not be well to
hear what Le Limosin, who was I suppose present both at my mother's
marriage and at my father's death, has to relate?'

To this proposal Lord Westhaven agreed. The _sal a compagnie_[28] was
usually vacant at this time of the day. Thither they went together, and
sent for Le Limosin; who loved talking so much that nothing was more
easy than to make him tell all he remembered, and even minutely describe
every scene at which he had been present.

'Le Limosin,' said Lord Westhaven, as soon as he came into the room, 'I
was much pleased and interested with the account you gave me when I
first met you, of the English master whom you call _Milor Mowbray_. I
know his family well. Tell me, does this picture resemble him?'

His Lordship shewed him a portrait of Mr. Mowbray which had been drawn
at Paris.

Le Limosin looked a moment at it--the tears came into his eyes.

'_O oui--oui, mi Lor!--je me rappelle bien ce portrait!--Ah! quel
resemblance! Quelques mois avant sa mort tel etoit mon pauvre maitre!
Ah!_' added he, giving back, with a sigh, the picture to Lord
Westhaven--'_cela me fend le coeur!_'[29]

'Now then,' reassumed Lord Westhaven, 'look, Le Limosin, at that.' He
put before him the resemblance of Emmeline's mother, which had been
painted at the same time.

'_Eh! pardi oui--voila--voila Madame! la charmante femme, dont la perte
couta la vie a mon maitre. Helas!--je m'en souviens bien du jôur que je
vis pour la premiere fois cette aimable dame. Elle n'avoit qu'environ
quatorze a quinze ans. Ah! qu'elle etoit pour lors, gaï, espiegle,
folatre, et si belle!--si belle!_'[30]

'Tell me,' said Lord Westhaven, 'all you remember of her.'

'I remember her, my Lord,' said Le Limosin, speaking still in French, 'I
remember her from the first of my going to England with Milor Mowbray.
She lived then with Madame Mowbray; and the servants told me, that being
a distant relation and an orphan, Madame had taken her and intended to
give her a fortune. Milor Mowbray, when he first returned from his
travels, used to live for two or three months together with Madame his
mother; but she was strict and severe, and used frequently to reproach
him with his gaieties--_il etoit un peu libertin Milor, comme sont a
l'ordinaire les jeunes seigneurs de sa nation_.[31] He admired
Mademoiselle Stavordale as a beautiful child, and used to romp with her;
but as she grew older, Madame Mowbray was dissatisfied with him for
taking so much notice of her, and would oblige her to live always up in
Madame's dressing room, so that my master could hardly ever see her.
Madame, however, told my master one day, that tho' Mademoiselle
Stavordale had no fortune, she would not object to his marrying her in a
year or two if he was then in the same mind. But my master was in his
turn offended. He said he would not be dictated to, nor told whether he
should marry or remain single. _Madame etoit forte brusque--elle piquoit
Monsieur par un reponse un peu vive_[32]--and they had a violent
disagreement; in consequence of which he quitted her house, and only
went now and then afterwards to see her quite in form. Some months
afterwards he called me to him; and as I was dressing him he asked me if
I had no female friend among his mother's servants. 'Baptiste,' said he,
'I cannot get the Demoiselle Stavordale out of my head.--_J'aime a la
folie cette fille mais pour le mariage, je ne suis pas trop sur, que je
m'acquitterai bien, en promissant de l'aimer pour la vie.--Je veux aussi
qu'elle m'aime sans que l'interet y'entre pour quelque chose.--Puisque
Madame ma mere s'amuse a me guetter, je voudrois bien la tromper; je
scais que tu est habile--ne pourra tu pas nous menager une petite tete a
tete?[33] 'Milor, je faisois mon possible--et enfin--par la bonté et
l'honeteté--d'une fille qui servoit Madame--je vins heureusement
about--Quelque jours apres--Monsieur enleva la belle Stavordale tant en
depit--qu'en amour._'[34]

At this recital, Emmeline found herself cruelly hurt; but Lord Westhaven
besought her to command herself, and Le Limosin went on.

'To avoid the rage and reproaches of Madame Mowbray, which it was likely
would be very loud, my master took Mademoiselle Stavordale immediately
abroad. We landed at Dunkirk; but the young lady was so unhappy at the
step she had taken, _elle pleuroit, elle se desoloit, elle s'abandonna a
le desespoir--enfin, tant elle faisoit_,[35] that Monsieur sent for a
priest, and they were married. Soon afterwards my lady was likely to
bring Monsieur an heir. _Ah! qu'ils etoient pour lors heureux._ But
their happiness was interrupted by the death of my master's mother,
Madame Mowbray, who had never forgiven him, and who disposed of all her
money that was in her own power to his brother. My poor lady took this
sadly to heart. She reproached herself with being the cause of my
master's losing such a fortune. He said he had yet enough; and tried to
console my lady. Still, still it hung on her spirits; and she could not
bear to think that Madame Mowbray, who had brought her up, and had been
kind to her when she had no other friend, should have died in anger with
her. I believe my master was sorry then that he had not reconciled
himself with his mother, as my lady often begged and entreated that he
would; but it was now too late; and he said his brother had used him
unkindly, and had certainly helped to irritate his mother against him;
and he would not write to him tho' my lady often desired and prayed that
he would. As she grew near her time, she was more and more out of
spirits, and my master finding her uneasy because they had not been
married by an English priest, had the ceremony performed again in the
chapel of the English Ambassador. My master could not however make her
forget her concern for the death of his mother; and she was always
melancholy, as if she had foreseen how little a time she had herself to
live. Alas! she brought my master a daughter, and died in three hours!'

'If I were to live a thousand years,' continued Le Limosin, 'I should
never forget my poor master's distraction when he heard she was dead. It
was with great difficulty that even with the assistance of his English
servants I could prevent his destroying himself in the phrenzy of his
grief. I dared not leave him a moment. He heard nothing we said to him;
he heeded not the questions I asked him about the child; and at last I
was forced to send an express to Mr. Oxenden, his friend, who was at
some distance from Paris. He came; and by the help of another English
gentleman they forced him out of the house while the body of my mistress
was removed to be carried to England. He was so near madness, that his
friends were afraid of his relapsing, even after he grew better, if they
asked him many questions about it. So they gave me orders as to her
funeral; and after about a fortnight he came back to the house where the
child was, attended by his two friends.

'It was an heart-piercing sight, Milor, to see him weep over the little
baby as it lay in the arms of it's nurse. After some time he called me,
and told me that he should not be easy, unless he was sure his poor
little girl would be taken proper care of; that he had no friend in
France to whom he chose to entrust her; and therefore ordered me to go
with the nurse to England, and directed Therése, my mistress's _fille de
chambre_, to go also, that the child might be well attended. He told me
that he should perhaps quit Paris before I could get back; in which case
he would leave directions where I should follow him. Then he kissed his
little girl, and his two friends tore him away. I immediately proceeded
to England as he directed, with the nurse, and Therése, and we carried
the infant to the Chateau de Mowbray. The French nurse could speak no
English, and could not be prevailed upon to stay above two days. Therése
too longed to get back to France; and we immediately returned to Paris,
where I found a letter from my master, ordering me to follow him into
Italy.

'At Milan, Milor, I rejoined him. He looked very ill; and complained of
feeling himself indisposed. But still he went out; and I believe drank
too much with his English friends. The third or fourth day after I got
there he came home from a party which he had made out of town with them
about ten o'clock in the morning, and told me he had a violent pain in
his head. He went up into his room. "I am strangely disordered,
Baptiste," said he, as he put his hand to his temples--"perhaps it may
go off; but if it should grow worse, as I am afraid it will, remember
that you take those two little boxes in which I keep my papers, to
England, and deliver them to my steward at Mowbray Castle. I have
already written to him about my daughter." Then almost shrieking with
the acute pain which darted into his head, he cried--"I cannot talk, nor
can I now write to my brother as I think I ought to do about my child.
But send, send for a notary, and when I am a little easier I will
dictate a will."

'Milor, I sent for the notary, But he waited all day in the anti-room to
no purpose. My poor master was never again easy enough to see him--never
again able to dictate a will. He grew more and more delirious, and
continued to complain of his head, his head! Alas! he did not even know
me, till about an hour before his death.'

Emmeline, whose tears had almost choaked her during the greatest part of
this narration, now said to Lord Westhaven--

'My Lord, do not let him repeat the scene of my father's death; I am not
now able to bear it.'

'Well, Le Limosin,' said his Lordship, 'this young lady, who is the
daughter of your master; the same whom you helped to carry, an infant,
to Mowbray Castle, will soon have it in her power to reward your
fidelity and attachment to her father.'

Le Limosin now threw himself on his knees in a transport of joy and
acknowledgment. Lord Westhaven, fearing that his raptures might quite
overcome the disturbed spirits of his fair mistress, desired her to give
him her hand to kiss; which she did, and trying, but ineffectually, to
smile thro' her tears, was led by his Lordship into her own room. He
told her that at present he wished to conceal from Lady Westhaven the
discovery they had made. 'For tho' I am convinced,' added he, 'that for
your sake she will rejoice in it, she will be hurt at the extraordinary
conduct of her father, and harrass herself with conjectures about it and
apologies for it, which I wish to spare her in her present state.'

Emmeline assured him she would observe a strict silence; and he left her
to give to Le Limosin a charge of secresy. He then retired to his room,
and wrote to Lord Montreville, stating the simple fact, and enclosing
copies of the certificates; and after shewing his letter to Emmeline,
sent it off to England.

Emmeline now went out to walk, in hopes of recovering her composure and
being able to appear at dinner without betraying by her countenance that
any thing extraordinary had been the subject of her conversation with
Lord Westhaven. The Chevalier, however, was soon at her side. And still
flattering himself that his Lordship had undertaken to plead his cause,
he addressed her with all the confidence of a man sure of success.

Emmeline was very little disposed to listen to him; and with a greater
appearance of chagrin and impatience than she had yet shewn, repeated to
him her determination not to marry. He still declared himself sure of
her relenting; and added, that unless she had designed finally to hear
him favourably she would never have allowed him so repeatedly to press
his attachment. This speech, which indirectly accused her of coquetry,
encreased her vexation. But the persevering Chevalier was not to be
repressed. He told her that he had projected a party of pleasure on the
lake the next day, in which he intended to include a visit to the Rocks
of Meillerie.

'It is classic ground, Mademoiselle,' said he, 'and is fitted to love
and despair. Ah! will you not there hear me? Will you still inhumanly
smile; will you still look so gentle, while your heart is harder than
the rocks we shall see--colder than the snow that crowns them!--an heart
on which even the pen of fire which Rousseau held would make no
impression!'

He held her hands during this rhapsody. She could not therefore
immediately escape. But on the appearance of a servant, who announced
the dinner's being ready, she coldly disengaged herself and went into
the house.

[Footnote 28: Drawing room.]

[Footnote 29: O yes, my Lord; I recollect well this picture. What a
likeness! Such, a few months before he died, was my poor master! Alas!
it cuts me to the heart.]

[Footnote 30: Ah! hah! yes,--there is, sure enough, my Lady. The charming
woman whose loss cost my master his life. Alas! how well I recollect the
first day I saw this amiable lady; she was then only between fourteen
and fifteen; and at that time so gay, so full of frolic and vivacity,
and so very, very pretty!]

[Footnote 31: He was a little free, my Lord; as the young noblemen of his
country usually are.]

[Footnote 32: Madame was very hasty; she irritated my master by a sharp
answer.]

[Footnote 33: I love that girl to madness; but as to marrying her I am
not quite sure I should acquit myself well were I to promise that I
would love her for ever. I desire too that interest may have nothing to
do with her affection for me. As my mother amuses herself with watching
me, I long to deceive her. You are a clever fellow; cannot you contrive
for us a private meeting?]

[Footnote 34: My Lord, I did my best; and at last by the goodness and
civility of a young woman who waited on Madame, I happily accomplished
it. Some days after which, my master carried off the fair Stavordale, as
much thro' revenge as love.]

[Footnote 35: She wept, she lamented, she gave herself up to despair.]



CHAPTER III


The agitation she had undergone in the morning, affected both the
spirits and the looks of Emmeline; and when, immediately after dinner,
Bellozane proposed the party of pleasure he had projected for the next
day, Lady Westhaven answered--'As for me I shall on my own account make
no objection, but I cannot equally answer for our fair cousin.--Emmeline,
my love, you seem ill. I cannot imagine, my Lord, what you have been
saying to her?'

'I have been advising her,' answered Lord Westhaven, 'to go into a
convent; and her looks are merely looks of penitence for all the
mischief she has done. She determines to take the veil, and to do no
more.'

Emmeline, tho' hardly able to bear even this friendly raillery, turned
it off with a melancholy smile. The party was agreed upon; the Baron
went out to give orders for preparing the provisions they were to take
with them, and the Chevalier to see that the boat was in a proper state
for the expedition and give the boatmen notice.

Lady Westhaven then began talking of England, and expressed her
astonishment at having heard nothing from thence for above six weeks.
While Lord Westhaven was attempting to account for this failure of
intelligence, which he saw gave his wife more concern than she
expressed, a servant brought in several large pacquets of letters, which
he said the messenger who was usually sent to the post town, had that
moment brought in.

His Lordship, eagerly surveying the address of each, gave to Emmeline
one for her; which opening, she found came from Mrs. Stafford, and
enclosed another.


                                               _St. Germains, June 6._

    'My dearest Emmeline will forgive me if I write only a line in the
  envelope, to account for the long detention of the enclosed letter.
  It has, by some mistake of Mr. La Fosse, been kept at Rouen instead
  of being forwarded to St. Germains; and appears to have passed thro'
  numberless hands. I hope you will get it safe; tho' my being at
  Paris when it _did_ arrive here has made it
  yet a week later. By the next post I shall write more fully, and
  therefore will now only tell you we are well, and that I am ever,
  with the truest attachment, your

                                                         C. STAFFORD.'


Emmeline now saw by the seal and the address that the second letter was
from Lord Montreville. It appeared to have been written in great haste;
and as she unfolded it, infinite was her amazement to find, instead of a
remittance, which about this time she expected, the promise she had
given Delamere, torn in two pieces and put into a blank paper.

The astonishment and agitation she felt at this sight, hardly left her
power to read the letter which she held.


                                         _Berkley-Square, May 5, 17--_

  'Dear Miss Mowbray,

    'My son, Lord Delamere, convinced at length of the impropriety of
  a marriage so unwelcome to his family, allows me to release you from
  the promise which he obtained. I do myself the pleasure to enclose
  it, and shall be glad to hear you receive it safe by an early post.
  My Lord Delamere assures me that you hold no promise of the like
  nature from him. If he is in this matter forgetful, I doubt not but
  that you will return it on receipt of this.

    'Maddox informs me that he shall in a few days forward to you the
  payment due: to which I beg leave to add, that if you have occasion
  for fifty or an hundred pounds more, during your stay on the
  continent, you may draw on Maddox to that amount. With sincere
  wishes for your health and happiness, I am, dear Miss Mowbray, your
  obedient and faithful humble servant,

                                                         MONTREVILLE.'


Tho' joy was, in the heart of Emmeline, the predominant emotion, she yet
felt some degree of pique and resentment involuntarily arise against
Lord Montreville and his son; and tho' the renunciation of the latter
was what she had secretly wished ever since she had discovered the
capricious violence of Delamere and the merit of Godolphin, the cold and
barely civil stile in which his father had acquainted her with it,
seemed at once to shock, mortify, and relieve her.

After having considered a moment the contents of her own letters, she
cast her eyes towards Lady Westhaven, whose countenance expressed great
emotion; while her Lord, sternly and displeased ran over his, and then
put them into his pocket.

'What say _your_ letters from England, my fairest cousin?' said he,
advancing and trying to shake off his chagrin.

'Will you do me the honour to peruse them, my Lord?' said she, half
smiling.--'They will not take you up much time.'

He read them. 'It is a settled thing then I find. Lady Westhaven, your's
are, I presume, from Berkley-square?'

'They are,' answered she.--'Never,' and she took out her
handkerchief--'never have I received any less welcome!'

She gave one from Lady Frances Crofts to his Lordship, in which, with
many details of her own affairs, was this sentence--


    'Before this, you have heard from my father or my mother that
  Lord Delamere has entirely recovered the use of his reason, and
  accepts of Miss Otley with her immense fortune. This change was
  brought about suddenly. It was settled in Norfolk, immediately
  after Lord Delamere's return from Ireland. I congratulate you and
  Lord W. on an event which I conclude _must_ to _both_ of you be
  pleasing. I have seen none of the family for near three weeks, as
  they are gone back into Norfolk; only my brother called for a
  moment, and seemed to be greatly hurried; by which, as well as from
  other circumstances, I conclude that preparations are making for
  the wedding immediately.'

  _May 18._


Lady Westhaven, who saw all hopes of being allied to the friend of her
heart for ever at an end--who believed that she had always cherished an
affection for her brother, and who supposed that in consequence of his
desertion she was left in mortifying dependance on Lord Montreville, was
infinitely hurt at this information. The letter from her father to
Emmeline confirmed all her apprehensions. There was a freezing civility
in the style, which gave no hopes of his alleviating by generosity and
kindness the pain which her Ladyship concluded Emmeline must feel; while
Lord Westhaven, knowing that to her whom he thus insulted with the
distant offer of fifty or an hundred pounds, he really was accountable
for the income of an estate of four thousand five hundred a year, for
near nineteen years, and that he still withheld that estate from her,
could hardly contain his indignation even before his wife; whom he
loved too well not to wish to conceal from her the ill opinion he could
not help conceiving of her father.

Emmeline, who was far from feeling that degree of pain which Lady
Westhaven concluded must penetrate her heart, was yet unwilling to shew
that she actually received with pleasure (tho' somewhat allayed by Lord
Montreville's coldness) an emancipation from her engagement. Of her
partiality to Godolphin, her friend had no idea; for Emmeline, too
conscious of it to be able to converse about him without fearing to
betray herself, had studiously avoided talking of him after their first
meeting; and she now imagined that Lady Westhaven, passionately fond of
her brother as she was, would think her indifference affected thro'
pique; and carried too far, if she did not receive the intelligence of
their eternal separation with some degree of concern. These thoughts
gave her an air of vexation and embarrassment which would have saved her
the trouble of dissimulation had she been an adept in it's practice.
Extremely harrassed and out of spirits before, tears now, in spite of
her internal satisfaction, and perhaps partly arising from it, filled
her eyes; while Lady Westhaven, who was greatly more hurt, exclaimed--

'My brother then marries Miss Otley! After all I have heard him say, I
thought it impossible!'

'He will however, I doubt not, be happy,' answered Emmeline. 'The
satisfaction of having made Lord and Lady Montreville completely happy,
must greatly contribute to his being so himself.'

'Heaven grant it!' replied Lady Westhaven. 'Poor Frederic! he throws
away an invaluable blessing! Whether he will, in any other, find
consolation, I greatly doubt. But however changed _his_ heart may be, my
dearest Emmeline,' added she, tenderly embracing her, 'I think I can
venture to assure you that those of Lord Westhaven and your Augusta,
will, towards you, ever be the same.'

Emmeline now wished to put an end to a conversation which Lady Westhaven
seemed hardly able to support; and she languished herself to be alone.
Forcing therefore a smile, tho' the tears still fell from her eyes, she
said--'My dear friends, tho' I expected this long ago, yet I beg you to
consider that being _but_ a woman, and of course vain, my pride is a
little wounded, and I must recollect all your kindnesses, to put me in
good humour again with myself. Do not let the Chevalier follow me; for I
am not disposed to hear any thing this evening, after these sweetest
and most consoling assurances of your inestimable friendship. Therefore
I shall take Madelon with me, and go for a walk.'

She then left the room, Lady Westhaven not attempting to detain her; and
her Lord, vexed to see his gentle Augusta thus uneasy, remained with
her, pointing out to her the fairest prospects of establishment for her
beloved Emmeline; tho' he thought the present an improper opportunity to
open to her his knowledge of those circumstances in her friend's
fortune, which, without such conspicuous merit, could hardly fail of
obtaining it.

To go to a great distance from the house, alone, Emmeline had not
courage; to stay near it, subjected her to the intrusion and importunity
of the Chevalier. She therefore determined to take Madelon, whose
presence would be some protection without any interruption to her
thoughts. She had wished, ever since her arrival at St. Alpin, to visit
alone the borders of the lake of Geneva. Madelon, alert and sprightly,
undertook to shew her the pleasantest way, and led her thro' a narrow
path crossing a hill covered with broom and coppice wood, into a dark
and gloomy wood of fir, cypress, and chestnut, that extended to the edge
of the water; from which it was in some places separated by rocks
pointing out into the lake, while in others the trees grew almost in the
water, and dipped their extremities in the limpid waves beneath them.

Madelon informed Emmeline that this was the place where the servants of
the castle assembled to dance of an holyday, in the shade; and where
boats usually landed that came from the other side of the lake.

The scene, softened into more pensive beauty by the approach of a warm
and serene evening, had every thing in it that could charm and soothe
the mind of the lovely orphan. But her internal feelings were at this
time too acute to suffer her to attend to outward circumstances. She
wished only for tranquillity and silence, to collect her thoughts; and
bidding Madelon find herself a seat, she went a few yards into the wood,
and sat down on the long grass, where even Madelon might not remark her.

The events of the two last days appeared to be visions rather than
realities. From being an indigent dependant on the bounty of a relation,
whose caprice or avarice might leave her entirely destitute, she was at
once found to be heiress to an extensive property. From being bound down
to marry, if he pleased, a man for whom she felt only sisterly regard,
and who had thrown her from him in the violence of unreasonable jealousy
and gloomy suspicion, she was now at liberty to indulge the affections
she had so long vainly resisted, and to think, without present
self-accusation, or the danger of future repentance, of Godolphin. In
imagination, she already beheld him avowing that tenderness which he had
before generously struggled to conceal. She saw him, who she believed
would have taken her _without_ fortune, receiving in her estate the
means of bestowing happiness, and the power of indulging his liberal and
noble spirit. She saw the tender, unhappy Adelina, reconciled to life in
contemplating the felicity of her dear William; and Lord Westhaven, to
whom she was so much obliged, glorying in the good fortune of a brother
so deservedly beloved; while still calling her excellent and lovely
friend Augusta by the endearing appellation of sister, she saw her
forget, in the happiness of Godolphin, the concern she had felt for
Delamere.

From this delicious dream of future bliss, she was awakened somewhat
suddenly by Madelon; who running towards her, told her that a boat, in
which there appeared to be several men, was pointing to land just where
she had been sitting. Emmeline, wearied as she was with the Chevalier's
gallantry, immediately supposed it to be him, and she knew he was out on
the lake. She therefore advanced a step or two to look. It was so nearly
dark that she could only distinguish a man standing in the boat, whose
figure appeared to be that of Bellozane; and taking Madelon by the arm,
she hastily struck into the wood, to avoid him by returning to St. Alpin
before he should perceive her.

She had hardly walked twenty paces, when she heard the boat put on
shore, and two or three persons leap out of it. Still hoping, however,
to get thro' the wood before Bellozane could overtake her, she almost
ran with Madelon. But somebody seemed to pursue them. Her cloaths were
white; and she knew, that notwithstanding the evening was so far shut
in, and the path obscured by trees, she must yet be distinguished
gliding between their branches. The persons behind gained upon her, and
her pace quickened as her alarm encreased; for she now apprehended
something yet more disagreeable than being overtaken by Bellozane.
Suddenly she heard--'_Arretez, arretez, Mesdames! de grace dites moi si
vous etes de la famille du Baron de St. Alpin?_'[36]

The first word of this sentence stopped the flying Emmeline, and fixed
her to the spot where she stood. It was the voice of Godolphin--Godolphin
himself was before her!

The suddenness of his appearance quite overcame her, breathless as she
was before from haste and fear; and finding that to support herself was
impossible, she staggered towards a tree which grew on the edge of the
path, but would have fallen if Godolphin had not caught her in his arms.

He did this merely from the impulse of his natural gallantry and good
nature. What were his transports, when he found that the fugitive whom
he had undesignedly alarmed by asking a direction to St. Alpin, was his
adored Emmeline; and that the lovely object whose idea, since their
first meeting, had never a moment been absent from it, he now pressed to
his throbbing heart? Instantly terrified, however, to find her
speechless and almost insensible, he ordered the servant who followed
him to run back for some water; and seating her gently on the ground, he
threw himself down by her and supported her; while Madelon, wringing her
hands called on her _aimable_, her _belle maitresse_; and was too much
frightened to give her any assistance.

Before the man returned with the water, her recollection was restored,
and she said, faintly--'Mr. Godolphin! Is it possible?'

'Loveliest Miss Mowbray, how thoughtlessly have I alarmed you!--Can you
forgive me?'

'Ah!' cried she, disengaging herself from his support--'how came you
here, and from whence?'

Godolphin, without considering, and almost without knowing what he said,
replied--'I come from Lord Delamere.'

'From Lord Delamere!' exclaimed she, in amazement. 'Is he not in London
then?--is he not married?'

'No; I overtook him at Besançon; where he lies ill--very ill!'

'Ill!' repeated Emmeline.--'Ill, and at Besançon!--merciful heaven!'

She now again relapsed almost into insensibility: for at the mention of
Godolphin's having overtaken him, and having left him ill, a thousand
terrific and frightful images crouded into her mind; but the predominant
idea was, that it was on her account they had met, and that Delamere's
illness was a wound in consequence of that meeting.

That such an imagination should possess her, Godolphin had no means of
knowing. He therefore very naturally concluded that the violent sorrow
which she expressed, on hearing of Delamere's illness, arose from her
love towards him; and, in such a conclusion, he found the ruin of those
hopes he had of late fondly cherished.

'Happy, happy Delamere!' said he, sighing to himself.--'Her first
affections were his, and never will any secondary tenderness supersede
that early impression. Alas! his rejection of her, has not been able to
efface it--For me, there is nothing to hope! and while I thus hold her
to my heart, I have lost her for ever! I came not hither, however,
solely on my own account, but rather to save from pain, her and those
she loves. 'Tis not then of myself I am to think.'

While these reflections passed thro' his mind, he remained silent; and
Emmeline concluded that his silence was owing to the truth of her
conjecture. The grief of Lady Westhaven for her brother, the despair of
Lord Montreville for his son, presented themselves to her mind; and the
contemptuous return of her promise, which a few hours before she thought
of with resentment, was now forgotten in regret for his illness and pity
for his sufferings.

'Ah!' cried she, trying to rise, 'what shall I say to Lady
Westhaven?--How disclose to her such intelligence as this?'

'It was to prevent her hearing it abruptly,' said Godolphin, 'that I
came myself, rather than sent by a messenger or a letter, such
distressing information.'

So strongly had the idea of a duel between them taken possession of the
mind of Emmeline, that she had no courage to ask particulars of his
illness; and shuddering with horror at the supposition that the hand
Godolphin held out to assist her was stained with the blood of the
unfortunate Delamere, she drew her's hastily and almost involuntarily
from him; and taking again Madelon's arm, attempted to hasten towards
home.

But the scene of anguish and terror which she must there encounter with
Lady Westhaven, the distress and vexation of her Lord, and the misery of
believing that Godolphin had made himself for ever hateful to all her
own family, and that if her cousin died she could never again behold him
but with regret and anguish, were altogether reflections so
overwhelming, and so much more than her harrassed spirits were able to
sustain, that after tottering about fifty yards, she was compelled to
stop, and gasping for breath, to accept the offered assistance of
Godolphin. Strongly prepossessed with the idea of her affection for
Delamere, he languidly and mournfully lent it. He had no longer courage
to speak to her; yet wished to take measures for preventing Lady
Westhaven's being suddenly alarmed by his appearance; and he feared,
that not his appearance only, but his countenance, would tell her that
he came not thither to impart tidings of happiness.

It was now quite dark; and the slow pace in which only Emmeline could
walk, had not yet carried them through the wood. The agitation of
Emmeline encreased: she wished, yet dreaded to know the particulars of
Delamere's situation; and unable to summons courage to enquire into it,
she proceeded mournfully along, almost borne by Godolphin and Madelon;
who understanding nothing of what had been said, and not knowing who the
gentleman was who had thus frightened her mistress, was herself almost
as much in dismay.

After a long pause, Emmeline, in faultering accents, asked 'if the
situation of Lord Delamere was absolutely desperate?'

'I hope and believe not,' said Godolphin. 'When I left him, at least,
there were hopes of a favourable issue.'

'Ah! wherefore did you leave him? Why not stay at least to see the
event?'

'Because he so earnestly desired that his sister might know of his
situation, and that I only might acquaint her with it and press her to
go to him.'

'She will need no entreaties. Poor, poor Delamere!'--sighing deeply,
Emmeline again became silent.

They were to mount a small hill, which was between the wood they had
left and the grounds immediately surrounding St. Alpin, which was
extremely steep and rugged. Before she reached the top, she was quite
exhausted.

'I believe,' said she, 'I must again rest before I can proceed.'

She sat down on a bank formed by the roots of the trees which sustained
the earth, on the edge of the narrow path.

Godolphin, excessively alarmed at her weakness and dejection, which he
still attributed to the anguish she felt for Delamere, sat by her,
hardly daring to breathe himself, while he listened to her short
respiration, and fancied he heard the violent palpitation of her heart.

'And how long do you think,' said she, again recurring to Delamere--'how
long may he linger before the event will be known?'

'I really hope, and I think I am not too sanguine, that the fever will
have left him before we see him again.'

'The fever!' repeated Emmeline--'has he a fever then?'

'Yes,' replied Godolphin--'I thought I told you that a fever was his
complaint. But had you not better, my dear Madam, think a little of
yourself! Ill as you appear to be, I see not how you are to get home
unless you will suffer me to go on and procure some kind of conveyance
for you.'

'I shall do very well,' answered she, 'as I am, if you will only tell me
about Lord Delamere. He has only a fever?'

'And is it not enough,' said Godolphin. 'Tho', were I Lord Delamere, I
should think an illness that called forth in my favour the charming
sensibility of Miss Mowbray, the happiest event of my life.'

Having said this, he fell into a profound silence. The certainty of her
affection for Delamere, deprived him of all spirits when he most wanted
to exert them. Yet it was necessary to take some measures for
introducing himself at St. Alpin without alarming Lady Westhaven, and to
consider how he was to account to his brother for Delamere's
estrangement from Emmeline; and while he canvassed these and many other
perplexities, Emmeline, who was relieved from the most distressing of
her apprehensions, and dared not for the world reveal what those
apprehensions had been, in some degree recovered herself; and growing
anxious for Lady Westhaven, said she believed she could now walk home.

As she was about to arise with an intention to attempt it, they heard
the sound of approaching voices, and almost immediately lights appeared
above the hill, while 'Mademoiselle!--Miss Mowbray!--Madelon!--Madelon!'
was frequently and loudly repeated by the persons who carried them.

'The Baron and Lord Westhaven,' said Emmeline, 'alarmed at my being out
so late, have sent persons in search of me.'

Her conjecture was right. In a moment the Chevalier, with a flambeau in
his hand, was before them; who, when he found Emmeline sitting in such
a place, supported by a young man whom he had never before seen, was at
once amazed and displeased. There was no time for explanation. Lord
Westhaven immediately followed him; and after stopping a moment to
consider whether the figure of Godolphin which rose before him was not
an illusion, he flew eagerly into his arms.

The manly eyes of both the brothers were filled with tears. Lord
Westhaven had not seen Godolphin for four years; and, since their last
parting, they had lost their father. After a short pause, his Lordship
introduced Godolphin to Bellozane; and then taking the cold and
trembling hand of Emmeline, who leaned languidly on Madelon, he said--

'And you, my lovely cousin, for whose safety we have been above an hour
in the cruellest alarm, where did you find William, and by what
extraordinary chance are ye here together?'

Emmeline with great difficulty found voice enough to explain their
accidental meeting. And Bellozane observing her apparent faintness,
said--'you seem, Mademoiselle, to be extremely fatigued. Pray allow me
the honour of giving you my arm.'

'If you please,' said she, in a low voice. And supposing that Godolphin
would be glad to have some conversation with his brother, she accepted
his assistance and proceeded.

This preference, however, of Bellozane, Godolphin imputed to her
coldness or dislike towards himself; and so struck was he with the cruel
idea, that it was not without an effort he recollected himself enough to
relate to his brother, as they walked, all that it was necessary for him
to know. Lord Westhaven, anxious for a life so precious to his wife and
her family as was that of Lord Delamere, determined immediately to go to
him. At present it was necessary to reveal as tenderly as possible his
situation to his sister, Lady Westhaven; and first to dissipate the
uneasiness she had suffered from the long absence of Emmeline.

[Footnote 36: Stay, stay a moment, ladies! Have the goodness to tell me
whether you belong to the family of the Baron de St. Alpin?]



CHAPTER IV


Lord Westhaven first entered the room where his wife was, whose alarming
apprehensions at Emmeline's long stay were by this time extreme.

'Our Emmeline is returned, my love,' said he, 'and has met with no
accident.'

Lady Westhaven eagerly embracing her, reproached her tenderly for her
long absence. But then observing how pale she looked, and the fatigue
and oppression she seemed to suffer, her Ladyship said--

'Surely you have been frightened--or you are ill? You look so faint!'

'She is a little surprised,' interrupted Lord Westhaven, seeing her
still unable to answer for herself. 'She has brought us a visitor whom
we did not expect. My brother Godolphin landed just as she was returning
home.'

At this intelligence Lady Westhaven could express only pleasure. She had
never seen Godolphin, who was now introduced, and received with every
token of regard by her Ladyship, as well as by the Baron and Mrs. St.
Alpin; who beheld with pleasure another son of their sister, and beheld
him an honour to their family.

Bellozane, however, saw his arrival with less satisfaction. He
remembered that Emmeline had been, as she had told him, well acquainted
with Godolphin in England; and recollected that whenever he had been
spoken of, she had always done justice to his merit, yet rather evaded
than sought the conversation. Her extraordinary agitation on his
arrival, which was such as disabled her from walking home, seemed much
greater than could have been created by the sight of a mere
acquaintance; his figure was so uncommonly handsome, his countenance so
interesting, and his address such a fortunate mixture of dignity and
softness, that Bellozane, vain as he was, could not but acknowledge his
personal merit; and began to fear that the coldness and insensibility of
Emmeline, which he had, till now, supposed perseverance would vanquish,
were less occasioned by her affected blindness to his own perfections,
than by her prepossession in favour of another.

Whatever internal displeasure this idea of rivalry gave the Chevalier,
he overwhelmed Godolphin with professions of regard and esteem, not the
less warm for being wholly insincere.

But Godolphin, who saw, in the encreasing dejection of Emmeline, only a
confirmation of her attachment to Delamere, drooped in hopeless
despondence. Emmeline, unable to support herself, retired early to her
room; and Godolphin, complaining of fatigue, was conducted to his by
Bellozane; while Lord Westhaven meditated how to disclose to his wife,
without too much distressing her, the illness of her brother. He
thought, that as she had suffered a good deal of vexation in the course
of the day, as well as terror at Emmeline's absence at so late an hour
in the evening, he would defer till the next morning this unwelcome
intelligence. As soon, however, as she was retired, he communicated to
his uncle and aunt the situation of Lord Delamere, and the necessity
there was for their quitting St. Alpin the next day, to attend him; an
account which they both heard with sincere regret. Mrs. St. Alpin
heartily wished Lord Delamere was with _her_, being persuaded she could
immediately cure him with remedies of her own preparing; while the Baron
expressed his vexation and regret to find the visit of his nephews so
much shortened.

Lord Westhaven went to his own apartment in great uneasiness. He heard
from his brother, that Lord Delamere, repenting of his renunciation of
Emmeline, was coming to St. Alpin, when illness stopped him at Besançon.
He knew not how to act about her; who, heiress to a large fortune, was
of so much more consequence than she had been hitherto supposed. He had
a long contention in view with Lord Montreville; and was now likely to
be embarrassed with the passion of Delamere, if he recovered, (who would
certainly expect his influence over Emmeline to be exerted to obtain his
pardon); or if the event of his illness should prove fatal, he dreaded
the anguish of Lady Westhaven and the despair of the whole family.

He was besides hurt at that melancholy and unhappy appearance, so unlike
his former manners, which he had observed in Godolphin; and for which,
ignorant of his passion for Emmeline, he knew not how to account. His
short conversation with him had cleared up no part of the mystery which
he could not but perceive hung about the affairs of Lady Adelina; and he
only knew enough to discover that something remained which it would
probably pain him to know thoroughly.

The pillow of Emmeline also was strewn with thorns. For tho' the
sharpest of them was removed, by having heard that Delamere was ill
without having suffered from the event of any dispute in which he might
on her account have engaged, she was extremely unhappy that he had, in
pursuit of her, come to France, which she now concluded must be the
case, and sorry for the disquiet which she foresaw must arise from his
indisposition and his love.

She was sure that Lady Westhaven would immediately fly to her brother.
And in that event how was she herself to act?

Could she suffer her generous, her tender friend, to whom she was so
much obliged, to encounter alone all the fatigue and anxiety to which
the sickness and danger of this beloved brother would probably expose
her? Yet could she submit to the appearance of seeking a man who had so
lately renounced her for ever, with coldness, contempt, and insult? If
she went not with Lady Westhaven, she had no choice but that of
travelling across France alone, to rejoin Mrs. Stafford; since she could
not remain with propriety a moment at St. Alpin, with the Chevalier de
Bellozane; whose addresses she never meant to encourage, and whose
importunate passion persecuted and distressed her. Godolphin
too!--whither would Godolphin go? Could she go where he was, and conceal
her partiality? or could she, by accompanying him to Besançon, plunge
another dagger in the heart of Delamere, and shew him, not only that he
had lost that portion of her regard he had once possessed, but that all
her love was now given to another.

That she was most partial to Godolphin, she could no longer attempt to
conceal from herself. The moment her fears that he had met Delamere
hostilely were removed, all her tenderness for him returned with new
force. She again saw all the merit, all the nobleness of his character;
but she still tormented herself with uneasy conjectures as to the cause
of his journey to Switzerland; and wearied herself with considering how
she ought to act, 'till towards morning, when falling, thro' mere
fatigue and lassitude, into a short slumber, she saw multiplied and
exaggerated, in dreams, the dreadful images which had disturbed her
waking; and starting up in terror, determined no more to attempt to
sleep. It was now day break; and wrapping herself in her muslin morning
gown and cloak, she went down into the garden of Mrs. St. Alpin, where,
seated on a bench, under a row of tall walnut trees, which divided it
from the vineyard, she leaned her head against one of them; and lost in
reflections on the strangeness of her fate, and the pain of her
situation, she neither saw or heard any thing around her.

Godolphin, in the anxiety she had expressed for Delamere, believed he
saw a confirmation of his fears; which had always been that the early
impression he had made on her heart would be immoveable, and that
neither his having renounced her or his rash and heedless temper would
prevent her continuing to love him. Wretched in this idea, he concluded
all hopes of obtaining her regard for ever at an end; while every hour's
experience of his own feelings, whether he thought of or saw her,
convinced him that his love, however desperate, was incurable.
Accustomed to fatigue, all that he had endured the day before could not
restore to him that repose which was driven away by these reflections.
Almost as soon as he saw it was light, he left his room, and with less
interest than he would once have taken in such a survey, wandered over
the antique apartments of the paternal house of his mother. He then went
down into the garden; and musing rather than observing, passed along the
strait walk that went between the walnut trees into the vineyard. At the
end of it he turned, and, in coming again towards the house, saw
Emmeline sitting on the bench beneath them, who had not seen him the
first time he passed her, but who now appeared surprised at his
approach.

She had not, however, time to rise before he went up to her, and bowing
gravely, enquired how she did after the alarm he had been so unfortunate
as to give her the evening before?

'I fear,' said he, seating himself by her, 'that Miss Mowbray is yet
indisposed from her late walk and my inconsiderate address to her. I
know not how to forgive myself for my indiscretion, since it has
distressed you.'

'Such intelligence as I had the misfortune of hearing, Sir, of the
brother of Lady Westhaven--a brother so dear to her--could hardly fail
of affecting me. I should have been concerned had a stranger been so
circumstanced; but when--'

'Ah! Madam,' interrupted Godolphin, 'you need not repeat all the claims
which give the fortunate Delamere a right to your favour. But do not
suffer yourself, on his account, to be so extremely alarmed. I hope the
danger is by no means so great as to make his recovery hopeless. Since
of those we love, the most minute account is not tedious, and since it
may, perhaps, alleviate your apprehensions for his safety, will you
allow me to relate all I know of his illness! It will engage me,
perhaps, in a detail of our first acquaintance, and carry me back to
circumstances which I would wish to forget; if your gratification was
not in my mind a consideration superior to every other.'

Emmeline, trembling, yet wishing to hear all, could not refuse. She
bowed in silence; and Godolphin considering that as an assent, reassumed
his discourse.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Soon after I had the happiness of seeing you last, my wish to embrace
Lady Clancarryl and her family (from whose house I had been long obliged
to absent myself because Mr. Fitz-Edward was with them) carried me to
Ireland; and to my astonishment I there met Lord Delamere.

'The relationship between their families, made my sister anxiously
invite him to Lough Carryl. Thither reluctantly he came; and an accident
informed him that I had the good fortune, by means of Lady Adelina
Trelawny, to be known to you.

'He did me the honour to shew me particular attention; and the morning
after he found I had the happiness of being acquainted with Miss
Mowbray, he took occasion, when we were alone, to ask me, abruptly,
whether I knew Colonel Fitz-Edward? I answered that I certainly did, by
the connection in our families; and that he was once my most intimate
friend.

'He then unreservedly, and with vehemence said, that Fitz-Edward was a
villain! Astonished and hurt at an assertion which (how true soever it
might be) I thought alluded to that unhappy affair which I hoped was a
secret, I eagerly asked an explanation. But judge, Miss Mowbray, of the
astonishment, the pain, with which I heard him impute to you the error
of my unfortunate Adelina--when I saw him take out three anonymous
letters, one of which I found had hastened his return from France,
purporting that Fitz-Edward had availed himself of his absence to win
your affections, that he had taken, of those affections, the most
ungenerous advantage, and that on going to a place named (which I
remembered to be the house where my little William was nursed,) he might
himself see an unequivocal proof of your fatal attachment and
Fitz-Edward's perfidy.

'When I had read these odious letters, and listened to several
circumstances he related, which confirmed in his apprehension the truth
of the assertions they contained, he went on to inform me, that
following this cruel information, he had seen you with the infant in
your arms; had bitterly reproached you, and then had quitted you for
ever!--But as he could not rest without trying to punish the infamous
conduct of Fitz-Edward, he had pursued him to Ireland, where, instead of
finding him, he heard that he was gone to France, undoubtedly to meet
you, by your own appointment; but as Lord Clancarryl still expected him
back, he determined to wait a little longer, in hopes of an opportunity
of discussing with him the subjects of complaint he had related.

'Tho' I immediately saw what I ought to do, astonishment for a moment
kept me silent, and in that moment we were interrupted.

'This delay, however unwelcome, gave me time for reflection. Lord
Delamere was to go the same day from Lough Carryl to Dublin. I resolved
to follow him thither, and relate the whole truth; since I would by no
means suffer your generous and exalted friendship for my sister to stain
the lovely purity of a character which only the malice of fiends could
delight in blasting, only the blind and infatuated rashness of jealousy
a moment believe capable of blemish! Many reasons induced me, however,
to delay this necessary explanation 'till I saw him at his own lodgings.
Thither I followed him, two days after he departed from Lough Carryl.
But on enquiring for him, was surprised and mortified to find that he
had received letters from England which had induced him immediately to
return thither, and that he had sailed in the packet for Holyhead the
day after his arrival at Dublin.'

Emmeline, astonished at the malice which appeared to have been exerted
against her, remained silent; but in such tremor, that it was with
difficulty she continued to hear him.

'I now, therefore, relinquished all thoughts of returning to the house
of my sister, and followed him by the first conveyance that offered,
greatly apprehending, that if the letters he had received gave him
notice of Fitz-Edward's return to London, my interposition would be too
late to prevent their meeting. I knew the hasty and inconsiderate
Delamere would, without an explanation, so conduct himself towards
Fitz-Edward, that neither his spirit or his profession would permit him
to bear; and that if they met, the consequence must, to one of them, be
fatal. I was impatient too to rescue your name, Madam, from the
unmerited aspersions which it bore. But when I arrived in London, and
hastened to Berkley-Square, I heard that Lord and Lady Montreville,
together with Lady Frances Crofts, her husband, and Lord Delamere, had
gone all together to Audley Hall, immediately after his return from
Ireland. Thither, therefore, I went also.'

'Generous, considerate Godolphin!' sighed Emmeline to herself.

'Tho' related, by my brother's marriage, to the family of the Marquis of
Montreville, I was a stranger to every member of it but Lord Delamere.
He was gone to dine out; and in the rest of the family I observed an air
of happiness and triumph, which Lord Montreville informed me was
occasioned by the marriage which was intended soon to take place between
his son and Miss Otley; whose immense fortune, and near relationship to
his mother's family, had made such a marriage particularly desirable. I
was glad to hear he was likely to be happy; but it was not therefore the
less necessary to clear up the error into which he had fallen. On his
coming home, he appeared pleased and surprised to see me; but I saw in
his looks none of that satisfaction which was so evident in those of the
rest of the house.

'As soon as we were alone, he said to me--"You see me, Mr. Godolphin, at
length taken in the toils. Immediately after leaving Lough Carryl, I
received a letter from a person in London, whom I had employed for that
purpose, which informed me that he heard, at the office of the agent to
Fitz-Edward's regiment, that he was certainly to be in town in a few
days. He named, indeed, the exact time; and I, who imagined that pains
had been taken to keep us from meeting, determined to return to England
instantly, that he might not again avoid me. On reaching London,
however, I found that the intelligence I had received was wholly
unfounded, and originated in the mistake of a clerk in the agent's
office. None knew where Fitz-Edward was, or when he would return; and
though I wrote to enquire at Rouen, where I imagined the residence of
Miss Mowbray might induce him to remain, I have yet had no answer. The
entreaties and tears of my mother prevailed on me to come down hither;
and reckless of what becomes of me, since Emmeline is undoubtedly lost
to me for ever, I have yielded to the remonstrance of my father and the
prayers of my mother, and have consented to marry a woman whom I cannot
love. Let not Fitz-Edward, however, imagine," (vehemently and fiercely
he spoke) "that he is with impunity to escape; and that tho' my
vengeance may be delayed, I can _forgive_ the man who has basely robbed
me of her whom I _could_ love--whom I _did_ love--even to madness!"

'I own to you, Madam, that when I found this unfortunate young man had
put into his father's hands the promise you had given him, and that it
was returned to you, I felt at once pity for him, and--hope for myself,
which, 'till then, I had never dared to indulge.'

Godolphin had never been thus explicit before. Pale as death, and
deprived of the power as well as of the inclination to interrupt him,
Emmeline awaited, in breathless silence, the close of this extraordinary
narrative.

'It was now,' reassumed he, 'my turn to speak. And trusting to his
honour for his silence about my unhappy sister, I revealed to him the
whole truth. I at once cleared your character from unjust blame, and, I
hope, did justice to those exalted virtues to which I owe so much. I
will not shock your gentle and generous bosom with a relation of the
wild phrenzy, the agonies of regret and repentance, into which this
relation threw Lord Delamere. Concerned at the confusion his reproaches
and his anguish had occasioned to the whole family, I lamented that I
could not explain to _them_ what I had said to _him_, which had produced
so sudden a change in his sentiments about you; but to such women as the
Marchioness of Montreville and her daughter, I could not relate the
unhappiness of my poor Adelina; and Delamere steadily refused to tell
them how he became convinced of your innocence, and the wicked arts
which had been used to mislead him; which he openly imputed to the
family of the Crofts', against whom his fiery and vindictive spirit
turned all the rage it had till now cherished against Fitz-Edward.

'The Marquis, tho' extremely hurt, had yet candour enough to own, that
if I was convinced that the causes of complaint which his son had
against you were ill founded, I had done well in removing them. Yet I
saw that he wished I had been less anxious for the vindication of
innocence; and he beheld, with an uneasy and suspicious eye, what he
thought officious interference in the affairs of his family. I observed,
too, that he believed when the influence that he supposed I had over the
mind of Lord Delamere was removed, he should be able to bring him back
to his engagements with Miss Otley, which had, I found, been hurried on
with the utmost precipitation. The ladies, who had at first overwhelmed
me with civilities, now appeared so angry, that notwithstanding Lord
Delamere's entreaties that I would stay with him till he could determine
how to act, I immediately returned to London; and from thence, after
passing a week with Adelina, whom I had only seen for a few hours since
my return from Ireland, I set out for St. Alpin.'

'But Lord Delamere, Sir?' said Emmeline, inarticulately.

'Alas! Madam,' dejectedly continued Godolphin, 'I mean not to entertain
you on what relates to myself; but to hasten to that which I farther
have to say of the fortunate Delamere! I waited a few days at
Southampton for a wind; and then landing at Havre, proceeded to St.
Germains, where Mrs. Stafford's last letters had informed Adelina she
was settled. I knew, too, that you were gone with my brother and Lady
Westhaven to St. Alpin. Mrs. Stafford had only the day before forwarded
to you Lord Montreville's letter, which, by one from his Lordship to
herself, she knew contained the promise you had given Lord Delamere. She
said, that this renunciation would give you no pain. She made me hope
that your heart was not irrevocably his. Ah! why did I suffer such
illusions to lead me on to this conviction! But pray forgive me, lovely
Miss Mowbray! I am still talking of myself. From St. Germains I made as
much haste as possible to Besançon. I rode post; and, just as I got off
my horse at the hotel, was accosted by a French servant, whom I knew
belonged to Lord Delamere.

'The man expressed great joy at seeing me, and besought me to go with
him to his master, who, he said, had, thro' fatigue and the heat of the
weather, been seized with a fever, and was unable to proceed to St.
Alpin, whither he was going.

'I was extremely concerned at his journey; and, I hope, not so selfish
as to be unmoved by his illness. I found, indeed, his fever very high,
but greatly irritated and encreased by his impatience. As soon as he saw
me, he told me that he was hurrying to St. Alpin, in hopes of obtaining
your pardon; that he had broke off his engagement with Miss Otley, and
never would return to England till he carried you thither as his wife.

'"I am now well enough to go on, indeed Godolphin," added he, "and if I
can but see her!----"

'I was by no means of opinion that he was in a condition to travel. His
fever encreased; after I left him in the evening, he grew delirious; and
Millefleur, terrified, came to call me to him. I sat up with him for
the rest of the night; and being accustomed to attend invariably to the
illness of men on ship board, I thought I might venture, from my
experience, to direct a change in the method which the physician he had
sent for pursued. In a few hours he grew better, and the delirium left
him; but he was then convinced that he was too weak to proceed on his
journey.

'He knew I was coming hither, and he entreated me to hasten my
departure. "Go, my good friend," said he--"send Augusta to me. She will
bring with her the generous, the forgiving angel, whom my rash folly has
dared to injure! She will behold my penitence; and, if her pardon can be
obtained, it will restore me to life; but if I cannot see them--if I
linger many days longer in suspence, my illness must be fatal!"

'As I really did not think him in great danger, and saw every proper
care was now taken of him, determined to come on; not only because I
wished to save Lady Westhaven the pain of hearing of his illness by any
other means, but because--'

He was proceeding, when a deep and convulsive sigh from Emmeline made
him look in her face, from which he had hitherto kept his eyes, (unable
to bear the varying expressions it had shewn of what he thought her
concern for Delamere.) He now beheld her, quite pale, motionless, and to
all appearance lifeless. Her sense of what she owed to the generosity of
Godolphin; her concern for Delamere; and the dread of those contending
passions which she foresaw would embitter her future life, added to the
sleepless night and fatigueing day she had passed, had totally overcome
her. Godolphin flew for assistance. The servants were by this time up,
and ran to her. Among the first of them was Le Limosin, who expressed
infinite anxiety and concern for her, and assiduously exerted himself in
carrying her into the house; where she soon recovered, begged
Godolphin's pardon for the trouble she had given, and was going to her
own room, led by Madelon, when Bellozane suddenly appeared, and offered
his assistance, which Emmeline faintly declining, moved on.

Godolphin, who could not bear to leave her in such a state, walked
slowly by her, tho' she had refused his arm. The expression of his
countenance, while his eyes were eagerly fixed on her face, would have
informed any one less interested than Bellozane, of what passed in his
heart; and the Chevalier surveyed him with looks of angry observation,
which did not escape Emmeline, ill as she was. On arriving, therefore,
at the foot of the staircase, she besought, in English, Godolphin to
leave her, which he instantly did. She then told the Chevalier that she
would by no means trouble him to attend her farther; and he, satisfied
that no preference was shewn to his cousin, at least in this instance,
bowed, and returned with him into the room where they usually assembled
in a morning, and where they found Lord Westhaven.



CHAPTER V


His Lordship told them that Lady Westhaven had been less alarmed at the
account he had given her of Delamere than he had apprehended; and that
she was preparing to begin their journey towards him immediately after
breakfast.

'I must send,' continued he, 'Miss Mowbray to her; who is, I understand,
already up and walking.'

Bellozane then informed his Lordship of what he knew of Emmeline. But
Godolphin was silent: he dared not trust himself with speaking much of
her; he dared not relate her illness, lest the cause of it should be
enquired into. 'Does Miss Mowbray go with my sister?' asked he.

'That I know not,' replied Lord Westhaven. 'Augusta will very
reluctantly go without her. Yet her situation in regard to Lord Delamere
is such'--He ceased speaking; looked embarrassed; and, soon after, the
Chevalier quitting the room, before whom civility would not allow them
to converse long in English, and to whom his Lordship thought he had no
right to reveal the real situation of Emmeline, while it yet remained
unknown to others, he related to his brother the circumstances of the
discovery that had been made of her birth, and of her consequent claim
to the Mowbray estate.

Godolphin, who would, from the obscurest indigence, have chosen her in
preference to all other women, heard this account with pleasure, only as
supposing that independance might be grateful to her sensibility, and
affluence favourable to the liberality of her spirit. But the
satisfaction he derived from these reflections, was embittered and
nearly destroyed, when he considered, that her acquiring so large a
fortune would make her alliance eagerly sought by the very persons who
had before scorned and rejected her; and that all the family would unite
in persuading her to forgive Delamere, the more especially as this would
be the only means to keep in it the Mowbray estate, and to preclude the
necessity of refunding the income which had been received for so many
years, and which now amounted to a great sum of money. When the pressing
instances of all her own family, and particularly of Lady Westhaven,
whom she so tenderly loved, were added to the affection he believed she
had invariably felt for Delamere, he thought it impossible that her
pride, however it might have been piqued by the desertion of her lover,
could make any effort against a renewal of her engagement; and his own
hopes, which he had never cherished till he was convinced Delamere had
given her up, and which had been weakened by her apparent affection for
him, were by this last event again so nearly annihilated, that, no
longer conscious he retained any, he fancied himself condemned still to
love, serve, and adore the object of his passion, without making any
effort to secure it's success, or being permitted to appear otherwise
than as her friend. He was vexed that he had been unguardedly explicit,
in telling her that he had ever indulged those hopes at all; since he
now feared it would be the means of depriving her conversation and her
manner, when they were together, of that charming frankness, of which,
tho' it rivetted his chains and encreased his torments, he could not
bear to be deprived. Melancholy and desponding, he continued long silent
after Lord Westhaven ceased speaking. Suddenly, however, awakening from
his reverie, he said--'Does your Lordship think Miss Mowbray _ought_ to
go to meet Lord Delamere?'

'Upon my word I know not how to advise: my wife is miserable without
her, and fancies the sight of her will immediately restore Delamere. On
the other hand, I believe Emmeline herself will with reluctance take a
step that will perhaps, appear like forcing herself into the notice of a
man from whom she has received an affront which it is hardly in female
nature to forgive.'

They were now interrupted by Bellozane, who flew about the house in
evident uneasiness and confusion. He did not yet know how Emmeline was
to be disposed of: he saw that Lord Westhaven was himself uncertain of
it; and he had been applying for information to Le Limosin and Madelon,
who had yet received no orders to prepare for her departure.

While Emmeline had created in the bosoms of others so much anxiety, she
was herself tortured with the cruellest uncertainty. Unable to resolve
how she ought to act, she had yet determined on nothing, when Lady
Westhaven sent for her, who, as soon as she entered the room, said--'My
dear Emmeline, are you not preparing for our journey?'

'How can I, dearest Madam--how can I, with any propriety, go where Lord
Delamere is? After the separation which has now so decidedly and
irrevocably taken place between us, shall I intrude again on his
Lordship's sight? and solicit a return of that regard with which I most
sincerely wish he had forborne to honour me?'

'You are piqued, my lovely friend; and I own with great reason. But Mr.
Godolphin has undoubtedly told you that poor Frederic is truly penitent;
that he has taken this journey merely to deprecate your just anger and
to solicit his pardon. Will my Emmeline, generous and gentle as she is
to others, be inexorable only to him? Besides, my sweet coz, pray
consider a moment, what else can you do? You certainly would not wish to
stay here? Surely you would not travel alone to St. Germains. And let me
add my own hopes that you will not quit me now, when poor Frederic's
illness, and my own precarious health, make your company not merely
pleasant but necessary.'

'That is indeed a consideration which must have great force with me.
When Lady Westhaven commands, how shall I disobey, even tho' to obey be
directly contrary to my judgment and my wishes.'

'Commands, my dear friend,' very gravely, and with an air of chagrin,
said her Ladyship, 'are neither for me to give or for you to receive.
Certainly if you are so determined against going with me, I must submit.
But I did not indeed think that Emmeline, however the brother may have
offended her, would thus have resented it to the sister.'

'I should be a monster, Lady Westhaven,' (hardly was she able to
restrain her tears as she spoke,)--'was I a moment capable of forgetting
all I owe you. But do you really think I _ought_ again to put myself in
the way of Lord Delamere--again to renew all the family contention which
his very unfortunate partiality for me has already occasioned; and again
to hazard being repulsed with contempt by the Marquis, and still more
probably by the Marchioness of Montreville. My lot has hitherto been
humble: I have learned to submit to it, if not without regret, at least
with calmness and resignation; yet pardon me if I say, that however
unhappy my fortune, there is still something due to myself; and if I
again make myself liable to the humiliation of being _refused_, I shall
feel that I am degraded in mind, as much as I have been in
circumstances, and lost to that proper pride to which innocence and
rectitude has in the lowest indigence a right, and which cannot be
relinquished but with the loss of virtue.'

The spirit which Emmeline thought herself obliged to exert, was
immediately lost in softness and in sorrow when she beheld Lady
Westhaven in tears; who, sobbing, said--'Go then, Miss Mowbray!--Go, my
dear Emmeline! (for dear you must ever be to me) leave _me_ to be
unhappy and poor Frederic to die.'

'Hear me, my dear Madam!' answered she with quickness--'If to _you_ I
can be of the least use, I will hesitate no longer; but let it then be
understood that I go _with_ you, and by no means _to_ Lord Delamere.'

'It shall be so understood--be assured, my love, it shall! You will not,
then, leave me?--You will see my poor brother?'

'My best, my dearest friend,' replied Emmeline, collecting all her
fortitude, 'hear me without resentment explain to you at once the real
situation of my heart in regard to Lord Delamere. I feel for him the
truest concern; I feel it for him even to a painful excess; and I have
an affection for him, a sisterly affection for him, which I really
believe is little inferior to your own. But I will not deceive you; nor,
since I am to meet him, will I suffer him to entertain hopes that it is
impossible for me to fulfil. To be considered as the friend, as the
sister of Lord Delamere, is one of the first wishes my heart now
forms--against ever being his wife, I am resolutely determined.'

'Impossible!--Surely you cannot have made such a resolution?'

'I have indeed!--Nor will any consideration on earth induce me from that
determination to recede.'

'And is it anger and resentment only have raised in your heart this
decided enmity to my poor brother? Or is it, that any other----'

Emmeline, whose colourless cheeks were suffused with a deep blush at
this speech, hastily interrupted it.--

'Whatever, dear Lady Westhaven, are my motives for the decision, it is
irrevocable; as Lord Delamere's sister, I shall be honoured, if I am
allowed to consider myself.--As such, if my going with you to Besançon
will give you a day's--an hour's satisfaction, I go.'

'Get ready then, my love. But indeed, cruel girl, if such is your
resolution it were better to leave you here, than take you only to shew
Lord Delamere all he has lost, while you deprive him of all hopes of
regaining you. But I will yet flatter myself you do not mean all
this.--"At lovers' perjuries they say Jove laughs."--And those of my
fair cousin will be forgiven, should she break her angry vow and receive
her poor penitent. Come, let us hasten to begin our journey to him; for
tho' that dear Godolphin, whom I shall love as long as I live,' (ah!
thought Emmeline, and so shall I) 'assures me he does not think him in
any danger, my heart will sadly ache till I see him myself.'

Emmeline then left her to put up her cloaths and prepare for a journey
to which she was determined solely by the pressing instances of Lady
Westhaven. To herself she foresaw only uneasiness and embarrassment; and
even found a degree of cruelty in permitting Lord Delamere to feed, by
her consenting to attend him, those hopes to which she now could never
accede, unless by condemning herself to the most wretched of all
lots--that of marrying one man while her love was another's. The late
narrative which she had heard from Godolphin, encreased her affection
for him, and took from her every wish to oppose it's progress; and tho'
she was thus compelled to see Delamere, she determined not to deceive
him, but to tell him ingenuously that he had lost all that tenderness
which her friendship and long acquaintance with him would have induced
her to cherish, had not his own conduct destroyed it--

But it was hardly less necessary to own to him part of the truth, than
to conceal the rest. Should he suspect that Godolphin was his rival, and
a rival fondly favoured, she knew that his pride, his jealousy, his
resentment, would hurry him into excesses more dreadful, than any that
had yet followed his impetuous love or his unbridled passions.

The apprehensions that he must, if they were long together, discover it,
were more severely distressing than any she had yet felt; and she
resolved, both now and when they reached Besançon, to keep the strictest
guard on her words and looks; and to prevent if possible her real
sentiments being known to Delamere, to Lady Westhaven, and to Godolphin
himself.

So painful and so difficult appeared the dissimulation necessary for
that end; and so contrary did she feel it to her nature, that she was
withheld only by her love to Lady Westhaven from flying to England with
Mrs. Stafford; and should she be restored to her estate, she thought
that the only chance she had of tranquillity would be to hide herself
from Delamere, whom she at once pitied and dreaded, and from Godolphin,
whom she tenderly loved, in the silence and seclusion of Mowbray Castle.

Her embarrassment and uneasiness were encreased, when, on her joining
Lord and Lady Westhaven, whose carriages and baggage were now ready, she
found that the Chevalier de Bellozane had insisted on escorting them; an
offer which they had no pretence to refuse. On her taking leave of the
Baron, he very warmly and openly recommended his son to her favour; and
Mrs. St. Alpin, who was very fond of her, repeated her wishes that she
would listen to her nephew; and both with unfeigned concern saw their
English visitors depart. Captain Godolphin had a place in his brother's
chaise; Madelon occupied that which on the former journey was filled by
Bellozane in the coach, the Chevalier now proceeding on horseback.

During the journey, Emmeline was low and dejected; from which she was
sometimes roused by impatient enquiries and fearful apprehensions which
darted into her mind, of what was to happen at the end of it. Every
thing he observed, confirmed Godolphin in his persuasion that her heart
was wholly Delamere's: her behaviour to himself was civil, but even
studiously distant; while the unreserved and ardent addresses of
Bellozane, who made no mystery of his pretensions, she repulsed with yet
more coldness and severity: and tho' towards Lord and Lady Westhaven the
sweetness of her manners was yet preserved, she seemed overwhelmed with
sadness, and her vivacity was quite lost.

As soon as they reached Besançon, Lord Westhaven directed the carriages
to stop at another hotel, while he went with his brother to that where
Lord Delamere was. At the door, they met Millefleur; who, overjoyed to
see them, related, that since Mr. Godolphin left his master the violence
of his impatience had occasioned a severe relapse, in which, according
to the orders Mr. Godolphin had given, the surgeons had bled and
blistered him; that he was now again better, but very weak; yet so
extremely ungovernable and self-willed, that the French people who
attended him could do nothing with him, and that his English footmen,
and Millefleur himself, were forced to be constantly in his room to
prevent his leaving it or committing some other excess that might again
irritate the fever and bring on alarming symptoms. They hastened to him;
and found not only that his fever still hung on him, tho' with less
violence, but that he was also extremely emaciated; and that only his
youth had supported him thro' so severe an illness, or could now enable
him to struggle with it's effects.

The moment they entered the room, he enquired after his sister and
Emmeline; and hearing the latter was actually come, he protested he
would instantly go to her.

Lord Westhaven and Godolphin resolutely opposed so indiscreet a plan:
the former, by his undeviating rectitude of mind and excellent sense,
had acquired a greater ascendant over Delamere than any of his family
had before possessed; and to the latter he thought himself so much
obliged, that he could not refuse to attend to him. He consented
therefore at length to remain where he was; and Lord Westhaven hastened
back to his wife, whom he led immediately to her brother.

She embraced him with many tears; and was at first greatly shocked at
his altered countenance and reduced figure. But as Lord Westhaven and
Godolphin both assured her there was no longer any danger if he would
consent to be governed, she was soothed into hope of his speedy recovery
and soon became tolerably composed.

As Lord Westhaven and Godolphin soon left them alone, he began to talk
to his sister of Emmeline. He told her, that when he had been undeceived
by Mr. Godolphin, and the scandalous artifices discovered which had
raised in his mind such injurious suspicions, he had declared to Lord
and Lady Montreville his resolution to proceed no farther in the treaty
which they had hurried on with Miss Otley, and had solicited their
consent, to his renewing and fulfilling that, which he had before
entered into with Miss Mowbray; but that his mother, with more anger and
acrimony than ever, had strongly opposed his wishes; and that his father
had forbidden him, on pain of his everlasting displeasure, ever again to
think of Emmeline.

After having for some time, he said, combated their inveterate
prejudice, he had left them abruptly, and set out with his three
servants for St. Alpin, (where Godolphin informed him Emmeline was to
be;) when a fever, owing to heat and fatigue, seized and confined him
where he now was.

'Ah, tell me, my sister, what hopes are there that Emmeline will pardon
me? May I dare enquire whether she is yet to be moved in my favour?'

Lady Westhaven, who during their journey could perceive no symptoms that
her resolution was likely to give way, dared not feed him with false
hopes; yet unwilling to depress him by saying all she feared, she told
him that Emmeline was greatly and with justice offended; but that all he
could at present do, was to take care of his health. She entreated him
to consider the consequence of another relapse, which might be brought
on by his eagerness and emotion; and then conjuring him to keep all he
knew of Lady Adelina a secret from Lord Westhaven (the necessity of
which he already had heard from Godolphin) she left him and returned to
Emmeline.

To avoid the importunity of Bellozane, and the melancholy looks of
Godolphin, which affected her with the tenderest sorrow, she had retired
to a bed chamber, where she waited the return of Lady Westhaven with
impatience.

Her solicitude for Delamere was very great; and her heart greatly
lightened when she found that even his tender and apprehensive sister
did not think him in any immediate danger, and believed that a few days
would put him out of hazard even of a relapse.

She now again thought, that since Lady Westhaven had nothing to fear for
his life, her presence would be less necessary; and her mind, the longer
it thought of Mowbray Castle, adhering with more fondness to her plan of
flying thither, she considered how she might obtain in a few days Lady
Westhaven's consent to the preliminary measure of quitting Besançon.



CHAPTER VI


While the heiress of Mowbray Castle meditated how to escape thither from
the embarrassed and uneasy situation in which she now was; and while she
fancied that in retirement she might conceal, if she could not conquer,
her affection for Godolphin, (tho' in fact she only languished for an
opportunity of thinking of him perpetually without observation), Lady
Westhaven laid in wait for an occasion to try whether the ruined health
and altered looks of her brother, would not move, in his favour, her
tender and sensible friend.

While Delamere kept his chamber, Emmeline easily evaded an interview;
but when, after three or four days, he was well enough to leave it, it
was no longer possible for her to escape seeing him. However Godolphin
thought himself obliged to bury in silence his unfortunate passion, he
could not divest himself of that painful curiosity which urged him to
observe the behaviour of Emmeline on their first meeting. Bellozane had
discovered on what footing Lord Delamere had formerly been; and he
dreaded a renewal of that preference she had given her lover, to which
his proud heart could ill bear to submit, tho' he could himself make no
progress in her favour. Tho' Lady Westhaven had entreated her to see
Delamere alone, she had refused; assigning as a reason that as he could
never again be to her any other than a friend, nothing could possibly
pass which her other friends might not hear. Delamere was obliged
therefore to brook the hard conditions of seeing her as an indifferent
person, or not seeing her at all. But tho' she was immoveably determined
against receiving him again as a lover, she had not been able to steel
her heart against his melancholy appearance; his palid countenance, his
emaciated form, extremely affected her. And when he approached her,
bowed with a dejected air, and offered to take her hand--her
haughtiness, her resentment forsook her--she trembling gave it,
expressed in incoherent words her satisfaction at seeing him better, and
betrayed so much emotion, that Godolphin, who with a beating heart
narrowly observed her, saw, as he believed, undoubted proof of her love;
and symptoms of her approaching forgiveness.

Delamere, who, whenever he was near her, ceased to remember that any
other being existed; would, notwithstanding the presence of so many
witnesses, have implored her pardon and her pity; but the moment he
began to speak on that subject, she told him, with as much resolution as
she could command, that the subject was to her so very disagreeable, as
would oblige her to withdraw if he persisted in introducing it.

While his looks expressed how greatly he was hurt by her coldness, those
of Godolphin testified equal dejection. For however she might repress
the hopes of his rival by words of refusal and resentment, he thought
her countenance gave more unequivocal intelligence of the real state of
her heart. Bellozane, as proud, as little used to controul and
disappointment, and with more personal vanity than Lord Delamere, beheld
with anger and mortification the pity and regard which Emmeline shewed
for her cousin; and ceasing to be jealous of Godolphin, he saw every
thing to apprehend from the rank, the fortune, the figure of
Delamere--from family connection, which would engage her to listen to
him--from ambition, which his title would gratify--from her tenderness
to Lady Westhaven, and from the return of that affection which she had,
as he supposed, once felt for Lord Delamere himself.

But the more invincible the obstacles which he saw rising, appeared, the
more satisfaction he thought there would be in conquering them. And to
yield up his pretensions, on the first appearance of a formidable rival,
was contrary to his enterprising spirit and his ideas of that glory,
which he equally coveted in the service of the fair and of the French
King.

With these sentiments of each other, the restraint and mistrust of every
party impeded general or chearful conversation. Godolphin soon left the
room, to commune with his own uneasy thoughts in a solitary walk; Lord
Westhaven would then have taken out Bellozane, in order to give Lord
Delamere an opportunity of being alone with his sister and Emmeline. But
he was determined not to understand hints on that subject; and when his
Lordship asked him to take an afternoon's walk, found means to refuse
it. Afraid of leaving two such combustible spirits together, Lord
Westhaven, to the great relief of Emmeline, staid with them till
Delamere retired for the night.

But the behaviour of Bellozane to Emmeline, which was very particular,
as if he wished it to be noticed, had extremely alarmed Delamere; and
whenever they afterwards met, they surveyed each other with such haughty
reserve, and their conversation bordered so nearly on hostility and
defiance, that Emmeline, who expected every hour to see their animosity
blaze out in a challenge, could support her uneasiness about it no
longer; and sending early to speak to Lord Westhaven on the beginning of
the second week of their stay, she represented to him her fears, and
entreated him to prevail on the Chevalier to leave them and return to
St. Alpin.

'I have attempted it already,' said he; 'but with so little success,
that if I press it any farther I must quarrel with him myself. I know
perfectly well that your fears have too much foundation; and that if we
can neither separate or tranquillise these unquiet spirits, we shall
have some disagreeable affair happen between them. I know nothing that
can be done but your accepting at once your penitent cousin.'

'No, my Lord,' answered she, with an air of chagrin, 'that I will not
do! I most ardently wish Lord Delamere well, and would do any thing to
make him happy--except sacrificing my own happiness, and acting in
opposition to my conscience.'

'Why, my dear Emmeline, how is this? You had once, surely, an affection
for Delamere; and his offence against you, however great, admits of
considerable alleviation. Consider all the pains that were taken to
disunite you, and the importunity he suffered from his family. Surely,
when you are convinced of his repentance you should restore him to your
favour; and however you may be superior to considerations of fortune and
rank, yet when they unite in a man otherwise unexceptionable they should
have some weight.'

'They have none with me, upon my honour, my Lord. And since we have got
upon this topic, I will be very explicit--I am determined on no account
to marry Lord Delamere. But that I may give no room to charge me with
caprice or coquetry (since your Lordship believes I once had so great a
regard for him), or with that unforgiving temper which I see you are
disposed to accuse me of, it is my fixed intention, if I obtain, by your
Lordship's generous interposition, the Mowbray estate, to retire to
Mowbray Castle, and never to marry at all.'

Lord Westhaven, at the solemnity and gravity with which she pronounced
these words, began to laugh so immoderately, and to treat her resolution
with ridicule so pointed, that he first made her almost angry, and then
obliged her to laugh too. At length, however, she prevailed on him again
to listen to her apprehensions about Delamere and Bellozane.

'Do not, my Lord, rally me so cruelly; but for Heaven's sake, before it
is too late, prevent any more meetings between these two rash and
turbulent young men. Why should the Chevalier de Bellozane stay here?'

'Because it is his pleasure. I do assure you seriously, my dear Miss
Mowbray, that I have almost every day since we came hither attempted to
send my fiery cousin back to St. Alpin. But my anxiety has only piqued
him; and he determines more resolutely to stay because he sees my motive
for wishing him gone. He is exactly the character which I have somewhere
seen described by a French poet.--A young man who,

        ----_'leger, impetueux,
    De soi meme rempli, jaloux, presomptueux,
    Bouillant dans ses passions; cedant a ses caprices;
    Pour un peu de valeur, se passoit de tous ses vices._'[37]

'Yet, among all his faults, poor Bellozane has some good qualities; and
I am really sorry for this strange perseverance in an hopeless pursuit,
because it prevents my asking him to England. I give you my honour,
Emmeline,' continued his Lordship, in a more serious tone, 'that I have
repeatedly represented to him the improbability of his success; but he
answers that you have never positively dismissed him by avowing your
preference to another; that he knows your engagement with Lord Delamere
is dissolved, and that he considers himself at liberty to pursue you
till you have decidedly chosen, or even till you are actually married.
Nay, I doubt whether your being married would make any difference in the
attentions of this eccentric and presuming Frenchman, for I do not
consider Bellozane as a Swiss.'

'Well, but my dear Lord, if the Chevalier will persist in staying, I
must determine to go. I see not that my remaining here will be attended
with any good effects. It may possibly be the cause of infinite
uneasiness to Lady Westhaven. Do, therefore, prevail upon her to let me
go alone to St. Germains. When I am gone, Lord Delamere will think more
of getting well than of forcing me into a new engagement. He will then
soon be able to travel; and the Chevalier de Bellozane will return
quietly to the Baron.'

'Why to speak ingenuously, Emmeline, it _does_ appear to me that it were
on every account more proper for you to be in England. Thither I wish
you could hasten, before it will be possible for Lord Delamere, or
indeed for my wife, who must travel slowly, to get thither. I do not
know whether your travelling with us will be strictly proper, on other
accounts; but if it were, it would be rendered uneasy to you by the
company of these two mad headed boys; for Bellozane I am sure intends,
if you accompany us, to go also.'

'What objection is there then to my setting out immediately for St.
Germains, with Le Limosin and Madelon, if Lady Westhaven would but
consent to it?'

'I can easily convince her of the necessity of it; but I foresee another
objection that has escaped you.'

'What is that, my Lord?'

'That Bellozane will follow you.'

'Surely he will not attempt it?'

'Indeed I apprehend he will. I have no manner of influence over him; and
he is here connected with a set of military men, who are the likeliest
people in the world to encourage such an enterprize--and if at last this
Paris should carry off our fair Helen!'--

'Nay, but my Lord do not ridicule my distress.'

'Well then, I will most seriously and gravely counsel you: and my advice
is, that you set out as soon as you can get ready, and that my brother
Godolphin escort you.'

Emmeline was conscious that she too much wished such an escort; yet
fearing that her preference of him would engage Godolphin in a quarrel
with Bellozane or Lord Delamere, perhaps with both, she answered, while
the deepest blush dyed her cheeks--

'No, my Lord, I cannot--I mean not--I should be sorry to give Captain
Godolphin the trouble of such a journey--and I beg you not to think of
it--.'

'I shall speak to him of it, however.'

'I beg, my Lord--I intreat that you will not.'

'Here he is--and we will discuss the matter with him now.'

Godolphin at this moment entered the room; and Lord Westhaven relating
plainly all Emmeline's fears, and her wishes to put an end to them by
quitting Besançon, added the proposal he had made, that Godolphin should
take care of her till she joined Mrs. Stafford.

Tho' Godolphin saw in her apprehensions for the safety of Delamere, only
a conviction of her tender regard for him, and considered his own
attachment as every way desperate; yet he could not refuse himself, when
it was thus offered him, the pleasure of being with her--the exquisite
tho' painful delight of being useful to her. He therefore eagerly
expressed the readiness, the happiness, with which he should undertake
so precious a charge.

Emmeline, fearful of betraying her real sentiments, overacted the civil
coldness with which she thought it necessary to refuse this offer.
Godolphin, mortified and vexed at her manner as much as at her denial,
ceased to press his services; and Lord Westhaven, who wondered what
could be her objection, since of the honour and propriety of Godolphin's
conduct he knew she could not doubt, seemed hurt at her rejection of his
brother's friendly intention of waiting on her; and dropping the
conversation, went away with Godolphin.

She saw that her conduct inevitably impressed on the mind of the latter
a conviction of her returning regard for Delamere; and she feared that
to Lord Westhaven it might appear to be the effect of vanity and
coquetry.

'Perhaps he will think me,' said she, 'so vain as to suppose that
Godolphin has also designs, and that therefore I decline his attendance;
and coquet enough to wish for the pursuit of these men, whom I only
affect to shun, and for that reason prefer going alone, to accepting the
protection of his brother. Yet as _I_ know the sentiments of Godolphin,
which it appears Lord Westhaven does not, surely I had better suffer his
ill opinion of me, than encourage Godolphin's hopes; which, till
Delamere can be diverted from prosecuting his unwelcome addresses, will
inevitably involve him in a dispute, and such a dispute as I cannot bear
to think of.'

Uncertain what to do, another day passed; and on the following morning,
while she waited for Lady Westhaven, she was addressed by Godolphin, who
calmly and gravely enquired if she would honour him with any commands
for England?

'Are you going then, Sir, before my Lord and Lady?'

'I am going, Madam, immediately.'

'By way of Paris?'

'Yes, Madam, to Havre; whence I shall get the quickest to Southampton,
and to the Isle of Wight. I am uneasy at the entire solitude to which my
absence condemns Adelina.'

'You have heard no unfavourable news, I hope, of Lady Adelina or your
little boy?'

'None. But I am impatient to return to them.'

'As you are going immediately, Sir,' said Emmeline (making an effort to
conquer a pain she felt rising in her bosom) 'I will not detain you by
writing to Lady Adelina. Perhaps--as it is possible--as I hope'--

She stopped. Godolphin looked anxious to hear what was possible, what
she hoped.

'As I shall so soon, so very soon be in England, perhaps we may meet,'
reassumed she, speaking very quick--'possibly I may have the happiness
of seeing her Ladyship and dear little William.'

'To meet _you_,' replied Godolphin, very solemnly, 'Adelina shall leave
her solitude; for certainly a journey to see her in it will hardly be
undertaken by _Lady Delamere_.'

He then in the same tone wished her health and happiness till he saw her
again, and left her.

He was no sooner gone, than she felt disposed to follow him and
apologize for her having so coldly refused his offers of protection.
Pride and timidity prevented her; but they could not stop her tears,
which she was obliged to conceal by hurrying to her own room. Lady
Westhaven soon after sent for her to a late breakfast: she found Lord
Delamere there; but heard that Godolphin was gone.

Soon after breakfast, Lady Westhaven and her brother, (who could not yet
obtain a clear intermission of the fever which hung about him, and who
continued extremely weak,) went out together for an airing; and Lord
Westhaven, unusually grave, was left reading in the room with Emmeline.

He laid down his book. 'So,' said he, 'William is flown away from us.'

It was a topic on which Emmeline did not care to trust her voice.

'I wish you could have determined to have gone with him.'

'I wish, my Lord, I could have reconciled it to my ideas of propriety;
since certainly I should have been happy and safe in such an escort; and
since, without any at all, I must, in a day or two, go.'

'I believe it will be best. Lord Delamere is no better; and Bellozane
has no thought of leaving us entirely, tho' his military friends take up
so much of his time that he is luckily less with Delamere. Lord Delamere
has again, Miss Mowbray, been imploring me to apply to you. He wishes
you only to hear him. He complains that you fly from him, and will not
give him an opportunity of entering on his justification.'

'I am extremely concerned at Lord Delamere's unhappiness. But I must
repeat that I require of his Lordship no justification; that I most
sincerely forgive him if he supposes he has injured me; but that as to
any proposals such as he once honoured me with, I am absolutely resolved
never to listen to them; and I entreat him to believe that any future
application on the subject must be entirely fruitless.'

'Poor young man!' said Lord Westhaven. 'However you must consent to see
him alone, and to tell him so yourself; for from me he will not believe
you so very inflexible--so very cruel.'

'I am inflexible, my Lord, but surely not cruel. The greatest cruelty of
which I could be guilty, either to Lord Delamere or myself, would be to
accept his offers, feeling as I feel, and thinking as I think.'

'I do not know how we shall get him to England, or what will be done
with him when he is there.'

'He will do well, my Lord. Doubt it not.'

'Upon my honour I _do_ doubt it! It is to me astonishing that a young
man so volatile, so high-spirited as Delamere, should be capable of an
attachment at once so violent and so steady.'

'Steady!--Has your Lordship forgotten Miss Otley?'

'His wavering then was, you well know, owing to some evil impressions he
had received of you; which, tho' he refuses to tell me the particulars,
he assures me were conveyed and confirmed with so much art, that a more
dispassionate and cooler lover would have believed them without enquiry.
How then can you wonder at _his_ petulant and eager spirit seizing on
probable circumstances, which his jealousy and apprehension immediately
converted into conviction? As soon as he knew these suspicions were
groundless, did he not fly to implore your pardon; and hasten, even at
the hazard of his life, to find and appease you? Such is the present
situation of his mind and of his health, that I very seriously assure
you I doubt whether he will survive your total rejection.'

Emmeline, unable to answer this speech gravely, without betraying the
very great concern it gave her, assumed a levity she did not feel.

'Your Lordship,' said she, 'is disposed to think thus, from the warm and
vehement manner in which Lord Delamere is accustomed to express himself.
If he is really unhappy, I am very sorry; but I am persuaded time, and
the more fortunate alliance which he is solicited to form, will effect a
cure. Don't think me unfeeling if I answer your melancholy prophecy in
the words of Rosalind--

    'Men have died from time to time, and worms have eat them--but not
    for love.'

She then ran away, and losing all her forced spirits the moment she was
alone, gave way to tears. She fancied they flowed entirely for the
unhappiness of poor Delamere, and for her uncertain situation. But tho'
the former uneasiness deeply affected her sensible heart, many of the
tears she shed were because Godolphin was gone, and she knew not when
she should again see him.

Godolphin, repining and wretched, pursued his way to Paris. He thought
that Emmeline's coldness and reserve were meant to put an end to any
hopes he might have entertained; and that her reconciliation and
marriage with Lord Delamere must inevitably take place as soon as she
had, by her dissimulated cruelty, punished him for his rashness and his
errors. His daily observation confirmed him in this opinion: he saw,
that in place of her candid and ingenuous manners, a studied conduct was
adopted, which concealed her real sentiments--sentiments which he
concluded to be all in favour of Delamere. And finding that he could not
divest himself of his passion for her, he thought that it was a
weakness, if not a crime, to indulge it in her presence, while it
imposed on himself an insupportable torment; and that, by quitting her,
he should at least conceal his hopeless attachment, and save himself the
misery of seeing her actually married to Lord Delamere. He determined,
therefore, to tear himself away; and to punish himself for the premature
expectations with which he had begun his journey to St. Alpin, by
shutting himself up at East Cliff (his house in the Isle of Wight) and
refusing himself the sight of her, of whom it would be sufficient misery
to think, when she had given herself to her favoured and fortunate
lover.

Full of these reflections, Godolphin continued his road, intending to
take the passage boat at Havre. But at the hotel he frequented at Paris,
he met a gentleman of his acquaintance who was going the next day to
England by way of Calais; and as he had his own post chaise, and only
his valet with him, he told Godolphin that if he would take a place in
his chaise he would send his servant post. This offer Godolphin
accepted; and altering his original design, went with his friend to
Calais to cross to England.

[Footnote 37:

        ----Volatile--impetuous--
    Full of himself--jealous--presumptuous--
    Fiery in his passions; yielding to every caprice;
    And who believes some courage an apology for all his vices.]



CHAPTER VII


It was now impossible for Emmeline to avoid a conversation with Lord
Delamere, which his sister urged her so earnestly to allow him.
Bellozane was, by the French officers, with whom he principally lived,
engaged out for two days; and Lord and Lady Westhaven easily found an
opportunity to leave Emmeline with Delamere.

He was no sooner alone in her presence, than he threw himself on his
knees before her--'Will you,' cried he, 'ah! will you still refuse to
hear and to forgive me? Have I offended beyond all hopes of pardon?'

'No, my Lord.--I do most readily and truly forgive every offence,
whether real or imaginary, that you believe you have committed against
me.'

'You forgive me--But to what purpose?--Only to plunge me yet deeper into
wretchedness. You forgive me--but you despise, you throw me from you for
ever. Ah! rather continue to be angry, than distract me by a pardon so
cold and careless!'

'If your Lordship will be calm--if you will rise, and hear me with
temper, I will be very explicit with you; but while you yield to these
extravagant transports, I cannot explain all I wish you to understand;
and must indeed beg to be released from a conversation so painful to me,
and to you so prejudicial.'

Delamere rose and took a chair.

'I need not, Sir,' said Emmeline, collecting all her courage, 'recall to
your memory the time so lately passed, when I engaged to become your's,
if at the expiration of a certain period Lord and Lady Montreville
consented, and you still remained disposed to bestow on me the honour of
your name.'

'What am I to expect,' cried Delamere, eagerly interrupting her--'Ah!
what am I to expect from a preface so cold and cruel? You have indeed no
occasion to recall to my memory those days when I was allowed to look
forward to that happiness, which now, thro' the villainy of others, and
my own madness and ideotism, I have lost. But, Madam, it must not, it
cannot be so easily relinquished! By heaven I will not give you up!--and
if but for a moment I thought----.'

'You seemed just now, Sir, disposed to hear me with patience. Since,
however, you cannot even for a few minutes forbear these starts of
passion, I really am unequal to the task of staying with you.'

She would then have hastened away; but Delamere forcibly detaining her,
again protested he would be calm, and again she went on.

'At that time, I will own to you, that without any prepossession, almost
without a wish either to accept or decline the very high honour you
offered me, I was content to engage myself to be your wife; because you
said such an engagement would make _you_ happy, and because I then knew
not that it would render _me_ otherwise.'

'Was you even then thus indifferent? Had I no place in your heart,
Madam, when you would have given me your hand?'

'Yes, Sir--you had then the place I now willingly restore to you. I
esteemed you; I looked upon you with a sisterly affection; and had I
married you, it would have been rather to have made you happy, than
because I had any wish to form other ties than those by which our
relationship and early acquaintance had connected us.'

'Ah! my angelic Emmeline! it will still make me happy! Let the reasons
which then influenced you, again plead for me; and forget, O! forget all
that has passed since my headlong folly urged me to insult and forsake
you!'

'Alas! my Lord, that is not in my power! You have cancelled the
engagements that subsisted between us; and, as I understand, have
actually formed others more indissoluble, with a lady of high rank and
of immense fortune--one whose alliance is as anxiously courted by your
family, as mine is despised. Can your Lordship again fly from your
promises? Can you quit at pleasure the affluent and high-born heiress as
you quitted the deserted and solitary orphan?'

'Cursed, cursed cruelty!' exclaimed Delamere, speaking thro' his shut
teeth--But go on, Madam! I deserve your severity, and must bear your
reproaches! Yet surely you know that but for the machinations of those
execrable Crofts', I should never have acted as I did--you know, that
however destitute of fortune chance had made you, I preferred you to all
those who might have brought me wealth!'

'I acknowledge your generosity, Sir, and on that head meant not to
reproach. I merely intended to represent to you what you seem to have
forgotten--that were I disposed to restore you the hand you so lately
renounced, you could not take it; since Miss Otley will certainly not
relinquish the claim you have given her to your regard.'

'You are misinformed.--I am under no engagement to Miss Otley.--I am not
by heaven! by all that is sacred!'

'Were not all preparations for your marriage in great forwardness, Sir,
when you left England? and must not your consent have been previously
obtained before Lord Montreville would have made them? However, to put
an end to all uncertainty, I must tell you, my Lord, with a sincerity
which will probably be displeasing to you, that my affections--'

'Are no longer in your own power!' cried he, hastily interrupting
her--'Speak, Madam--is it not so?'

'I did not say that, Sir. I was going to assure you that I now find it
impossible to command them--impossible to feel for you that preference,
without which I should think myself extremely culpable were I to give
you my hand.'

'I understand you, Madam! You give that preference to another. The
Chevalier de Bellozane has succeeded to your affections. He has
doubtless made good use of the opportunities he has had to conciliate
your favour; but before he carries his good fortune farther, he must
discuss with me the right by which he pretends to it.'

'Whether he has or has not a right to pretend to my regard, Sir,' said
Emmeline, with great spirit, 'this causeless jealousy, so immediately
after you have been convinced of the fallacy of your supposition in
regard to another person, convinces me, that had I unfortunately given
you an exclusive claim to my friendship and affection, my whole life
would have been embittered by suspicion, jealousy, and caprice.
Recollect, my Lord, that I have said nothing of the Chevalier de
Bellozane, nor have you the least reason to believe I have for him those
sentiments you are pleased to impute to me.'

'But can I doubt it!' exclaimed Delamere, rising, and walking about in
an agony--'Can I doubt it, when I have heard you disclaim me for
ever!--when you have told me your affections are no longer in your
power!'

'No, Sir; my meaning was, what I now repeat--that as my near relation,
as my friend, as the brother of Lady Westhaven, I shall ever esteem and
regard you; but that I cannot command now in your favour those
sentiments which should induce me to accept of you as my husband. What
is past cannot be recalled; and tho' I am most truly concerned to see
you unhappy, my determination is fixed and I must abide by it.'

'Death and hell!' cried the agonized Delamere--'It is all over then! You
utterly disclaim me, and hardly think it worth while to conceal from me
for whose sake I am disclaimed!'

Emmeline was terrified to find that he still persisted in imputing her
estrangement from him to her partiality for Bellozane; foreseeing that
he would immediately fly to him, and that all she apprehended must
follow.

'I beg, I entreat, Lord Delamere, that you will understand that I give
no preference to Mr. de Bellozane. I will not only assure you of that,
but I disclaim all intention of marriage whatever! Suffer me, my Lord,
to entreat that you will endeavour to calm your mind and regain your
health. Reflect on the cruel uncertainty in which you have left the
Marquis and the Marchioness; reflect on the uneasy situation in which
you keep Lord and Lady Westhaven, and on the great injury you do
yourself; and resolutely attempt, in the certainty of succeeding, to
divest yourself of a fatal partiality, which has hitherto produced only
misery to you and to your family.'

'Oh! most certainly, most certainly!' cried Delamere, almost choaked
with passion--'I shall undoubtedly make all these wise reflections; and
after having gone thro' a proper course of them, shall, possibly, with
great composure, see you in the arms of that presumptuous coxcomb--that
vain, supercilious Frenchman!--that detested Bellozane! No, Madam! no!
you may certainly give yourself to him, but assure yourself I live not
to see it!'

He flew out of the room at these words, tho' she attempted to stop and
to appease him. Her heart bled at the wounds she had yet thought it
necessary to inflict; and she was at once grieved and terrified at his
menacing and abrupt departure. She immediately went herself after Lord
Westhaven, to intreat him to keep Bellozane and Delamere apart. His
Lordship was much disturbed at what had passed, which Emmeline
faithfully related to him: Bellozane was still out of town; and Lord
Westhaven, who now apprehended that on Delamere's meeting him he would
immediately insult him, said he would consider what could be done to
prevent their seeing each other 'till Delamere became more reasonable.
On enquiry, he found that the Chevalier was certainly engaged with his
companions 'till the next day. He therefore came back to Emmeline about
an hour after he had left her, and told her that he thought it best for
her to set out that afternoon on her way to St. Germains.

'You will by this means make it difficult for Bellozane to overtake you,
if he should attempt it; and when he sees you have actually fled from
Delamere, he will be little disposed to quarrel with him, and will
perhaps go home. As to Delamere, his sister and I must manage him as
well as we can; which will be the easier, as he is, within this half
hour, gone to bed in a violent access of fever. Indeed, in the
perturbation of mind he now suffers, there is no probability of his
speedy amendment; for as fast as he regains strength, his violent
passions throw his frame again into disorder.--But perhaps when he knows
you are actually in England, he may try to acquire, by keeping himself
quiet, that share of health which alone can enable him to follow you.'

Emmeline, eagerly embracing this advice, which she found had the
concurrence of Lady Westhaven, prepared instantly for her departure; and
embracing tenderly her two excellent friends, who hoped soon to follow
her, and who had desired her to come to them to reside as soon as they
were settled in London, where they had no house at present, she got into
a chaise, with Madelon, and attended by Le Limosin, who was proudly
elated at being thus '_l'homme de confience_'[38] to Mademoiselle
Mowbray, she left Besançon; her heart deeply impressed with a sense of
Delamere's sufferings, and with an earnest wish for the restoration of
his peace.

Tho' Godolphin had been gone four days, and went post, so that she knew
he must be at Paris long before her, she could not, as she proceeded on
her journey, help fancying that some accident might have stopped him,
and that she might overtake him. She knew not whether she hoped or
feared such an encounter. But the disappointed air with which she left
every post house where she had occasion to stop for horses, plainly
evinced that she rather desired than dreaded it. She felt all the
absurdity and ridicule of expecting to see him; yet still she looked out
after him; and he was the object she sought when she cast her eyes round
her at the several stages.

Without overtaking him, or being herself overtaken by Bellozane, she
arrived in safety and in the usual time at Paris, and immediately went
on to St. Germains; Le Limosin being so well acquainted with travelling,
that she had no trouble nor alarm during her journey.

When she got to St. Germains, she was received with transport by Mrs.
Stafford and her family. She found her about to depart, in two days, for
England, where there was a prospect of settling her husband's affairs;
and she had undertaken to go alone over, in hopes of adjusting them for
his speedy return; while he had agreed to remain with the children 'till
he heard the success of her endeavours. Great was the satisfaction of
Mrs. Stafford to find that Emmeline would accompany her to England; with
yet more pleasure did she peruse those documents which convinced her
that her fair friend went to claim, with an absolute certainty of
success, her large paternal fortune.

Lord Westhaven had given her a long letter to the Marquis of
Montreville, to whom he desired she would immediately address herself;
and he had also written to an eminent lawyer, his friend, into whose
hands he directed her immediately to put the papers that related to her
birth, and by no means to trust them with any other person.

With money, also, Lord Westhaven had amply furnished her; and she
proposed taking lodgings in London, 'till she could settle her affairs
with Lord Montreville; and then to go to Mowbray Castle.

On the second day after her reaching St. Germains, she began her journey
to Calais with Mrs. Stafford, attended by Le Limosin and Madelon. When
they arrived there, they heard that a passage boat would sail about nine
o'clock in the evening; but on sending Le Limosin to speak to the
master, they learned that there were already more cabin passengers than
there was room to accommodate, and that therefore two ladies might find
it inconvenient.

As the evening, however, was calm, and the wind favourable, and as the
two fair travellers were impatient to be in England, they determined to
go on board. It was near ten o'clock before the vessel got under way;
and before two they were assured they should be at Dover. They therefore
hesitated not to pass that time in chairs on the deck, wrapped in their
cloaks; and would have preferred doing so, to the heat and closeness of
the cabin, had there been room for them in it.

By eleven o'clock, every thing insensibly grew quiet on board. The
passengers were gone to their beds, the vessel moved calmly, and with
very little wind, over a gently swelling sea; and the silence was only
broken by the waves rising against it's side, or by the steersman, who
now and then spoke to another sailor, that slowly traversed the deck
with measured pace.

The night was dark; a declining moon only broke thro' the heavy clouds
of the horizon with a feeble and distant light. There was a solemnity in
the scene at once melancholy and pleasing. Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline
both felt it. They were silent; and each lost in her own reflections;
nor did they attend to a slight interruption of the stillness that
reigned on board, made by a passenger who came from below, muffled in a
great coat. He spoke in a low voice to the man at the helm, and then sat
down on the gunwale, with his back towards the ladies; after which all
was again quiet.

In a few minutes a deep sigh was uttered by this passenger; and then,
after a short pause, the two friends were astonished to hear, in a
voice, low, but extremely expressive, these lines, addressed to Night.


                    SONNET

    I love thee, mournful sober-suited Night,
    When the faint Moon, yet lingering in her wane
    And veil'd in clouds, with pale uncertain light
    Hangs o'er the waters of the restless main.

    In deep depression sunk, the enfeebled mind
    Will to the deaf, cold elements complain,
    And tell the embosom'd grief, however vain,
    To sullen surges and the viewless wind.

    Tho' no repose on thy dark breast I find,
    I still enjoy thee--chearless as thou art;
    For in thy quiet gloom, the exhausted heart,
    Is calm, tho' wretched; hopeless, yet resign'd.
    While, to the winds and waves, it's sorrows given,
    May reach--tho' lost on earth--the ear of heaven!


'Surely,' said Mrs. Stafford in a whisper, 'it is a voice I know.'

'Surely,' repeated the heart of Emmeline, for she could not speak, 'it
is the voice of Godolphin!'

'Do you,' reassumed Mrs. Stafford--'do you not recollect the voice?'

'Yes,' replied Emmeline. 'I think--I believe--I rather fancy it is--Mr.
Godolphin.'

'Shall I speak to him?' asked Mrs. Stafford, 'or are you disposed to
hear more poetry? He has no notion who are his auditors.'

'As you please,' said Emmeline.

Again the person sighed, and repeated with more warmth--


    'And reach, tho' lost on earth--the ear of heaven!'


'Yes--if _she_ is happy, they will indeed be heard! Ah! that cruel
_if_--_if_ she is happy! and can I bear to doubt it, yet leave her to
the experiment!'

There now remained no doubt but that the stranger was Godolphin; and
Emmeline as little hesitated to believe herself the subject of his
thoughts and of his Muse.

'Why do _you_ not speak to him, Emmeline?' said Mrs. Stafford archly.

'I cannot, indeed.'

'I must speak then, myself;' and raising her voice, she said--'Mr.
Godolphin, is it not?'

'Who is so good as to recollect me?' cried he, rising and looking round
him. It was very dark; but he could just distinguish that two ladies
were there.

Mrs. Stafford gave him her hand, saying--'Have you then forgotten your
friends?'

He snatched her hand, and carried it to his lips.

'There is another hand for you,' said she, pointing to Emmeline--'but
you must be at the trouble of taking it.'

'That I shall be most delighted to do. But who is it? Surely it cannot
be Miss Mowbray, that allows me such happiness?'

'Have you, in one little week,' said the faultering Emmeline, 'occasion
to ask that question?'

'Not now I hear that voice,' answered Godolphin in the most animated
tone--'Not when I hold this lovely hand. But whence comes it that I find
you, Madam, here? or how does it happen that you have left my brother
and sister, and the happy Delamere?' He seemed to have recollected,
after his first transport at meeting her, that he was thus warmly
addressing _her_ who was probably only going to England to prepare for
her union with his rival.

'Do not be so unreasonable,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'as to expect Miss
Mowbray should answer all these questions. But find a seat; and let us
hear some account of yourself. You have also to make your peace with me
for not seeing me in your way.'

Godolphin threw himself on the deck at their feet.

'I find a seat here,' said he, 'which I should prefer to a throne. As to
an account of myself, it is soon given. I met a friend, whose company
induced me to come to Calais rather than travel thro' Normandy; and the
haste he was in made it impossible for me to stop him. Miss Mowbray had
refused to give me any commission for you; and I had nothing to say to
you that would have given you any pleasure. I was, therefore, unwilling
to trouble you merely with a passing enquiry.'

'But whence comes it that you sail only to-night, if your friend was so
much hurried?'

'He went four days ago; but I--I was kept--I was detained at Calais.'

Emmeline felt a strange curiosity to know what could have detained him;
but dared not ask such a question.

They then talked of Lord and Lady Westhaven.

'Lord Delamere is, I conclude, much better?' said Godolphin.

'When I took leave of Lord and Lady Westhaven,' coldly answered
Emmeline, 'I did not think him much better than when we first saw him.
His servant said he was almost as ill as when you, Sir, with friendship
so uncommon, attended him.'

'Call it not uncommon, Madam!--It was an office I would have performed,
not only for any Englishman in another country, but I hope for any human
being in any country, who had needed it. Should I then allow you to
suppose there was any great merit in my rendering a slight service to
the brother of Lady Westhaven; and who is besides _dear to one_ to whom
_I_ owe obligations so infinite.'

The stress he laid on these words left Emmeline no doubt of his meaning.
She was, however, vexed and half angry that he persisted in believing
her so entirely attached to Delamere; and, for the first time she had
ventured to think steadily on the subject, meditated how to undeceive
him. Yet when she reflected on the character of Delamere; and remembered
that his father would now claim an authority to controul her
actions--that one would think himself at liberty to call any man to an
account who addressed her, and the other to refuse his consent to any
other marriage than that which would be now so advantageous to the
family--she saw only inquietude to herself, and hazard to the life so
dear to her, should she suffer the passion of Godolphin openly to be
avowed.

'Is it not remarkable,' said Mrs. Stafford, 'that you should voluntarily
have conducted us to France, and by chance escort us home?'

'Yes,' answered Godolphin.--'And a chance so fortunate for me I should
think portended some good, was I sanguine, and had I any faith in
omens.'

'Are you going immediately to London?'

'Immediately.'

'And from thence to East Cliff?'

'I believe I shall be obliged to stay in town a week or ten days.--But
my continuance there shall be longer, if you or Miss Mowbray will employ
me.'

The night now grew cold; and the dew fell so heavily, that Mrs. Stafford
expressed her apprehensions that Emmeline would find some ill effects
from it, and advised her to go down.

'Oh! no,' said Godolphin, with uncommon anxiety in his manner--'do not
go down. There are so many passengers in the cabin, and it is so close,
that you will find it extremely disagreeable. It will not now be half an
hour before we see the lights of Dover; and we shall presently be on
shore.'

Emmeline, who really apprehended little from cold, acquiesced; and they
continued to converse on general topics 'till they landed.

Godolphin saw them on shore immediately, and attended them to the inn.
He then told them he must go back to see after the baggage, and left
them hastily. They ordered a slight refreshment; and when it was brought
in, Emmeline said--'Shall we not wait for Mr. Godolphin?'

'The Gentleman is come in, Madam,' said the waiter, 'with another lady,
and is assisting her up stairs. Would you please I should call him?'

Emmeline felt, without knowing the nature of the sensation, involuntary
curiosity and involuntary uneasiness.

'No, do not call him,' said Mrs. Stafford--'I suppose he will be here
immediately. But send the French servant to us.'

Le Limosin attending, she gave him some requisite orders, and then again
enquired for Captain Godolphin.

Le Limosin answered, that he was gone to assist a lady to her room, who
had been very ill during the passage.

'Of which nation is she, Le Limosin?'

'I am ignorant of that, Madam, as I have not heard her speak. _Monsieur
Le Capitaine_ is very sorry for her, and has attended her the whole way,
only the little time he was upon deck.'

'Is she a young lady?' enquired Mrs. Stafford.

'Yes, very young and pretty.'

The curiosity of Mrs. Stafford was now, in spite of herself, awakened.
And the long stay Godolphin made, gave to Emmeline such acute
uneasiness, as she had never felt before. It is extraordinary surely,
said she to herself, that he should be thus anxious about an
acquaintance made in a pacquet boat.

She grew more and more disturbed at his absence; and was hardly able to
conceal her vexation from Mrs. Stafford, while she was ashamed of
discovering it even to herself. In about ten minutes, which had appeared
to her above an hour, Godolphin came in; apologised, without accounting,
for his stay, and while they made all together a slight repast, enquired
how they intended to proceed to London and at what time.

On hearing that they thought of setting out about noon, in a chaise, he
proposed their taking a post coach; 'and then,' added he, 'you may
suffer me to occupy the fourth place.' To this Mrs. Stafford willingly
agreed; and Emmeline, glad to find that at least he did not intend
waiting on his pacquet boat acquaintance to London, retired with
somewhat less uneasiness than she had felt on her first hearing that he
had brought such an acquaintance on shore.

After a few hours sleep, the fair travellers arose to continue their
journey. They heard that Mr. Godolphin had long left his room, and was
at breakfast with the lady whom he had been so careful of the preceding
morning. At this intelligence Emmeline felt all her anxiety revive; and
when he came into the room where they were to speak to them, hardly
could she command herself to answer him without betraying her emotion.

'Miss Mowbray is fatigued with her voyage,' said he, tenderly
approaching her--'The night air I am afraid has affected her health?'

'No, Sir;' coldly and faintly answered Emmeline.

'How is the young lady you was so good as to assist on shore, Sir?' said
Mrs. Stafford. 'I understand she was ill.'

Godolphin blushed; and replied, with some little embarrassment, 'she is
better, Madam, I thank you.'

'So,' thought Emmeline, 'he makes then no mystery of having an interest
in this lady.'

'Are you acquainted with her?' enquired Mrs. Stafford.

'Yes.'

Politeness would not admit of another question: yet it was impossible to
help wishing to ask it. Godolphin, however, turned the discourse, and
soon afterwards went out. Emmeline felt ready to cry, yet knew not for
what, and dreaded to ask herself whether she had not admitted into her
heart the tormenting passion of jealousy.

'Why should I be displeased,' said she. 'Why should I be unhappy? Mr.
Godolphin believes me attached to Delamere, and has ceased to think of
me; wherefore should I lament that he thinks of another; or what right
have I to enquire into his actions--what right have I to blame them?'

The post coach was now ready. Emmeline, attended by Madelon, Mrs.
Stafford, and Godolphin, got into it, and a lively and animated
conversation was carried on between the two latter. Emmeline, in the
approaching interview with her uncle, and in the wretchedness of
Delamere, which she never ceased to lament, had employment enough for
her thoughts; but in spite of herself they flew perpetually from those
subjects to the acquaintance which Captain Godolphin had brought with
him from Calais.

[Footnote 38: Confidential servant.]



CHAPTER VIII


When they arrived at Canterbury, the ladies were shewn into a parlour,
where Godolphin did not join them for near half an hour. Emmeline had
accounted for her lowness of spirits by her dread of meeting her uncle
on such terms as they were likely to meet; but Mrs. Stafford knew the
human heart too well to be ignorant that there was another and a
concealed source of that melancholy which overwhelmed her. It was in
vain she had attempted to dissemble. It was, to her friend, evident,
that her compassion, her good wishes, were Delamere's, but that her
heart was wholly Godolphin's, and was now pierced with the poignant
thorns of new-born jealousy and anxious mistrust.

While they waited together the return of Godolphin, Mrs. Stafford
said--'I fancy that post chaise that passed us about half an hour ago,
contained Mr. Godolphin's _acquaintance_.'

'Did it? Why do you think so?'

'Because he looked after it so earnestly; and there seemed to be only a
young woman in it.'

'I did not observe it indeed,' replied Emmeline, with the appearance of
carelessness.

'I should like to see her nearer,' continued Mrs. Stafford, with some
archness--'By the glympse I had of her she appeared to be very
handsome.'

'Do you think she is a French woman?' enquired Emmeline, still affecting
great indifference.

'No, she appeared to be English. But if you please I will enquire of
him?'

'I beg you will not,' in an half angry tone, answered Emmeline--'I am
sure it is very immaterial.'

At this moment Godolphin entered; and with looks of uneasiness
apologized for his long stay. 'I have an awkward embarrassment,' said
he, 'on my hands: a poor young woman, who is wholly a stranger in this
country, and whom I have undertaken to conduct to London; but she is so
ill that I am afraid she is unfit to go on.--Yet how to leave her here I
know not.'

'Pray, Sir,' said Emmeline, 'do not let us be any restraint to you. If
your presence is necessary to the lady, you had surely better continue
with her, than put her to any inconvenience to go on.'

Godolphin, who was at once pleased and pained by the quickness with
which she spoke, said--'I will tell you, my dear Miss Mowbray, very
ingenuously, that if I were quite sure the character of this unhappy
young woman is such as may entitle her to your's and Mrs. Stafford's
protection, I should without scruple have asked it. _I_ know,' continued
he, looking distressed, 'how compassionate and good you both are; but I
ought not therefore to hazard improperly taxing such generosity and
sensibility.'

'Who is this young person, Sir?' asked Mrs. Stafford.

'If it will not tire you I will tell you. On my arrival at Calais this
day se'nnight, I found all the pacquet boats on the other side, and was
obliged to wait with my friend Cleveland a whole day. As I was
sauntering about the streets after dinner, I passed by an Englishman
whose face I thought I recollected. The man looked confused, and took
off his hat; and I then perfectly remembered him to have been one of the
best sailors I had on board in the West Indies, where he received a
dangerous wound in the arm.

'I stopped, and asked him by what accident he came to Calais, and why
his appearance was no better; for his honest hard features seemed
pinched with want, his dress was shabby, his person meagre, and his look
dejected.

'"I am ashamed to tell you, Captain," said he, "how I came hither; but
in short because I could not live at home. You know I got prize money
when I served under your honour. Mayhap I might have managed it better;
but howsomdever 'tis gone, and there's an end on't. So as we are all
turned a drift in the world, some of my ship mates advised me to try a
little matter of smuggling with them, and come over here. I have lived
among these Frenchmen now these two months, and can, to be sure, just
live; but rot 'em, if I could get any thing to do at home, I wouldn't
stay another hour, for I hates 'em all, as your honour very well knows.
A lucky voyage or two will put some money mayhap in my way, with this
smuggling trade; and then I reckons to cross over home once for all, and
so go down to Liverpool to my friends, if any on um be alive yet."

'I reproved my acquaintance severely for his proceeding, and told him,
that to enable him to go to his friends, I would supply him with money
to buy him cloaths, which I found he principally wanted; being ashamed
to appear among his relations so ill equipped, after having received a
considerable sum in prize money.

'The poor fellow appeared to be very grateful, and assured me that to
prove his sincerity he would embark in the same pacquet boat. "But Lord,
Captain," added he, "I be'nt the only Englishman who stays in this
rascally country agin their will--your honour remembers Lieutenant
Stornaway, on board your honour's ship?"

'Aye, to be sure I do.'

'"Well; he, poor lad, is got into prison here for debt, and there I
reckon he'll die; for nobody that ever gets into one of their confounded
jails in this country, ever gets out again."

'As I perfectly remembered Stornaway, a gallant and spirited young
Scotsman, I was much hurt at this account, and asked if I could be
admitted to see him. I found it attended with infinite difficulty, and
that I must apply to so many different persons before I could be allowed
to see my unfortunate countryman, that the pacquet boat of the next day
must sail without me. Cleveland therefore departed; and I, with long
attendance on the Commandant and other officers, was at length
introduced into the prison. I will not shock you with a description of
it, nor with the condition in which I found the poor young man; who
seemed to me likely to escape, by death, from the damp and miserable
dungeon where he lay, without necessary food, without air, and without
hope of relief. He related to me his sorrowful and simple tale. He was
brought up to the sea; had no friends able to assist him; and on being
discharged, after the peace, had gone, with what money he received, and
on half pay, to France, in hopes of being able to live at less expence
than in England, and to learn, at the same time, a language so necessary
in his profession.

'"And for some time," said he, "I did pretty well; till going with one
of my countrymen to see a relation of his, who was (tho' born of Scots
parents) brought up as a pensioner in a convent, and a Catholic, I was
no longer my own master, and tho' I knew that it was almost impossible
for me to support a wife, I yet rashly married, and have made one of the
loveliest young creatures in the world a beggar.

'"She was totally destitute of fortune; and was afraid her friends, who
were but distant relations, and people of rank in Scotland, would insist
on her taking the veil, as the most certain and easiest means of
providing for her. She had a decided aversion to a monastic life; and
poor as I was, (for I did not attempt to deceive her,) hesitated not to
quit her convent with me, which it was easy enough to do by the
management of her relation, with whom she was allowed to go out. We set
out, therefore, together for England. I had about twenty Louis in my
pocket, which would have carried us thither comfortably: but calamity
overtook us by the way. We travelled in stages and diligences, as we
found cheapest; in one of which I imagine my poor girl caught the
infection of the small pox, with which she fell ill at Amiens. I
attended her with all the agonizing fear of a wretch who sees his only
earthly good on the point of being torn from him for ever; and very,
very ill she was for many days and nights. Yet her lovely face was
spared; and in a month I saw her quite out of danger, but still too weak
to travel. As I spared nothing that could contribute to her ease or her
recovery, my money was dreadfully diminished, and I had barely enough
left to carry me alone to England. But as our credit was yet good, I
purposed our living on it till her strength was somewhat re-established,
and that I would then go to England, get a supply of money, and return
to pay my debts and fetch my wife.

'"This was the only expedient," said poor Stornaway, "that I could think
of, and perhaps was the very worst I could have adopted; since by this
means we insensibly got into debt, and to creditors the most inexorable.

'"At the end of three weeks, my wife was tolerably well. I divided with
her the money I had left, and went off in the night to Calais,
flattering myself I should return to her within a fortnight. But so
vigilant were those to whom I owed money, and so active the
_maréchaussés_, that I was pursued, and thrown, without hesitation and
without appeal, into this prison; where my little remaining money, being
all exhausted in fees, to save me from even worse treatment, I have now
lain near six weeks in the situation in which you see me. As to myself,"
continued the poor young man, "my life has been a life of hardship, and
I have learned to hold it as nothing; but when I reflect on what must
have been the condition of my Isabel, I own to you, dear Sir, that my
fortitude forsakes me, and the blackest despair takes possession of my
soul."

'I had but little occasion to deliberate,' said Godolphin, continuing
his narrative--'I had but little occasion to deliberate. I enquired into
the debt. It was a trifle. I blushed to think, that while Englishmen
were daily passing thro' the place in pursuit of pleasure, a gentleman,
an officer of their nation, languished for such a sum in the horrors of
a confinement so dreadful. The debt was easily discharged; and I took
the unhappy Stornaway to my lodgings, from whence he was eagerly flying
to Amiens, when I was called aside by one of the _maréchaussé_, who
desired to speak to me.

'"Sir," said the man, "you have been generous to me, and I will hazard
telling you a secret. Orders are coming to stop your friend, whom you
have released from prison, for stealing a pensioner out of a convent.
Get him off to England immediately, or he will be taken, and perhaps
confined for life."

'I hastened Stornaway instantly into a boat, and sent him after a
pacquet which had just sailed, and which I saw him overtake. He conjured
me, in an agony of despair, to enquire for his wife, without whom he
said he could not live, and that rather than attempt it, he would return
and perish in prison. I promised all he desired; and as soon as I was
sure he was safe, I set out post for Amiens, where I found the poor
young woman in a situation to which no words can do justice. She had
parted with almost every thing for her support; and was overwhelmed by
the weight of misfortunes, which, young and inexperienced as she was,
she had neither the means to soften or the fortitude to bear. I brought
her away to Calais, and embarked with her yesterday, having only staid
long enough to furnish her with cloaths, and to recruit her enfeebled
frame after her journey. But sea sickness, added to her former ill state
of health, has reduced her to a condition of deplorable weakness. She
speaks so little English that she is unable to travel alone; and I was
in hopes that by her chaise keeping up with the coach, I might have
assisted her on the road; but she is now so extremely ill that I am
afraid she must remain here.'

During the first part of this short account, Emmeline, charmed more than
ever with Godolphin, and ashamed of having for a moment entertained a
suspicion to the disadvantage of such a man, sat silent; but at the
conclusion of it, her eyes overflowed with tears; she felt something
that told her she ought to apologize to him for the error she had been
guilty of--tho' of that error he knew nothing; and impelled by an
involuntary impulse, she held out her hand to him.--Dear, generous,
noble-minded Godolphin! was uttered by her heart, but her lips only
echoed, the last word.

'Godolphin!' said she, 'let us go to this poor young creature--let us
see her ourselves.'

'Certainly we will,' cried Mrs. Stafford; 'and indeed, Sir, you ought to
have told us before, that we might sooner have offered all the
assistance in our power.'

'I was afraid,' answered he. 'I knew not whether I might not be deceived
in the character of Mrs. Stornaway; and dared not intrude upon you, lest
it should be found that the object merited not your good offices.'

'But she is in distress!' said Emmeline--'she is a stranger!--and shall
we hesitate?--'

Godolphin, who found in the tenderness of her address to him, and in the
approbation her eyes expressed, a reward as sweet as that which the
consciousness of doing good afforded from his own heart; kissed the hand
she had given him, in silence, and then went to enquire if the poor
young woman could see the ladies. She expressed her joy at being so
favoured, and Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline were introduced.

The compassion they expressed, and the assurances they gave her that she
would meet her husband in London, and that she should stay with them
'till she did, calmed and composed her; and as her illness was merely
owing to fatigue and anxiety, they believed a few hours rest, now her
mind was easier, would restore her. Tho' they were impatient to get on
to London, they yet hesitated not to remain at Canterbury all night, on
the account of this poor stranger. Godolphin, on hearing their
determination, warmly thanked them: the heart of Emmeline was at once
eased of its inquietude, and impressed with a deeper sense than ever of
Godolphin's worth: she gave way, almost for the first time, to her
tenderness and esteem, without attempting to check or conceal her
sentiments; while Mrs. Stafford, who ardently wished to see her in
possession of her estate and married to Godolphin, rejoiced in observing
her to be less reserved; and Godolphin himself, hardly believing the
happiness he possessed real, forgot all his fears of her attachment to
Lord Delamere, and dared again entertain the hopes he had discarded at
Besançon--as he thought, for ever.

The next day Mrs. Stornaway was so much recovered that they proceeded in
their journey, taking her into the coach with them and directing Madelon
to travel in the chaise, accompanied by her father. They arrived early
in town; and Godolphin, leaving them at an hotel, went in search of
lodgings. He soon found apartments to accommodate them in Bond street;
and thither they immediately went; Mrs. Stafford taking upon herself the
protection of the poor forlorn stranger 'till Godolphin could find her
husband, on whose behalf he immediately intended to apply for a berth on
board some ship in commission. He had given him a direction to his
banker, and bid him there leave an address where he might be found in
London. The next day he brought the transported Stornaway to his wife;
and the gratitude these poor young people expressed to their benefactor,
convinced the fair friends that they had deserved his kindness, and that
there was no deception in the story the Lieutenant had told them about
his wife. Godolphin took a lodging for them in Oxford street; and gave
them money for their support till he could get the young man employed,
which his interest and indefatigable friendship soon accomplished.

In the mean time he saw Emmeline every day, and every day he rose in her
esteem. Yet still she hesitated to discover to him all she thought of
him; and at times was so reserved and so guarded, that Godolphin knew
not what to believe. He knew she was above the paltry artifice of
coquetry; yet she fearfully avoided being alone with him, and never
allowed him an opportunity of asking whether he had any thing to hope
from time and assiduity.

'Is he not one of the best creatures in the world?' said Mrs. Stafford,
after he left the room, on the second day of their arrival, to go out in
the service of the Stornaways.

'Yes.'

'Yes! and is that all the praise you allow to such a man? Is he not a
perfect character?'

'As perfect, I suppose, as any of them are.'

'Ah! Emmeline, you are a little hypocrite. It is impossible you can be
insensible of the merit of Godolphin; and I wonder you are not in more
haste to convince him that you think of him as he deserves.'

'What would you have me do?'

'Marry him.'

'Before I am sure he desires it?' smilingly asked Emmeline.

'You cannot doubt that, tho' you so anxiously repress every attempt he
makes to explain himself. Shall I tell you what he has said to me? Shall
I tell you what motive carried him to St. Alpin?'

'No--I had rather not hear any thing about it.'

'And why not?'

'Because it is better, for some time, if not for ever, that Godolphin
should be ignorant of those favourable thoughts I may have had of
him--better that I should cease to entertain them.'

'Why so, pray?'

'Because I dread the mortified pride and furious jealousy of Lord
Delamere on one hand; and on the other the authority of my uncle, who,
'till I am of age, will probably neither restore my fortune nor consent
to my carrying it out of his family.'

'For those very reasons you should immediately marry Godolphin. When you
are actually married, Delamere will reconcile himself to the loss of
you. To an inevitable evil, even his haughty and self-willed spirit must
submit. And should Lord Montreville give you any trouble about your
fortune, who can so easily, so properly oblige him to do you justice, as
a man of spirit, of honour, of understanding, who will have a right to
insist upon it.'

It was impossible to deny so evident a truth. Yet still Emmeline
apprehended the consequence of Delamere's rage and disappointment; and
thought that there would be an indelicacy and an impropriety in
withdrawing herself from the protection of her own family almost as soon
as she could claim it, and that her uncle might make such a step a
pretence for new contention and longer wrath. The result, therefore, of
all her deliberations ended in a determination neither to engage herself
or to marry 'till she was of age; and, 'till then, not even to encourage
any lover whatever. By that time, she hoped that Lord Delamere, wearied
by an hopeless passion, and convinced of her fixed indifference, would
engage in some more successful pursuit. She knew that by that time all
affairs between her and Lord Montreville must be adjusted. If the
affection of Godolphin was, as she hoped, fixed, and founded on his
esteem for her character, he would not love her less at the end of that
period, when she should have the power of giving him her estate
unincumbered with difficulties and unembarrassed by law suits; and
should, she hoped, escape the misery of seeing Delamere's anguish and
despair, on which she could not bear to reflect.

She ingenuously explained to Mrs. Stafford her reasons for refusing to
receive Godolphin's proposals; in which her friend, tho' she allowed
them to be plausible, by no means acquiesced; still insisting upon it,
that the kindest thing she could do towards Lord Delamere, as well as
the properest in regard to the settlement of her estate, was immediately
to accept Godolphin. But Emmeline was not to be convinced; and all she
could obtain from Mrs. Stafford was an extorted promise, reluctantly
given, that she would not give any advice or encouragement to Godolphin
immediately to press his suit. Emmeline, tho' convinced she was right,
yet doubted whether she had fortitude enough to persist in the conduct
she wished to adopt; if exposed at once to the solicitations of a woman
of whose understanding she had an high opinion, and to the ardent
supplications of the man she loved.

The day after her arrival in London, she had sent to Berkley-square,
and was informed that Lord Montreville and his family were in Norfolk.

Thither therefore she wrote, and enclosed the letter she had brought
from Lord Westhaven. Her own was couched in the most modest and dutiful
terms, and that of Lord Westhaven was equally mild and reasonable. But
they gave only disquiet and concern to the ambitious and avaricious
bosom of Lord Montreville. Tho' already tortured by Delamere's absence
and illness, and uncertain whether the object of his long solicitude
would live to reap the advantage of his accumulated fortunes, he could
not think but with pain and reluctance of giving up so large a portion
of his annual income: still more unwilling did he feel to refund the
produce of the estates for so long a period; and in the immediate
emotion of his vexation at receiving Lord Westhaven's first letter, he
had sent for Sir Richard Crofts, who, having at the time of Mr.
Mowbray's death been entrusted with all the papers and deeds which
belonged to him, was the most likely to know whether any were among them
that bore testimony to the marriage of Mr. Mowbray and Miss Stavordale.

The fact was, that a very little time before he died, his steward,
Williamson, had received the memorandum of which Emmeline had found a
copy; and, on the death of his master, had carried it to Sir Richard
Crofts; Lord Montreville being then in the North of England. Sir Richard
eagerly enquired whether there were any other papers to the like
purport. Williamson replied, he believed not; and very thoughtlessly
left it in his hands. When, a few days afterwards, he called to know in
whose name the business of the Mowbray estate was to be carried on, Sir
Richard (then acting as an attorney, and only entering into life) told
him that every thing was to be considered as the property of Lord
Montreville; because there were many doubts about the marriage of Mr.
Mowbray, and great reason to think that the paper in question was
written merely with a view to pique and perplex his brother, with whom
he was then at variance; but that Lord Montreville would enquire into
the business, and certainly do justice to any claims the infant might
have on the estate.

Soon after, Williamson applied again to have the paper restored; but
Crofts answered, that he should keep it, by order of Lord Montreville,
tho' it was of no use; his Lordship having obtained undoubted
information that his brother was never married.

Sir Richard had reflected on the great advantage that would accrue to
his patron from the possession of this estate; to which, besides it's
annual income, several boroughs belonged. He thought it was very
probable that the little girl, then only a few weeks old, and without a
mother or any other than mercenary attendants, might die in her infancy:
if she did not, that Lord Montreville might easily provide for her, and
that it would be doing his friend a great service, and be highly
advantageous to himself, should he conceal the legal claim of the child,
even unknown to her uncle, and put him in immediate possession of his
paternal estate.

Having again strictly questioned Williamson; repressed his curiosity by
law jargon; and frightened him by threats of his Lord's displeasure if
he made any effort to prove the legitimacy of Emmeline; he very
tranquilly destroyed the paper, and Lord Montreville never knew that
such a paper had existed.

Williamson, timid and ignorant of every thing beyond his immediate
business, returned in great doubt and uneasiness to Mowbray Castle. When
he received the child and the two caskets, he had questioned the
Frenchman who brought her and heard an absolute confirmation of the
marriage of his master. He then examined the caskets, and found the
certificates. But without money or friends, he knew not how to prosecute
the claim of the orphan against the power and affluence of Lord
Montreville; and after frequent consultations with Mrs. Carey, they
agreed that the safest way would be carefully to secure those papers
till Emmeline was old enough to find friends; for should they attempt
previously to procure justice for her, they might probably lose the
papers which proved her birth, as they had already done that which
Williamson had delivered to Crofts. As long as Williamson lived, he
carefully locked up these caskets. His sudden death prevented him from
taking any steps to establish the claim of his orphan mistress; and that
of Mrs. Carey two years afterwards, involved the whole affair in
obscurity, which made Sir Richard quite easy as to any future discovery.

But as the aggressor never forgives, Sir Richard had conceived against
Emmeline the most unmanly and malignant hatred, and had invariably
opposed every tendency which he had observed in Lord Montreville to
befriend and assist her, for no other reason but that he had already
irreparably injured her.

He hoped, that as he had at length divided her from Lord Delamere, and
driven her abroad, she would there marry a foreigner, and be farther
removed than ever from the family, and from any chance of recovering the
property of which he had deprived her: instead of which, she had, in
consequence of going thither, met the very man in whose power it was to
prove the marriage of her mother; and, in Lord Westhaven, had found a
protector too intelligent and too steady to be discouraged by evasion or
chicanery--too powerful and too affluent to be thrown out of the
pursuit, either by the enmity it might raise or the expence it might
demand.

Nothing could exceed the chagrin of Sir Richard when Lord Montreville
put into his hands the first letter he had on this subject from Lord
Westhaven. Accustomed, however, to command his countenance, he said,
without any apparent emotion, that as no papers in confirmation of the
fact alledged had ever existed among those delivered to him on the death
of Mr. Mowbray, it was probably some forgery that had imposed on Lord
Westhaven.

'I see not how that can be,' answered Lord Montreville. 'It is not
likely that Emmeline Mowbray could forge such papers, or should even
conceive such an idea.'

'True, my Lord. But your Lordship forgets and overlooks and passes by
the long abode and continuance and residence she has made with the
Staffords. Mrs. Stafford is, to my certain knowledge and conviction,
artful and designing and intrigueing; a woman, my Lord, who affects and
pretends and presumes to understand and be competent and equal to
business and affairs and concerns with which women should never
interfere or meddle or interest themselves. It is clearly and evidently
and certainly to the interest and advantage and benefit of this woman,
that Miss Mowbray, over whom she has great influence and power and
authority, should be established and fixed and settled in affluence,
rather than remain and abide and continue where nature and justice and
reason have placed her.'

'I own, Sir Richard, I cannot see the thing in this light. However, to
do nothing rashly, let us consider how to proceed.'

Sir Richard then advised him by no means to answer Lord Westhaven's
letter, but to wait till he saw his Lordship; as in cases so momentous,
it was, he said, always wrong to give any thing in black and white. In a
few days afterwards he heard out of Norfolk, (for he had come up from
thence to consult with Sir Richard Crofts) that Lord Delamere was ill
at Besançon. His precipitate departure had before given him the most
poignant concern; and now his fears for his life completed the distress
of this unfortunate father. On receiving, however, the second letter
from Lord Westhaven, together with that of Emmeline, his apprehensions
for the life of his son were removed, and left his mind at liberty to
recur again to the impending loss of four thousand five hundred a year,
with the unpleasant accompanyment of being obliged to refund above sixty
thousand pounds. Again Sir Richard Crofts was sent for, and again he
tried to quiet the apprehensions of Lord Montreville. But his attempt to
persuade him that the whole might be a deception originating with the
Staffords, obtained not a moment's attention. He knew Stafford himself
was weak, ignorant, and indolent, and would neither have had sagacity to
think of or courage to execute such a design; and that Mrs. Stafford
should imagine and perform it seemed equally improbable. He was
perfectly aware that Lord Westhaven had a thorough acquaintance with
business, and was of all men on earth the most unlikely to enter warmly
into such an affair, (against the interest too of the family into which
he had married) unless he was very sure of having very good grounds for
his interference.

But tho' Sir Richard could not prevail on him to disbelieve the whole of
the story, he saw that his Lordship thought with great reluctance of the
necessity he should be under of relinquishing the whole of the fortune.
He now therefore recommended it to him to remain quiet, at least 'till
Lord Westhaven came to England; to send an answer to Miss Mowbray that
meant nothing; and to gain time for farther enquiries. These enquiries
he himself undertook; and leaving Lord Montreville in a political fit of
the gout, he returned from Audley Hall to London, and bent all his
thoughts to the accomplishment of his design; which was, to get the
original papers out of the hands of Emmeline, and to bribe Le Limosin to
go back to France.

While these things were passing in England, Lord Delamere (whose rage
and indignation at Emmeline's departure the authority of Lord Westhaven
could hardly restrain) had learned from his brother-in-law the real
circumstances of the birth of his cousin, and he heard them with the
greatest satisfaction. He now thought it certain that his father would
press his marriage as eagerly as he had before opposed it; and that so
great an obstacle being removed, and Emmeline wholly in the power of
his family, she would be easily brought to forgive him and to comply
with the united wishes of all her relations.

In this hope, and being assured by Lord Westhaven that Bellozane was
actually returned into Switzerland without any design of following
Emmeline, (who had been induced, he said, to leave Besançon purely to
avoid him) he consented to attempt attaining a greater command over his
temper, on which the re-establishment of his health depended; and after
about ten days, was able to travel. Lord and Lady Westhaven, therefore,
at the end of that time, slowly began with him their journey to England.



CHAPTER IX


Emmeline had now been almost a week in London; and Mrs. Stafford, with
the assistance of Godolphin, had succeeded so much better than she
expected, in the arrangement of some of those affairs in which she
apprehended the most difficulty, that very little remained for her to do
before she should be enabled to return to France (where her husband was
to sign some papers to secure his safety); and that little depended on
James Crofts, who seemed to be making artificial delay, and trying to
give her all the trouble and perplexity in his power.

He had, however, another motive than merely to harrass and distress her.
His father had employed him to deal with Le Limosin; well knowing that
there was nothing so base and degrading that he would not undertake
where his interest was in question; and Sir Richard had promised him a
considerable addition to his fortune if he had address enough to prevent
so capital a sum as Emmeline claimed from being deducted from that of
the family to whom his brother was allied; and from whence he had
expectations, which could not but suffer from such a diminution of it's
wealth and interest.

The tediousness therefore that the Crofts' created promised still to
detain Emmeline in London; and her uncle's letter, which coldly and
hardly with civility deferred any conference on her affairs till the
arrival of Lord Westhaven, convinced her that from his tenderness she
had nothing, from his justice, little to hope.

Godolphin was very anxious to be allowed personally to apply to him on
the claim of his niece. But this Emmeline positively refused. She would
not even allow Mr. Newton, the lawyer to whom Lord Westhaven had
recommended her, and in whose hands her papers were safely deposited, to
write officially to Lord Montreville; but determined to wait quietly the
return of Lord Westhaven himself, on whom she knew neither the anger of
her uncle, or the artifices of Sir Richard, would make any impression;
while his Lordship's interference could not be imputed to such motives
as might possibly be thought to influence Godolphin, or would it give
her the appearance of proceeding undutifully and harshly against Lord
Montreville, which appearances she might be liable to, should she
hastily institute a suit against him.

She grew, however, very uneasy at the determined attendance of
Godolphin, whose presence she knew was so necessary to poor Lady
Adelina. She saw that he was anxious about his sister, yet could not
determine to tear himself from _her_; and to insist upon his returning
to Lady Adelina, would be to assume a right, to which, on the footing
they were, she declined pretending. She failed not, however, every day
to represent to him the long solitude in which Lady Adelina had been
left, and to read to him parts of her letters which breathed only sorrow
and depression. Whenever this happened, Godolphin heard her with
concern, and promised to set out the next day; but still something was
to be done for the service of Emmeline, and still he could not bear to
resign the delight he had now so long enjoyed of seeing her every day,
and of indulging those hopes she had tacitly allowed him to entertain.

Mrs. Stafford, notwithstanding her promise to Emmeline, had not been
able to forbear discovering to him part of the truth. Yet when he
reflected on the advantages Delamere had over him in fortune, in rank,
in the influence his family connection and his former engagement might
give him, he trembled least, if he should be himself absent when Lord
Delamere arrived, her tender and timid spirit would yield to the sorrow
of her lover and the authority of her family; and that almost in despite
of herself, he might lose her for ever. While he yet lingered, and
continued to promise that he would go to the Isle of Wight, the eight
first days of their stay in town glided away. Early in the morning of
the ninth, Godolphin entered the room where Mrs. Stafford and Emmeline
were at breakfast.

'I must now indeed,' said he, 'lose no time in going to Adelina. I am to
day informed that Mr. Trelawny is dead.'

'Shall we then see Lady Adelina in town?' eagerly asked Emmeline, who
could not affect any concern at the death of such a man.

'I apprehend not,' replied Godolphin. 'Whatever business there may be to
settle with the Bancrafts, I am sure will be more proper for me than for
her. To them I must now go, at Putney; and only came to inform you,
Madam,' addressing himself to Mrs. Stafford, 'of the reason of my sudden
absence.'

'Shall you return again to London, Sir, before you proceed into
Hampshire?'

'Not unless you or Miss Mowbray will allow me to suppose that to either
of you my return may be in any way serviceable.'

Mrs. Stafford assured him she had nothing to trouble him upon which
required such immediate attention. Emmeline then attempted to make an
answer of the same kind. But tho' she had for some days wished him to
go, she could not see him on the point of departing without being
sensible of the anguish his absence would occasion her; and instead of
speaking distinctly her thanks, she only murmured something, and was so
near bursting into tears, that fearing to expose herself, she was
hurrying out of the room.

'No message--no letter--not one kind word,' said he, gently detaining
her, 'to poor Adelina? Nothing to your little _protegé_?'

'My--love to them both, Sir?'

'And will you not write to my sister?'

'By the post,' said Emmeline, struggling to get from him to conceal her
emotion.

He then kissed her hand, and suffered her to go. While the explanation
Mrs. Stafford gave of her real feelings, elated him to rapture, in which
he departed, protesting that nothing should prevent his return, to
follow the good fortune which he now believed might be his, as soon as
he could adjust his sister's business with her husband's relations.

Mrs. Stafford recommended it to him to bring Lady Adelina to London with
him, as the affection Emmeline had for her would inevitably give her
great influence. Godolphin, in answer to this advice, only shook his
head; and Mrs. Stafford remained uncertain of his intentions to follow
it.

A few days now elapsed without any extraordinary occurrence. Emmeline
thought less of the impending restoration of her fortune (for of it's
restoration Mr. Newton assured her he had no doubt), than of him with
whom she hoped to share it. She impatiently longed to hear from Lady
Adelina that he was with her: and sometimes her mind dwelt with painful
solicitude on Lady Westhaven and Delamere, for whose health and safety
she was truly anxious, and of whom she had received no account since her
arrival in London.

As she was performing the promise she had made to Godolphin of writing
to Lady Adelina by an early post, Le Limosin announced Mr. James Crofts;
who immediately entered the room with his usual jerking and familiar
walk. Emmeline, who incapable as she was of hating any body, yet felt
towards him a disgust almost amounting to hatred, received him with the
coldest reserve, and Mrs. Stafford with no more civility than was
requisite to prevent his alledging her rudeness and impatience as
reasons for not settling the business on which she concluded he came.

He began with general conversation; and when Mrs. Stafford, impatient to
have done with him, introduced that which went more immediately to the
adjustment of the affair she wished to settle, he told her, that being
extremely unwilling to discuss a matter of business with a _lady_, and
apprehensive of giving offence to one for whom he and his dear Mrs.
Crofts had so sincere a regard, he had determined to leave all the
concerns yet between them to his attorney; a man of strict honour and
probity, to whom he would give her a direction, and to whom it would be
better for _her_ attorney to apply, than that they should themselves
enter on a topic whereon it was probable they might differ.

Mrs. Stafford, vexed at his dissimulation and finesse, again pressed him
to come to a conclusion without the interference of lawyers. But he
again repeated the set speech he had formed on the occasion; and then
addressing himself to Emmeline, asked smilingly, and affecting an
interest in her welfare, 'whether the information he had received was
true?'

'What information, Sir?'

'That Miss Mowbray has the most authentic claim to the estate of her
late father.'

'It is by no means an established claim, Sir; and such as you must
excuse me if I decline talking of.'

'I am told you have papers that put it out of dispute. If you would
favour me with a sight of them, perhaps I could give you some insight
into the proceedings you should commence; and I am sure my friendship
and regard would make any service I could do you a real satisfaction to
myself.'

'I thank you, Sir, for your professions. The papers in question are in
the hands of Mr. Newton of Lincolns Inn. If he will allow you to see
them I have no objection.'

'You intend then,' said James Crofts, unable entirely to conceal his
chagrin--'you intend to begin a suit with my Lord Montreville?'

'By no means, Sir. I am persuaded there will be no necessity for it. But
as you have just referred Mrs. Stafford to a lawyer, I must beg leave to
say, that if _you_ have any questions to ask you must apply to mine.'

James Crofts, quite disconcerted notwithstanding his presumptuous
assurance, was not ready with an answer; and Emmeline, who doubted not
that he was sent by his father to gain what intelligence he could, was
so provoked, that not conceiving herself obliged to preserve the
appearance of civility to a man she despised, she left him in possession
of the room, from whence Mrs. Stafford had a few moments before
departed. He therefore was obliged to withdraw; having found his attempt
to shake the integrity of Le Limosin as fruitless as that he had made to
get sight of the papers.

He had not long been gone, when a servant brought to Emmeline the
following note.--


    'I have heard you are in town with Mrs. Stafford, and beg leave
  to wait on you. Do not, _ma douce amie_, refuse to grant me this
  favour. Besides the happiness of seeing you and your friend, I have
  another very particular reason for soliciting you to grant such an
  indulgence to

                                                    GEORGE FITZ-EDWARD.

    'I write this from a neighbouring coffee-house, where I expect
  your answer.'


Emmeline immediately carried this billet to Mrs. Stafford; who told her
there was no reason why she should refuse the request it contained. She
therefore wrote a card of compliment to Colonel Fitz-Edward, signifying
that she should be glad to see him.

In a few moments Fitz-Edward appeared; and Emmeline, tho' aware of his
arrival, could not receive him without confusion and emotion. Nor could
she without pity behold his altered countenance and manner, so different
from what they were when she first saw the gay and gallant Fitz-Edward
at Mowbray Castle. He began by expressing, with great appearance of
sincerity, his joy at seeing her; enquired after Lord Delamere, and
mentioned his astonishment at what he had heard--that Delamere had so
repeatedly enquired after him, and signified such a wish to see him, yet
had never written to him to explain his business.

Emmeline, who knew well on what he had so earnestly desired to meet him,
blushed, but did not think it necessary to clear up a subject which
Godolphin's explanation to Delamere had rendered no longer alarming.

'You know, perhaps,' said Fitz-Edward, 'that Mr. Trelawny is dead.'

'I do.'

'And your fair unhappy friend?--May I now--(or is it still a crime,)
enquire after her.'

'She is, I believe, well,' answered Emmeline, 'and remains at the house
of her brother.'

'Tell me, Miss Mowbray--will she after a proper time refuse, do you
think, her consent to see me? will _you_, my lovely friend, undertake to
plead for me? will you and Mrs. Stafford, who know with what solicitude
I sought her, with what anguish I deplored her loss, intercede on my
behalf?--you, who know how fondly my heart has been devoted to her from
the moment of our fatal parting?'

'I can undertake nothing of this kind, Sir. The fate of Lady Adelina
depends, I apprehend, on her brothers. To them I think you should
apply.'

'And why not to herself? Is she not now at liberty? And when destiny has
at length broken the cruel chains with which she was loaded, will she
voluntarily bind herself with others hardly more supportable? If she
refers me to her brothers, I must despair:--the cold-hearted Lord
Westhaven, the inflexible and rigid Godolphin, will make it a mistaken
point of honour to divide us for ever!'

'You cannot suppose, Sir, that _I_ shall undertake to influence Lady
Adelina to measures disapproved by her family. I know not that Lord
Westhaven is cold and unfeeling as you describe him: on the contrary, I
believe he unites one of the best heads and warmest hearts. If your
request is proper, you certainly risk nothing by referring it to him.'

Of Godolphin she spoke not; fearful of betraying to the penetrating and
observing Fitz-Edward how little he answered in her idea the character
of unfeeling and severe.

'I know not what to do,' said Fitz-Edward. 'Should I address myself to
her brothers without success, I am undone; since I well know that from
their decision there will be no appeal. I cannot live without her,
Emmeline--indeed I cannot; and in the hope only of what has lately
happened, have I dragged on till now a reluctant existence. Once, and
but once, I dared write to her. But her brother returned the letter. She
suffered him cruelly to return it, in a cover in which he informed me,
"that the peace and honour of Lady Adelina Trelawny made it necessary
for her to forget that such a man existed as Colonel Fitz-Edward."
Godolphin,' continued he--'Godolphin may carry this too far; he may
oblige me to remind him that there is more than one way in which his
inexorable punctilio may be satisfied.'

'Certainly,' cried Emmeline, in great agitation, which she vainly
struggled to conceal, 'there is no method more likely to convince Lady
Adelina of your tenderness for her, than that you hint at; and if you
should be fortunate enough to destro